How to prepare for an interview as a software developer – part II

An interview is a chance for you to impress your future employers as a software developer but it is also a chance for them to impress you. 

In the previous article of the series, I discussed interview questions collected from various companies. I have also shared my tips on networking, writing a CV and writing a cover letter as a software developer.

This final article is all about giving Forty2 (which is still a made up company) the opportunity to impress you by asking the right questions and here is a list of my favourites:

1. What made you choose to work at Forty2? I really like this question because this gives you a chance to get to know your interviewers and it’s not just them getting to know you. In my experience, the interview becomes more enjoyable, especially for those who enjoy talking about themselves.

2. What is a typical day in the life of a developer at Forty2? This question is very open and it also helps start a dialogue. When I ask this question I always learn at least one thing about the company that I never thought to ask directly. For example, if the company have flexible work hours. This question also gives your interviewers another chance to promote the company culture.

3. What additional learning opportunities does Forty2 offer? Another important question. This will reveal if you have a training budget, e.g. you can order any text book you want and the company will pay, or maybe Forty2 has 10 000 USD to spend on every junior dev (which I doubt, but you never know!) and it will also give you a good impression on how the company values improving your skills.

4. What does agile mean to Forty2? Every company seems to have a different understanding of agile software development. For some, it is just a buzz word and for others, it is used for every project. Even if Forty2 doesn’t use agile methods, they will at least give you an impression of how effectively they work as a team.

5. Does Forty2 have any open source projects? This will give you a great impression on how engaged Forty2 is with the community and it also an opportunity to see how they write code.

6. Why do people decide to leave Forty2? This is quite a cheeky question. I have asked it in an interview before and the answer I got was that consultants sometimes take jobs to work directly for their clients.

Let me know in the comments below if you have asked any of these questions with success or failure or if you have some of your own that you would like to share!

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Last updated May 21st, 2017.

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