Interview questions

While preparing for my round of onsite interviews at Eventbrite, I spent some time coming up with questions tailored to the different roles of the people I’d be meeting with. I thought I would share those here.

Here are some questions for project or engineering management:

  • What do you think of the size and structure on engineering teams at your company?

  • How does work on a project flow through different teams?

  • Do you have any recurring problems, either in production or in product schedules?

  • How do you balance tradeoffs between cost, speed, and quality on projects?

  • What metrics do you measure your engineering teams against? How do these relate to things important to the business?

  • What is your vision for engineering at your company?

  • What do you want most from the systems engineering team?

  • How do you measure success of the systems engineering team?

  • How do you decide when to build vs buy? How do you evaluate the business benefit and cost of technology choices?

Here are some for developers:

  • How does a feature flow from development on an engineer’s laptop into production?

  • How do you design systems for scalability?

  • What has a higher priority, new features or stability?

  • When and how do you perform load testing?

  • What is the review process for architectural decisions?

  • How do developers get insight into the operational load of their products?

And here are some for the systems engineering team:

  • What is the release process for a configuration change?

  • What is the release process for your main application? How often is it released?

  • How many times are you paged outside of hours during a week on call?

  • What is the security audit process?

  • What caused the last site outage and how did you conduct the postmortem?

  • How do you measure and manage risk of changes?

  • What are the teams values or principles?

  • How do you collaborate with development teams?

  • What is your planning process for a sprint? A quarter?

  • How do you classify and track the time the team spends on different types of tasks?

  • What are the biggest projects the team accomplished last year?

  • What do you want to accomplish this year?