Unique interview questions to ask a future employer


When you’re going in for an interview, you may only be prepared to answer questions. However, asking good questions can also help employers know how you think and understand your professional and personal values. Read on to learn some unique questions you can ask when interviewing for technical roles.

Ask questions that strengthen your candidacy

When asking your interviewer questions, your objective is to set yourself apart from the other applicants and learn something you can use to strengthen your candidacy. When you ask questions, you show that you’re an inquisitive person with a desire to learn. These qualities can differentiate you from interviewees who merely practice providing good answers. Also, you may learn something after asking a question that can help you perform better either during the rest of the interview or in the next round.

For example, if you ask about the technologies the team uses to develop products, you can weave in your own familiarity with those technologies as you answer other questions. This will make you a more appealing candidate. Additionally, you may be able to get some hints as to what the technical part of the interview may involve. For help passing the technical aspect of interviews, you can check out our preparation guides, including Pass the Technical Interview with Java, Pass the Technical Interview with Python, and Pass the Technical Interview with JavaScript.

Which technologies does the company use?

Another important question to ask is what technologies the company uses because it shows you’re interested in the tools that drive their success. Also, a good developer is always hunting for ways to learn new things, so you can inquire whether you’ll get the opportunity to try new tech while working in the position.

In addition, if you learn the company is using technology that you’re familiar with, you can flex that knowledge throughout the rest of the interview. Let’s say you learn Kubernetes is a key component of their tech stack. You could then talk about how you have or could strategically layer microservices to enhance the efficiency of an app. Candidates who are comfortable with tech require less of an upfront investment on the employer’s part, and they can interface with the rest of the team easier and faster, so it’s always a good idea to show off your skills when the timing is right.

What specific value-adds do you aim to provide customers?

Asking about how a product or service benefits customers shows that you are centered on the prime revenue-generator: the end-user. This is an important high-level value, and a candidate that’s focused on the customer understands the big picture.

In addition, once you learn what the company is trying to provide customers, you can use this to inform other things you say and do later in the interview or during subsequent interviews. For example, if the company is focused on providing an app that prioritizes simplicity over a rich selection of functions, you could mention how you would design a user interface (UI) that is especially user-friendly.

What are the primary challenges the team is dealing with right now?

Asking questions about the challenges the business faces shows you’re a problem-solver and desire to contribute to the team as soon as you get the job. The answer you get will provide insight into what you may be working on in the first few months on the job.

If this question leads to a discussion about the challenges, show that you’re a listener, first and foremost. If you have a solution in mind, you may want to humbly ask, “Do you know if the team has tried this…?” That way, you show that you may have something to offer while still respecting the hard work that’s already been invested in finding solutions.

What kinds of growth opportunities are there with the company?

If you ask about growth opportunities, you show you are invested in staying with the company for an extended period of time. You also convey a desire to learn new skills, which will make you a more valuable asset as time goes on. For example, you may want to learn how to build a chatbot, even if you’re not required to have this skill when first starting out in your role.

You may then want to follow this question by asking what you can do in your first year or two to qualify for growth opportunities. This also shows you are focused on establishing your merit and bringing tangible value to the organization.

What kinds of benchmarks will be used to assess my performance?

Asking this question shows you are  focused on what you can bring to the table. The answer also gives you valuable information regarding what you need to accomplish to satisfy the organization’s requirements and contribute to their progress.

In some cases, the answer may even reveal specific things you can exemplify during the technical aspect of your interview, such as clearly conveying the thinking behind your solutions or developing products that prioritize a particular target audience’s needs.

Ask a question that shows you’ve done your research on the company

Inquiring about something the company is working on now or has already accomplished can be a great way to wrap up your interview. These kinds of queries are some of the top questions to ask an employer during an interview because they provide a comfortable shift of focus from you to the interviewer.

In many cases, the person interviewing you may have had personal involvement in the development or rollout of a solution, and they may enjoy talking about their role in its success.

Also, because this kind of question shows you’ve done your homework, the interviewer may be left with the impression that you see this interview as a unique opportunity — not just another interview you’re checking off your list.

When asking about something the company has done or is working on, you can also ask about specific architectures or development principles, such as agile or waterfall. In this way, you can showcase your interest in and familiarity with the nuts and bolts of producing solutions.

Not only do we provide you with the technical knowledge and practice to qualify for a vast number of tech jobs, but we have guides designed to build your confidence in the interview process. Feel free to check out Acing the technical interview: A complete guide and Interviewing in the tech industry: Technical and behavioral interview tips. To gain the knowledge and experience essential to a successful career in tech, you can start with us for free today.

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