What to ask at your next tech interview

Adam Shapley, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand and Hays IT Australia & New Zealand

So, you’ve been searching for your next tech job and you’ve landed an interview for what you think might be your dream role. You’ve taken the time to consider how you’ll answer the interview questions to get yourself to the top of the candidate list and one step closer to securing a job offer.

However, it’s important to recognise that an interview isn’t just a one-sided cross-examination. It should feel more like a conversation where the employer can find out information about you while you in turn find out if the role and organisation is right for you.

With cultural fit an important requirement for long-term career success, it’s important to make sure you arrive for your next interview with a few well-thought-out questions for when you hear the interviewer ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”.

Below are our top five questions to ask when you’re being interviewed for your next tech role:

1. How has this role evolved and where do you see it going in the future?

With technology always changing and advancing, the answer to this question will reveal what the role was like in the past and how it has evolved to incorporate modern practices and new technologies over time.

This question also shows the interviewer that you stay up-to-date with the latest tech advancements and can embrace change. It’s also a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of recent tech trends and developments.

Other questions you could ask about the role include:

  • What does a typical day in this role look like?
  • What is your definition of success for this role?
  • Are there any skills you are hoping to see in the next person for this role that were missing in the last?

2. Aside from the role’s technical requirements, what other skills are necessary to succeed in this role?

This question will help you understand what other skills and competencies are required in addition to your technical expertise to be successful in the role. For example, you might be required to liaise regularly with non-technical business units so strong communication skills would be essential or you might be in a rapidly changing industry and must be able to continuously adapt your skills accordingly. A holistic view of the role can help you determine if you have the right soft skills or competencies for the job.

Other questions you could ask about non-technical skills include:

  • Are there any other soft skills that aren’t necessary but would be beneficial?
  • Do you offer any opportunities for employees to further develop their soft skill-set?

3. Can you tell me more about the team, including what background and skill-sets already exist?

A major part of any tech job are the interactions and interpersonal relationships with your immediate team. Cultural fit is a key factor to success in any role, so it’s important to find out information about the people that you’ll be working closely with.

Additionally, cross-functional teams are common nowadays in technology, so asking specifically about the mix of skill-sets in the team can help you gain a better understanding on how your role will fit in as well as new skills that you might be able to pick up from your team members.

Other questions you could ask about the team include:

  • How does the team balance technical vs business goals?
  • Who are the key stakeholders for the team?
  • How does the team fit into the overall company structure?

4. How does the company strive to be innovative to differentiate itself from its competitors?

There are many benefits of working for a company that is innovative, especially if you work in tech. Innovative companies are more likely to have increased productivity and be open to new ideas and processes. And as a tech professional, you should want to work for an innovative company where you can be challenged and encouraged to think outside the box, especially for your own professional development.

Other questions you could ask about the company include:

  • What is the company culture like vs the team culture?
  • What does work-life balance mean here?
  • Does the company host any internal hackathons or similar?

5. What career and professional growth opportunities does the company offer?

Though a standard question, it’s an important one to ask. It shows the interviewer that you value opportunities to learn new skills or further develop your current abilities which is going to benefit both you and the organisation. The answer will also tell you if the company prioritises upskilling their employees, which is especially important if you work in technology.

Other questions you could ask about career and professional growth opportunities include:

  • What future career opportunities would there be within the company for someone with my skill-set?
  • Does the company provide any support for employees to study externally?

About this author

Adam Shapley, Managing Director, Hays New Zealand and Hays IT Australia & New Zealand, began working at Hays in 2001 and during this time has held significant leadership roles across the business including responsibility for multiple specialisms in various locations across Australia & New Zealand.

In 2018, he was appointed to Hays ANZ Management Board and made Managing Director for Hays New Zealand.

Adam is also responsible for the strategic direction of the Hays Information Technology business across Australia & New Zealand including driving growth across Digital Technology, Projects & Business Change and IT Operations & Support.

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