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  • What do you like best about working there?
  • What do you like least?
  • How would you describe this company's culture? engineering culture?
  • What causes the most conflict among employees here?
  • What would you change if you could?
  • How has the company changed in the past five years? How do you think it will change in the next five?
  • How long has the longest serving team member been there?
    • What's the average or median tenure?
  • How does the company create psychological safety for employees?
  • How often do you have to be available outside of normal business hours?
  • Can you give me an example of when a project took a major turn in another direction, and what was the cause of this change?
  • What was the team's last achievement recognised by the whole company?
  • When was the last time someone on the team was promoted?


  • What is the company's growth plan for the next 1 year? 5?
  • What are the biggest challenges the company has dealt with so far?
  • What are the big challenges you see coming up?
  • What changes in the industry are you most excited about?
  • Is the company currently profitable?
  • What are the long term goals for company success? Stay private? Sale? IPO?
  • Who are your top competitors?


  • Is it live in prod yet? If not, what's the schedule for going live?
  • How often are releases done?
  • Who supports it once it's released?
    • On-call?
      • Pager?
      • Email?
  • Who are the team's/project's customers? What end-users do you deal with? How do they feel about the product?
  • Design process
    • Who does the design of the product? Devs, designers, PMs?
    • Where do feature & bugfix requests come from?
    • How does work get in front of devs?
    • How does design/architecture happen? How are conflicts resolved during that process?
      • How are decisions made?
      • How are they recorded?
      • How are changes noted?
  • Can you explain the process of "idea to feature retirement" starting with the request from the product owner?
  • Would my work be full-stack of just backend?
  • How big is the code base?
  • When was the last time the team performed a disaster recovery exercise?
  • What part of the org is this team part of? Who is my boss's boss?
  • What is the attrition rate for the team?
  • How does budgeting work with your group? Who controls the budget they get?

Technical and Dev Process

  • Tech stack
    • Programming languages
    • Databases
    • Other services (message queues, file storage, etc.)
    • Monitoring and alerting
    • Any other interesting bits
  • What's your remote work setup look like? How many people are remote vs not?
  • Dev env
    • One command setup?
    • Run locally or remote?
    • Works on Linux?
  • Development Tools
    • Am I able to use whatever development tools I choose without asking permission?
  • Ticket/task/etc tracking
  • Development Process
    • Pairing?
  • Testing
    • Release with failing tests?
  • Source control
    • Branching strategy
    • Code reviews
  • CI/CD
  • Docs
  • QA
  • Other tools for dev/ops
    • Monitoring & alerting
    • Distributed tracing
    • Deployments (k8s, docker, AWS, etc.)
  • Incident handling and post-mortems
  • How do you balance technical/business goals?
  • What is your level of tech debt?
  • Reasonable goals & expectations? how to handle missed deadlines?
  • Do you have any sort of technical principles or vision?

My role

  • Why is this role open?
    • Is this a new role, or am I replacing some who left? If the latter, why did they leave?
  • What are biggest priorities for the team right now?
  • What's the most important thing I could do in the first few months towards those priorities?
  • What’s the biggest challenge for someone stepping into this role?
  • What would success in this role look like?
  • What qualities do you think are most important for success in this role?
  • How many hours of meetings per week?
  • What might a typical day for me look like?
  • Flexibility in the org to move to new projects over time?
  • Core hours? Flex hours? Crunch times?
  • Room for advancement?
  • Learning opportunities?

Compensation and Benefits

  • Base salary
  • Bonus?
    • Past bonus history?
  • Equity or RSUs?
    • Vesting schedule?
    • Refreshers?
  • 401k?
    • Match?
  • Health insurance options?
  • Conferences & self-education?
    • Costs covered by employer?
    • Is is treated as PTO or work time?
  • PTO?
    • Allowed to go negative on PTO balance?
    • How many weeks consecutively are allowed?
    • Is sick time separate from vacation?
    • Year to year rollover?
    • If it's unlimited, how much do people actually take?
  • Connectivity/equipment/home office budget?
    • At hire?
    • Later?
    • Does this include more than just a computer, monitor, etc., like furniture?
  • What is the employee perf review process?
    • For this position specifically, how is performance evaluated?


  • Working from Taiwan for several months?
  • How is work travel handled? Will it be an issue if I want a somewhat more expensive seat for legroom?
  • Contributing to open source?
  • IP clauses in contract?
  • Am I allowed to have side projects that I own?


  • Is there anything else I can do to help with your hiring decision?
  • Next steps?

Post offer

  • What level is the job offer?
  • What are the requirements for this level vs. the level above it?
  • What is the salary band for this level?
  • What percentage of the company does the equity represent?
  • What is the valuation of the company?
  • What is the vesting schedule?
    • Is there a 1 year cliff?
    • Are there quarterly vesting deadlines I should know about?
  • What is the strike price?
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