Love them or hate them, interviews are a necessary step in establishing business relationships. It's an opportunity for both parties to get to know each other and have their intentions laid out. The setting of the interview takes place on Skype.
After giving it some thought, here's a list of things that I would start out asking:
- In a nutshell, what does your company do?
Company takes requests from customers. After negotiations, costs, deadlines, and work are partitioned among teams to work on. After creating product, product will undergo testing by Quality Assurance team and be available for free to suggested customers. Once approved, product will go into beta after which the customer will ask to fine-tune certain aspects.
- Who are the various stakeholders within the company? Can I eventually meet them?
In addition to manager, there’s the development team, project manager who oversees and handle managerial duties over project, a person to handle marketing and operations, and another who handles finances.
“Our marketer is developing strategies, particularly social media "Do it yourself" methods, and looking to reach a certain amount of recurring / residual users before looking into funding through crowdsourcing”
“On the business side of things,
he's looking for negotiations beforehand and speaking to realty agencies, retail stores, and a few more notable names in the university to get a few listings populated into the server.
Since he's also doing finance, he's looking at the net revenue from all of the income sources for the website, including monetizing, personal advertising, and promotional items we are looking to sell.
On top of that he's managing our budget, since we're planning to purchase marketing services from Google / facebook, and a few sketchy local marketing agencies.”
- How well do you think I will fit into the company? Would I need to read up on a lot of terminology or expand my knowledge in a particular field (say, GUI's or interfaces for example)?
Need to learn JSON strings, and JQUERY
After getting to know a thing or two about the company, I would start asking more specific aspects of company operations like:
- For the typical client, how long does it take to complete their requests?
- In terms of resources (employees, cost, time, taking on multiple projects, etc) how much does the company invest in a single project?
Really depends on the type of project. The money they receive from contractor is used to invest in the project.
“We invest in time vs. employees needed with a budget given, and we try to maximize the amount earned. So for example if we have a 20,000 project that will take 2 months
and we have to pay employees 2000 / mo. 2 employees for a 2 month project is already 8k
12k profit received.”
- What are the various teams that the company employ to complete the tasks at hand?
This question and next two are answered by this google doc
- Is the client informed of each and every step in progress?
contracting gig, no unless arranged. Employment gigs- yes
- How is testing done? Do the developers test as they go along or is there a separate team that tests the finished product?
there is a test team, there is software that reports live test errors and where testers can assign a part of the development team to work on them. Software used is redmine
- What will I be specifically working on?
Project will be tailored to my interests (networking, security, databases). Since I’m using this to work on a different class project, only the networking side will be able to fulfill the requirements for both classes.
These are the steps:
Learn networking + JS
API calls + Social Media
Activity Diagram for website development:
This is activity diagram typifies the process of the work flow. Although I did leave out a couple stakeholders (the advertiser and financial manager) their involvement with the company do not dictate how requests are handled. Everything starts with the customer. Once the customer and manager negotiate a deal, the request is handed to the project manager who then partitions the work load. After that, a team of engineers and developers begin their work. Once it's done, the project is handed off to the project manager and manager for approval. If the product meets their expectations and the specifications, the product is either released into open beta or given to the customer.