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Ask HN: How do you interview a software company?
2 points by david90 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 2 comments
Often programmers are interviewed by the company, however what should we do on the developer side to interview the company? Could you share any good questions to ask (Technically, culturally or philosophically)?

So there is a range...it will depend on the size of the company, and what level of a developer you are. However, a process that you see often is made up of multiple rounds. Starting with introductions on both sides. This is where you will talk about what you are currently doing, what technologies you are proficient at, overview of company culture and technology stack. This could be followed up again with a more technical person compared to a recruiter that is filtering candidates. Next will come the technical challenge to demonstrate you can develop. This will range as well. You can get take come code, peer coding challenges, or online tests. In my opinion, this is the round that you should be focusing on. You do this by studying your language. Let's use JavaScript. You will be asked about prototypes, closures, execution context, lexical environments, es6, and etc.. You need to know these well, and actually be able to use them. The technical aspect is testing your knowledge of the full language and your ability to use it. So if any aspects of the language is unclear to you, learn it. I would also say, practice coding with a time limit if you want to be an overachiever a bit. I haven't, but it would be an honest improvement I could make to my preparation. It would take some stress off at the very least.

Hope this helps...

Personally work/life balance is very important to me, so I tend to ask about that. This is trickier for people at the beginning of their career though, but can be done.

From a broader perspective it's not just about the interview process. You need to do research up-front about the company (which also useful to help sell yourself).

1. Read all their job postings, and their website. Company values are useful.

2. Read Glassdoor reviews, if there are any.

3. Talk to anyone you know there.

4. During interviews, ask the right questions. https://www.keyvalues.com/culture-queries has good suggestions.

More here in this blog post - https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/10/14/job-you-dont-hate/ - as well as in my book (again, focused on work/life balance) The Programmer's Guide to a Sane Workweek (https://codewithoutrules.com/saneworkweek/).

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