12 Jul 17 Interview Tips
You’ve made it this far. You’re sat face to face with the person that ultimately has the future of your career in the palm of their hands. This interview will provide you with the opportunity to showcase your talents to a prospective employer, to bring your past experience to life and to demonstrate why you are the perfect fit for the job.
Whilst all of this is true, the interview is also a chance for you to establish if this is the right business for YOU. Take the time to find out what they can offer you and whether or not it’s the kind of place you want to be. Here are a few questions you can ask during your interview to better understand how the business works and what they can add to your career:
What is the company culture like?
It’s important to get a feel for the environment that you’ll be working in. Most companies have core values or a mission statement that will summarise their ethos. Find out how much value the business sees in developing their Tech - is it something they prioritise or do they just see it as a necessary evil? You can also discover more out about company expectations, levels of freedom and remote working opportunities. Ideally, the company culture will align with what you’re looking for, and offer you a working environment in which you can flourish.
What is the relationship like between teams?
Some businesses invest heavily in helping teams to collaborate, whilst others allow their departments to work independently. Do they promote cross-functional teamwork, and if so what processes are in place to support this? Their answer to this question will help you to understand if the Tech teams integrate with the rest of the company, or if they sit fairly separately. This will also reinforce whether or not the rest of the business units are able to communicate with the Tech teams.
What professional development opportunities do you offer?
I think everyone can agree that one of the biggest motivators for seeking a new job is career progression. Is the business committed to training their developers on new frameworks and platforms? Will you have the chance to learn new skills? Find out whether the business has a clear path for growth, and how that career advancement can be achieved. It’s one thing to have found your dream job, but where will you be in five years time? You certainly don’t want to be stuck in exactly the same position you were in when you started.
What’s the measurement process for developers?
Working out how a business defines success within the development team is a good way to understand what will be expected of you in your new role. Do they promote the use of Code Reviews and if so, what’s their process? You’ll want to know if they undergo Peer Code Reviews, and what they consider to be best practice. Some teams can be fairly metrics driven, whilst others will give their developers freedom to do as they see fit. Don’t be afraid to dig down in to how they measure their teams, as it will give you a better idea of how they operate overall.
What is the development team like?
You’ll definitely want to learn more about the team that your role sits within. What sort of experience does the team have between them? Perhaps the team has some skills gaps or weaknesses that you can help to combat. This will allow you to have visibility of what you can bring to the department. Does the team sit in silence with their headphones on, sharing an occasional knowing nod between one-another, or do they have a more collaborative approach?
There’s plenty more you can discover about a company by asking questions in an interview, but this will hopefully give you some inspiration when given the floor to ask your interviewer for some further insights. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – curiosity is a good quality to demonstrate during interviews, and you’ll come away knowing much more than you did when you walked in.
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