Artem Golubev (Dev Lead - Automated Retail @ Hivery), Alex Gurr (Head of Engineering @ Cloudwave), Paul Kelcey (VP Engineering @ Displayr), Xavi Ferro (Head of Engineering @ Simply Wall St), Tim Tang (VP Engineering @ Local Measure), Alexander Iskrenov (Head Of Engineering @ Bluewater Control), Vinny Lawrenson-Woods (General Manager, Product Engineering @ Prezzee), Stuart Totman (Head of Engineering @ Campaign Monitor)
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Artem Golubev (Dev Lead - Automated Retail @ Hivery)
I’d ask if it’s possible to spend a couple of hours in a team on a regular day to see what they do and how they work, as one of the interview rounds. It’s not always possible, but I’ve seen it happen before.
Alex Gurr (Head of Engineering @ Cloudwave)
Ask members of the new team for their experience, even if they’re not involved in the hiring process. Ask your hirer for names of contacts or look at the company’s employees on LinkedIn. Glassdoor will also show reviews for working at a company
Paul Kelcey (VP Engineering @ Displayr)
Unless you know someone there that you can talk to, I’m not sure that you can. You can read reviews on Glassdoor. You can get some signs from the interview process itself. But until you get there, you never know for sure. But probation periods work both ways. The company is on probation for you just as much as you are for them. Normally, if you get a bad vibe, you’re likely to be right.
Start-ups can be the wild west. If you are learning and are treated well and paid according to market rates then you are probably in a good business. Don’t put up with any mistreatment especially with the job market being as buoyant as it is now.
Xavi Ferro (Head of Engineering @ Simply Wall St)
You can get a lot of insights during the interview process. How much does the TA know about the business? What about the engineering team? How deep is the technical interview? Did you feel that people interviewing you were great people to work with? What about managers?
Remember that the interview goes both ways, so it is important to ask any questions that can clarify your point of view. So, some questions:
For me it is important that I get a sense of transparency. If something is broken, that’s fine if they are happy to share it and can give me context and a plan to solve the problem.
Tim Tang (VP Engineering @ Local Measure)
Ask to meet with some key team members in product, engineering, design. Ask about process, tools and day to day activities. Check for consistency between their answers and get a feel for how much input everyone has to make changes to these factors.
Alexander Iskrenov (Head Of Engineering @ Bluewater Control)
Simply ask to spend a day with the team, have lunch with them or attend a company event. Meeting the people in person is the most reliable way to make a good decision and the initiative will be usually welcomed.
Vinny Lawrenson-Woods (General Manager, Product Engineering @ Prezzee)
Talk to the engineers. Grab a coffee with them and have an open conversation about the positive and challenging aspects of the team. Asking what the engineers would change or what they would do more of will give you some important insights. Speak to the team leader for their perspective and see where things align and where they don’t. Also, ask what the team vision/strategy is.
Stuart Totman (Head of Engineering @ Campaign Monitor)
We try to ensure we have your prospective team members in the interview process and that is a great opportunity to dig into how the team likes to work. Before the days of pandemics we also liked to take candidates around the office so they can see what it looks like to work with us and get a feel for the culture of the office.