1. When you were looking for a job last time, what made you choose this company? 
    By limiting to one choice, you're asking for the main highlight of the company from the employee's perspective. It's also a way to build rapport (I also value X in a company).
  2. If there was one thing you could change about your company, what would it be?
    If multiple interviewees answer the same way, think of it as the biggest con of working at the company. It also points to what your interviewer values.
  3. Is this a brand new role or did it exist before the job opening?
    This opens the conversation in two possible directions. If the role did exist, you can start asking questions about the kind of projects the previous employee worked on. These will become YOUR projects when you're hired. If it's a new position, that can be a good sign because you won't be stepping into anyone else's shoes. It can also point to the company's growth (Adding headcount instead of just maintaining the status quo)
  4. What is your Dev to QA ratio?
    If you pair this question with inquiries into automation efforts, you can often get a good idea of how much testing you will be doing.
  5. How does your team 'do agile'?
    This is a purposely open-ended question that gives insight into how the team develops software and if you'd be a good fit.
  6. Have you had a chance to take training or go to conferences? If so, where and what did the approval process look like?
    This question can be hit/miss, but if they mention going to lots of conferences and easy approvals, that's a good sign.
  7. What does the career path of this position look like for successful people at your company?
    Career progression expectations conversation should start during the interview process and continue right when you start. You want to get you and your employer on the same page. If I am able to accomplish X, Y, and Z, I should be able to be promoted.
  8. If I were in this job, how would my performance be measured? Where do you think I could add the most value?
    A good follow up to the previous question. You don't want performance reviews to be a surprise. You and the employer should be on the same page about performance from day 1.
  9. What is the most important contribution you think I could make in the first 90 days?
    It's difficult to be effective in the first couple of months, but if you can knock out a concrete goal in the first 3 months, that is great.
  10. What are some challenges you’ve seen people in this role or team encounter?
    If the interviewer has insight into the ins-outs of this position, it's great information to inform your learning journey when you start the role. It also helps bolster your performance review because you can say something like..."You mentioned that people in my position often struggled with X, I was able to win at X"
  11. What is one of your biggest challenges at the moment? Biggest opportunity?
    This helps get you 'on the same team' with the prospective company. You might even say a few words about how you will help them with their biggest challenge if you were hired.
  12. What impressed you most about my skills/experience? Maybe I can tell you a bit more about it.
    A great question to ask at the end of the interview when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. This way the interview ends on a positive note and gets everyone excited about working together.


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John Solly Profile Picture
John Solly Profile Picture

John Solly

Hi, I'm John, a Software Engineer with a decade of experience building, deploying, and maintaining cloud-native geospatial solutions. I currently serve as a senior software engineer at New Light Technologies (NLT), where I work on a variety of infrastructure and application development projects.

Throughout my career, I've built applications on platforms like Esri and Mapbox while also leveraging open-source GIS technologies such as OpenLayers, GeoServer, and GDAL. This blog is where I share useful articles with the GeoDev community. Check out my portfolio to see my latest work!