Select Page

I’ve done some fair share of interviews. I feel like interviewing for front end positions is like interviewing for a different position in every single company. All positions expect me to know HTML & CSS best practices, and JavaScript too. However, some only expect me to know jQuery, not real core JavaScript. Other companies expect me to be, basically, a full stack dev with a front end label. Others want a Designer/Developer front end person. I interviewed with one amazing company, that I wanted to work for so bad, and I didn’t make the position because they wanted me to solve a problem that had NOTHING to do with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, UI, or even UX.

So, for my own use, I’m creating a list of questions I’d like to ask Employers. I hope you like them.

Semi-Personal Questions

  • How do you like working at your company?
  • What’s your favorite part about what you do?
  • What’s your company culture like?
  • Is there something you’d change about your work environment?

I ask questions like these because it gives me an idea of the kind of person, coworker, or boss I’ll be working with. Thankfully, most companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Google have set the standard for tech companies to treat their employees well. I want to work with people and companies that push me to become a better developer.

Job Questions

  • What are my responsibilities?

This is such a loaded question. I have NEVER, EVER, gotten the same answer from any employer I’ve ever spoken to. Usually, the answers and the spinoff answers to that question last about 20 minutes in my interviews. Even then, I don’t think I’ve asked enough spinoff questions to truly cover everything. So, here are some spinoff questions.

  • What kind of stack do you use?
  • How much do you expect me to know about the stack? (depending on the stack)
  • What kind of third party libraries do you use as a part of the stack?
  • Do you have documentation?
  • How much backend do you expect me to know?
  • How much Design do you expect me to know?
  • Is there room for growth?

Every full-time job I’ve ever had required me to get familiar with a new stack. At the time of this article, I work for Zappos. Their stack is highly documented… but some of the stuff in the documentation is severely out of date (am I allowed to say that?). Documentation is so important to have, especially for new hires.┬áThe documentation might get a little hairy when the stack gets bigger, but it’s better to have some than none at all.

What I Have to Offer

  • Can I bring (insert here) to the table?

You would be shocked at how many time I’ve heard something like “maybe on your own time / that’s not what we’re hiring you for / I don’t think that’ll be a problem, but your primary focus is going to be (this)”. Are you kidding me?! I’m trying to bring more value to you as an employee. It drives me nuts that the person I’m interviewing with would dismiss that question so easily. Yes, I am obviously expected to accomplish what you’re hiring me for. I’m not asking because I don’t want to do whatever it is you’re asking me, I’m asking because I have more to offer and I want to have the opportunity to use my talents.

My “Other” Category

My “other” questions for employers are things not related directly to my job. This is where I ask broader questions, like…

  • Where do you see the future of this company going?
  • Do you think you’ll ever sell your company? (if the CEO has sold their companies in the past)
  • Do you invest in the training of your employees, like sending them to bootcamps, classes, or meetups?
  • How else do you invest back into your employees?
  • How do you give back to the community?

Typically, my “other” category questions are questions I ask when I feel like I would accept the position. At this point, the conversation is going great, I’m liking what I’m hearing, and I want to hear more.

Wrap it Up

These questions will be ever changing, or added to in the future, but I feel like this is a solid set of questions to keep in mind when doing a job interview. There are more questions you should ask, such as specific ones related to a particular employer. You should always research any person or company you’re applying to work for. It’s better to show up prepared than not at all.

Thanks for reading!