Questions to Ask at the End of Interviews

April 11, 2022

“Do you have any questions for me?”

When an interviewer asks if you have any questions at the end of the interview, this is your chance to learn more about what matters to you in your next role. Have questions prepared. Use this time to better understand if the company you’re interviewing with is a good fit for you.

Consider what your priorities are in your next role:

  • What are you looking for in your next job?
  • What are your non-negotiables?
  • What are you absolutely not looking for in your next job?

The type of questions you'll ask will change as you progress through your career and your priorities shift. In this blog, we’ll go through questions I typically asked as a software engineer looking for my first few roles. This blog will be most helpful for engineers interviewing for their first or second roles.

The current interview process for engineering roles roughly consists of:

  • Phone screen with a recruiter (10-30 min)
  • Tech screen with an engineer (45-60 min)
  • Remote onsite with engineers, engineer managers, PMs, technical writers (3-6 hours)

The following sections are categorized by interview stage.

Phone Screen

During the first phone screen with the recruiter, I ask questions about my non-negotiables. If there’s a clear misalignment in expectations, either side can withdraw from the interview process. This saves everyone time and effort.

  • What is the salary range?
  • Is this role remote, in-office, or hybrid?
  • What is the engineering team size? What is the company team size?

Tech Screen

During the tech screen, I usually ask 1-2 softball questions.

  • What is a project you’re most proud of?
  • How is the product/engineering team structured?

Remote onsite

The remote onsite is usually a longer series of interviews. This is where I ask my more important questions.

General

  • Why did you choose [company name]?
  • What does a typical work week look like?
  • What is one thing you would want to change about your work?
  • What is one thing you would not want to change about your work?

Tech

  • What is the development process like?
  • What are some technical challenges on the team?
  • What is the tech stack?

Growth and learning

  • When was a recent time someone asked you for help and how’d you help them?
  • What’s something new you learned recently?
  • What advice would you give on how someone can be successful in this role?

Culture

  • How does the engineering team collaborate with product, design, and other teams?
  • What are some qualities you admire about coworkers?
  • How and when do you give feedback?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges on the team?

Manager questions

  • What does the onboarding process look like? Is there a 30/60/90 day plan? What’s on the 30/60/90?
  • What are some upcoming projects?
  • Who are the people on the team?
  • How many people do you manage?
  • How often do you have 1:1s with your direct reports?
  • What is your management philosophy?
  • What advice would you give on how someone can be successful in this role?

Post-offer

Congrats, you got the offer! It can be helpful, especially when thinking through multiple offers, to reverse interview someone on the team you’ll be joining. These are less "safe" questions that are more telling of a company or team’s culture and process.

  • How many people have left in the past 3 months and why?
  • Why did you join [company]?
  • What are the biggest challenges you’ve/ the team has had?
  • What is it like on a high stress day?

Conclusion

Know what your priorities are for your next job. Ask the right questions to find the right fit for your next move.

For more reading on interviewing and questions to ask, check out these articles:

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