Austin tech recruiters reveal: What to ask (and what NOT to ask) during an interview

Written by Kelly O'Halloran
Published on Aug. 29, 2017
Austin tech recruiters reveal: What to ask (and what NOT to ask) during an interview
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Recruiters love when candidates ask questions in an interview, but some questions rank higher than others. We caught up with three recruiters from Austin tech to find out the questions they love being asked — and those they don’t.


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Spiceworks Senior Recruiter Celyna Peterson has worked in talent acquisition for over 15 years. Celyna recommends asking about success metrics and pipeline projects.

What should candidates be sure to ask in an interview?

How will success be measured in this role?

What are some of the more immediate projects/initiatives that need to be tackled upon starting the job?

How does asking this question help the candidates?

It tells the interviewer that goal achievement is important to you. It also helps candidates understand the job expectations so there are no surprises when they get on board. The answers may vary from interviewer to interviewer, but these insights will provide candidates with a good indication as to whether the job is right for them. Remember, the candidate is interviewing the company as well!

What's a question they should avoid?

A candidate should never ask the interviewer to tell them what the company does. This displays a complete lack of interest and investment on the candidate’s part. Always do your research! Start by investigating their website, social channels, Glassdoor and the company’s press coverage. This will allow candidates to ask questions that prove they understand the company’s history, mission and purpose.



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Shelly Reynolds, recruiter for Vyopta, looks for questions from candidates that take a deeper dive into the company’s mission and products.

What should candidates be sure to ask in an interview?

Irrespective of the role, I always appreciate when candidates show curiosity about the business and product beyond the elevator pitch. Any questions around the customers we serve, sales cycle, funding history, leadership, future outlook, etc.

How does asking this help the candidates?

It’s a great way of showing recruiters and hiring managers that you're a curious individual and prioritize working for successful organizations. It also could allow you to stand out from other candidates as this is not a question I receive frequently, but when I do, I remember it!

What are some questions they should avoid asking?

I realize it's a very important item to confirm, but it always irks me when asked about visa sponsorship within the first five to 10 minutes of the call. If you've indicated that you require visa sponsorship on your application, it is highly likely that the recruiter is already aware and wouldn't have reached out if the company cannot accommodate. If you must confirm verbally, I suggest waiting till the Q&A portion and/or at end of the conversation.

Other bad questions:

"So, when do I start?"

"What kind of snacks do you have?"



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Mark Nies, director of talent acquisition, filled us in on why a question regarding professional development goes a long way.

What’s a good question to ask in an interview?

What type of training and professional development programs does your company support?

How does asking this help the candidates?

It shows an eagerness to continue to learn, grow and improve their skills professionally.

What's one question they should avoid?

How many days a week can I work remotely?



Images provided by social media.

What would you like to know from local recruiters? Let us know with a tip or on Twitter @BuiltInAustin

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