With more industries than ever looking for tech talent, there’s a deep pool of jobs for tech professionals—but it’s still important to find a job that’s a good fit and offers growth opportunities. Open positions in the tech field, particularly in specialties such as cybersecurity, still exceed the pool of available professionals. In such a market, tech professionals shouldn’t just jump into any available job.
To ensure you get a job that’s the right fit for you, it’s important to ask the right questions—both of companies and yourself—during the hiring process. Below, 14 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss the most pertinent questions tech pros should ask before saying “yes” to a job offer.
1. ‘Is the mission of this company aligned with my values?’
The health industry has experienced a boom in the need for tech talent as health and technology continue to merge and innovate. It is now more important than ever for professionals to evaluate the company’s standards and ensure their race to innovate doesn’t compromise or shortcut the need for credible science. – Jeff Hawkins, Truvian Sciences
2. ‘What is valued in your company’s culture?’
Tech professionals should ask, “What do you value here as part of your culture? And what values get rewarded?” Knowing the answer about what the company values in its employees and how those values are rewarded will tell you a lot about whether you’re a good fit. – Madhan Kanagavel, FileCloud (CodeLathe Inc)
3. ‘What is the average amount of time spent in this position?’
Asking this question will not only help the candidate understand whether there is a big turnover in the company—which would indicate some problems inside of it—it will also show whether this position provides a good starting point when it comes to professional growth within the structure of the company. – Daria Leshchenko, SupportYourApp Inc.
4. ‘Why have employees in this role moved on?’
One key question a tech professional should ask a hiring manager is, “What are the top three reasons that employees in this role cite for moving on from the company?” This will not only reveal the hiring manager’s honesty and integrity, but it will also uncover any positive or negative trends. This may also be an opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate how they would address any negative trends. – Ivan Harris, Kraytix
5. ‘Will my role create a win-win situation?’
The main question should be, “How is my role creating a win-win situation between my career and the company’s growth?” This is the key to a perfect match. A tech professional needs to feel that their career is invested in and that they are contributing to the company’s vision. – Ayman Shoukry, Specright Inc.
6. ‘Is there growth potential in this industry?’
Prudent candidates will evaluate whether the industry they are in is subject to disruption or commoditization. To this end, one key question to ask a hiring manager is, “Is the potential for growth greater than the potential that the industry will no longer need this role in the near future?” – Pierce Brantley, Cytracom
7. ‘Do you prioritize employee development?’
Tech professionals need to understand the skills that get them in the door are not the same ones they’ll need down the road. Too often, companies hire merely to put out fires. Over time, that can cause some IT staff members to lose ground in long-term competency in exchange for a short-term paycheck. Ask if investment in continuing education is a priority before signing on. If not, move on. – Meghann Chilcott, XIL Consulting
8. ‘What risks are baked into your business model?’
Approach a potential employer as though you’re planning to invest your own money in them. What are the risks and the knowns and unknowns baked into their business model? How will hiring you help them manage those factors? If your future boss doesn’t have a clear answer to those questions, you’re likely being hired to address a short-term need rather than as part of a real strategy for long-term growth. – Chris Turlica, MaintainX Inc.
9. ‘What’s your vision for next-gen tools?’
The company’s vision for next-generation tools is essential. What excites tech professionals is the company’s vision of how they will expand their footprint with emerging technologies. If there is no excitement for a tech person, they will get bored very easily. Gone are the times when hiring was employer-based—it’s now more important to whet the interest of the employee regarding their professional growth. – Bhavna Juneja, Infinity, a Stamford Technology Company
10. ‘How do things really work here?’
There are many questions tech professionals should ask, ranging from, “How do things really work here?” to, “Am I going to get clear requirements and priorities?” As a tech professional, you need to know how tied in you will be with the strategy of the company. Asking others will give you an indication as to whether you are going to be part of the overall solution or just taking a piece of the pie. – Steve Cochran, ConnectWise
11. ‘Can I have a conversation with a peer?’
If a firm is willing to connect tech job candidates with a potential peer, it’s often an indicator of an open, horizontal culture that values employee trust. Peer interviews are incredibly valuable to candidates because they can be a predictor of how well colleagues collaborate and find common ground with others. – Shiv Sundar, Esper
12. ‘When was the last time you asked for employee feedback?’
It’s important to have an environment in which employees feel heard and that their opinions matter. Job seekers could ask the hiring manager, “When was the last time you reached out to one of your employees to ask for feedback?” or “What would you do if an employee dropped by your office unannounced? How often does this happen to you?” – Amy Czuchlewski, Bottle Rocket
13. ‘What’s your policy regarding remote work?’
Job seekers should ask about remote work, the tools the company uses and if they offer any sort of reimbursement package to help set up a home office. Depending on the job, you may require more technology than you have available at home, and your new company should have a plan in place to help. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
14. ‘How does your product create value for customers?’
An important question to ask is if the company’s product actually creates value for its customers. In the end, company success—and thus, job success—breaks down to revenue linked to a specific market. Equally, consider how viable the job is and if it could potentially be outsourced or replaced by automation. If so, the job will not be a good fit for long-term professional growth. – Robert Weissgraeber, AX Semantics