Jon Tavernier

Interview Questions

Questions to ask before and during an interview.

In addition to understanding the role itself, these are questions I like to answer before and during the interview process.

Company Information

First, I like to get my ducks in a row and have some basic background information:

  1. How do they make money and in what industry?

  2. Who are its customers?

  3. How long has it been around and how many employees?

  4. What is its rating? Is it recognized as being a good place to work?

  5. How’s the commute?

  6. Any recent good or bad news?

Questions for HR

Most interviews start with a call to a person on the on the HR or People team.

  1. What is the need for this position?

  2. What’s the culture like within the company and IT itself?

  3. How many people work in the Chicago office? How’s the work space itself?

  4. What does a career path look like for this role at your company?

  5. How long have you been at the company? What do you like about it?

  6. Are there any other questions I can answer for you?

  7. Next steps?

Questions for the Hiring Manager

After chatting with HR, the next round is typically with the Hiring Manager.

  • The Position

    1. What are the day-to-day expectations of this position (e.g. technical work vs. leadership)?

    2. To whom does this position report?

    3. How stable is this position?

    4. How many and what people report to this position?

    5. Where does the company want to be in six months from now?

  • The Team

    1. Where does this team fit in with the rest of the company (e.g. org chart)?

    2. How many people are on the team and what are the roles?

    3. Who are this team’s customers (e.g. what is the output)?

    4. How does this team get its projects and priorities?

    5. Do other teams fulfill a similar need for other departments or this this a centralized service?

  • Technology

    1. What is the technology stack used by this team and/or position?

    2. How often do upgrades occur?

    3. In what ways are new tools explored?

    4. What conferences have people on this team attended within the last year?

    5. What roles are typically involved in business projects?


  1. What's the base pay?

  2. How's the work, life balance?

  3. Medical benefits? Life insurance? Short and Long-term Disability?

  4. When can I begin contributing to a retirement fund?

  5. Is there a match to my retirement fund contributions? A vesting schedule?

  6. Is this position bonus eligible?

  7. When do medical benefits begin?

Other Tips

  • Make sure you have a chance to chat with your potential boss and coworkers. Do they seem like nice people to work with?

  • I approach interviews as conversations, an opportunity to see whether the role's needs match up with my experience and interests, and a chance to learn more about the company, its people, office, role, etc. This helps me be less nervous about them.

  • Some roles require a take-home test. I enjoy these actually and expect them. It's your time to shine!