3 Questions for candidates to ask in an Interview

I’ve recently been interviewing candidates for a new position at Wyser. While no two interviews are ever the same, I have always been impressed by candidates who ask me questions.

As a candidate, you are understandably focused on one outcome, getting the job. However, don’t forget that job interviews are not one-way, you should also focus on interviewing the company.

My top 3 favourite questions to ask an interviewer are:

How do you know what to work on each day?

In a high-quality team, I would expect everyone to follow a lightweight process, “We do X-week sprints. The product backlog is managed by YYY and we select the sprint candidates by ZZZ”.

I’m much less interested in the labels the company uses, more trying to avoid “I come into the office and see what fires are burning. Most days, I get interrupted with a higher priority issue”.

I may also follow up with a question to help gauge how nimble the company is such as “How long does it take to set up a new development environment/database?”

What do you like about working here?

Keep in mind that some people are not naturally good at expressing admiration, so you may not get great responses, but where would you rather enjoy spending your time:

· I work with smart, friendly co-workers

· I like working with X because I can impact the daily life of Y


· It pays the bills

· There is not a lot of pressure to deliver

· (silence)

What is your team’s biggest challenge right now?

The obvious answer is a shortage of staff, so you may need to dig a little deeper. I’m looking for red flags such as unrealistic schedules, service/product quality issues, interpersonal drama, etc. Every team has problems, so the answers you get will depend on several factors. Look out for:

· An awareness of problems

· A willingness to be honest with you

· Any problems in the team and how serious they are

Interviews are bidirectional. Make sure you make an informed decision, and you’ll also come across as someone who would genuinely like to be part of the team, warts-and-all.

If you are interested in working with AI/ML or have an interesting problem to solve, please do get in touch.