You know that part of the interview where the employer asks you if you have any questions?

Having been on the other side, asking questions is something that employer is actively encouraging you to do, as its another chance for them to promote their ethos.

My basic strategy is to spend 20 minutes before each interview I do and pick some appropriate questions from this list. I’ve tried to categorize them a bit. A lot of these are outright stolen from Edward O’Campo-Gooding’s list of questions, as well as from various people at Hacker School. I’d love suggestions for more! - Julia Evans,

Go read the list that Julia Evans has composed. Here’s a sample of questions. These are primarily tailored to software/web development.

Quality of life

  • How much vacation do people get? If there’s “unlimited” vacation, how much vacation do people normally take?
  • Is it possible to take sabbaticals or unpaid vacation?
  • How many women work for you? What’s your process for making sure you have diversity in other ways?
  • How many hours do people work in an average week? In your busiest weeks?
  • Is variability tolerated or is everyone expected to be on the same schedule?
  • What time do people normally leave work?
  • Would I need to be on call? How often?
  • How often are there emergencies or times when people have to work extra hours?
  • What is your turnover rate like? How many devs were hired last year and how many left?
  • What’s your retention rate of women over 1.5 years? Do you think you could’ve done anything differently to keep people who left?
  • Do people work on the weekend?
  • Do people check in when they’re on vacation? How often?
  • Is it possible to work from home, say, 1 or 2 days a week? Does anyone do this? (can be a nice option to have)

A company that discourages you from asking questions about their work environment is likely a company that you may find discouraging.