Feeling that special combination of giddy and anxious that comes just before a job interview? We’ve been there. Interviewing can be nerve-racking but we’re pumped you’re taking this next step towards a new role in the tech industry!
Whether you’re on the hunt for a position as a software developer or in IT, tech job interviews are not just about the company filling an opening. They also provide the chance for you to interview the company and see if the job is the best fit for you.
You might be thinking: “First of all, why bother asking questions in a tech job interview? I’m the interviewee, not the interviewer.”
Asking questions helps you:
Learn about the company, like you would a date.
The job hunt is a lot like dating. You put out feelers and risk getting ghosted but once you’ve felt that special spark with a company, you’re in hook, line, and sinker. You ask questions on dates as a way to get to know the other person, to see how their values, goals, and sense of humor line up with yours. From there, you decide if you and your date are a potential match. Taking a proactive role by asking questions on a first date eliminates wasted time down the line. It has the same effect on your convos with companies and can also build excitement for a potential match.
Asking questions in your interview also shows the company you’re genuinely interested in the role and signals you’re proactive and selective in your job search. It’s important to be your own advocate because you know what you’re looking for and you won’t settle for just any job that comes your way. That’s pretty admirable in our book.
If you’re unsure of exactly what you want from your next position, take some time to figure it out. Crack open a journal and make a list of your must-haves, nice-to-haves, and absolutely-cannot-haves. This shows you where you’re willing to compromise and what things you absolutely won’t settle for, allowing you to approach the job search with confidence.
So, what should you ask? Here are some of our favorites:
Are there opportunities for remote work? Will this role require travel?
Many tech companies offer perks like telecommuting and flexible schedules. Find out if there’s a chance you could cash in on this benefit and how often. Also, be sure to find out if the role will require travel. If so, ask yourself if this is a perk or dealbreaker for you?
Is there room for growth in this role?
This question is important for a couple of reasons. First, it lets the hiring manager know you’re looking to grow, whether that’s through professional development opportunities or advancement. It lets them know you’re a hard worker looking to get your hands dirty and invest in yourself. You’re not just looking for a job you can get by in, you’ve got grit.
Secondly, this question gives you an idea of the challenges and mental stimulation this role will provide. Will you learn any new skills while in this role? Being in a position that provides growth through development or advancement opportunities is important not only for your resume but also for personal satisfaction and growth. Polls have shown that workers feel more productive and satisfied in jobs that allow for growth.
What would my day-to-day routine look like in this role?
This is the ultimate question. The day-to-day routine will heavily influence your decision to take a job. Will you have really engaging tasks in the position or will you have a lot of downtime? Are you looking for a job with the same day-to-day tasks, or do you want variety? This question will flesh out your understanding of the job and also tell how much structure exists within this company.
What soft skills do you want your next new hire to possess?
Tech professionals aren’t always known to have great soft skills, so this is a chance to showcase yours. Ask this question to learn what soft skills are needed for the role, then provide an example of how you’ve used them in your current or previous roles.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of working here?
Be sure to ask this question with a positive tone. Even in the best workplaces, there are things people don’t love about their jobs. This question allows you to see if the pros outweigh the cons. It also helps you get a peek into what the company culture and morale are like.
Clue into things like body language and tone when your interviewer answers this question and be sure to give positive feedback for the things they mention they truly enjoy about their work and the company. This gives you a chance to emphasize if the company is a great match for you. You can chime in with “That’s something I’m really looking for in my next position,” or “It’s really important to me to be at a company that values X.”
It’s also an excellent way to look for any red flags. Listen to see if they mention any of your “absolutely-cannot-haves” here when it comes to company culture.
Good luck with your next tech job interview! We’re confident you’ll crush it.