Daniel Waldron

Daniel Waldron

Design Director at Aura Frames

Rider of surf & snow. Designing @aura_frames, previously @omadahealth & @socialcast. https://instagram.com/dew

9 action items

Questions to ask in an interview to understand the culture of a team and company

    • Ask indirect but relevant questions to try and figure out the truth. Because if they have something to hide they aren't going to lay it all out on the table for you.

    • Ask if meals are catered, if so, which ones.

      If breakfast is served, thats cool and may mean they just want everyone to be alert and healthy. If dinner is served this is a big red flag for me. This can mean that they only value your time spent in the office and don't want you to leave to try and have a healthy work/life balance.... See more

    • Ask about vacation policy.

      Is it "unlimited" and no one ever takes it? Is it a required amount each year? I've come to find that when there is a minimum of required time you have to take off that the company as a whole is typically healthier and has more positive, happy people within it.... See more

    • Ask about managers.

      I do this by asking about their process and trying to get a sense of how many layers of approval and individual contributor needs to go through before shipping. The more layers, the worse the cake in this instance. Also try to dig into how the interworking of the approvals to see if it's even a process you'd be willing to endure. You can watch peoples' body language as they answer these questions to see how they feel about the process and/or their managers.... See more

    • Ask about project prioritization.

      How this is handled, what the roadmap is, and how designers are chosen for each individual project. This can provide invaluable input into the companies goals, ambitions and pitfalls.

    • And finally... ask a lot of questions.

      Find the things you care about and dig into them. Figure out ways to sneak questions into casual conversation and disguise them as something else if need be. There is no dumb question, so don't be a dummy. Ask away.

Know when it’s time to leave your company

    • Well, time to ask yourself a few questions...

    • Am I bored?

      If "yes", then you are no longer excited about the problems that the company is solving and you probably aren't going to be contributing the most productive design for this company to achieve their mission. Time to leave!

    • Am I growing?

      If "no", then you are negatively impacting your future in design. Your career will take a hit and you may not stay a head of the pack for very long. Growth and an upward trajectory is key in design careers. Time to leave!

    • Am I happy?

      If "no" believe it or not this is normal from time to time. If everyone loved doing what they do 100% of the time they wouldn't be getting paid. To get paid, you will be required to do things that you don't enjoy doing at some point in your job. Such is life. If you find yourself NEVER happy at your job, or only when you are off-site/disengaged, then guess what? Time to leave!... See more

    • Am I satisfied?

      If "no" you probably can't sleep well at night. Are you unable to produce any meaningful work? Are the things you produce on the job leaving you with an empty feeling, with a hole to fill creatively? Are you looking for other outlets to express yourself and fill that empty hole? If "yes" to those... Time to leave!... See more