Top 5 questions to ask when interviewing for a software developer position

Kelvin Graddick · 2 minute read ·     
In a software developer interview, the questions you ask to the interviewer are just as important as the questions they ask you. 🙋🏾‍♂️

Don’t you really want to know what you’ll be doing for 40+ hours a week, how it will affect your professional future, and how it might dictate your overall happiness?? 😊😞

That all being said, why do interviews lean so much toward the interviewer asking questions? You should be sure to do the same; put them and the company ‘on the spot’ a little bit as well.

Is the team/company a fit for YOU?

Here are top 5 questions to ask when interviewing for a software developer position:

1. What all is expected from me in this role?

Find out exactly what the role is, what tasks you will have, work/like balance, and what you will have ownership of. Sometimes job descriptions don’t match 100%; watch out for that. Find ways to map your knowledge/experience to what the interviewer tells you.

Example responses:
“we need a self starter” ✅
“you will own feature dev on our web app” ✅
“this is a dev role but you’ll sometimes be doing customer support too” 🚩

2. What are some of the biggest challenges facing the you and/or the team right now?

Force the interviewer to talk about the problems and not just sell you the dream. No job/team/company is perfect. Some challenges are good for you; talk about how you can help with those. Some challenges should be avoided 😅.

Example responses:
“we need to update from an older tech stack” ✅
“we need more organized dev processes” ✅
“work/life balance is bad” 🚩

3. What technologies and tooling does the team/company currently use?

Ask about the exact technologies and tooling you will be using day-to-day for development, dev ops, unit testing, automation testing, etc.
Also ask about what you’ll be able to learn/use in the near future. Show excitement and map to your current experience where possible.

Example responses:
“we are using the latest version of React” ✅
“we have started using Github Actions for CI/CD” ✅
“the main app is still in Objective C and we don’t know exactly when we’ll refactor it” 🚩

4. How does growth and career progression happen in this role?

Ask about the opportunities to learn from the team and company. Determine if there is a clear response to how you move up to the next role.

Example responses:
“you’ll have a team lead and senior devs mentoring you” ✅
“we will meet regularly to make sure you’re on track for the next level” ✅
“we learn as we go” 🚩
“we’ll see how well you’re doing first and can talk about how you can be promoted in the future” 🚩

5. Is there anything I can clarify about my knowledge/experience?

...anything that I haven’t made clear enough, or that you feel might be lacking?

Be direct/proactive and simply ask for a chance to close a gap the interviewer might have in their mind.

Example responses:
“do you have any database experience?” ✅
“are you comfortable working in a high-pressure environment with tight deadlines?” 🚩

There are many more questions you could/should ask; find what questions get the info that means most to you, and what helps you make the right decision! 👨🏾‍⚖️

⁉️ Any other questions you think you should ask an interviewer?

P.S. Check out the image above to see my me before my first developer job interview, after getting my first check, and during my first month as a dev! 😬💵👨🏾‍💻

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