What questions do you ask about a company before deciding to work there?
I'm already familiar with the Joel Test, but it's been my experience that some of the questions there have the answers "massaged" to make the company seem better than it is. I've had several jobs in the past that, for instance, claimed they had a QA process and did unit testing, and what they really meant is "The programmers test the app, and test with the debugger and via trial-and-error."; they said they used SVN but they just lumped everything into one giant repository and had no concept of branching/merging or anything more complicated than updating and committing; said they can build in one step and what they really mean is it's "one step" to copy dozens of files by hand from the programmer's PC to the live server.
How do you go about properly gauging a company's environment to make sure that it's a well-evolved company and not stuck on doing things a certain way because they've done it for years and they're ignorant of change? You can almost never ask to see their source code, so you're stuck trying to figure out if the interviewer's answer is accurate or BS to make the company seem good.
Besides the Joel Test what are some other good questions to get the proper feel for a company, and more importantly what are some good and bad answers that could indicate a good or bad company? I mean something like (take at face value, please, it's all I could think of at short notice):
Question: How does the software team apply the SOLID principles and Inversion of Control to their code?
Good Answer: We adhere to SOLID wherever possible; we use TDD so it kind of forces us to write abstract, testable code. We use Ninject for our IoC container because it's fairly easy to configure - it was that or StructureMap but I find Ninject a bit more intuitive, and who doesn't like ninjas? You're not a pirate, are you?
Bad Answer: Our code is pretty secure, yeah. And what's this Inversion of Control thing? I've never heard of it before.
You see what I did there. The "good" answer uses facts to back it up and has a bit of "in crowd" humor; the bad answer shows complete ignorance of the question - not necessarily a bad thing if you are interviewing for a manger/director position, but a terrible answer and a huge red flag if you're interviewing as a developer and talking to a senior developer or manager! My biggest problem at the moment is being able to take a generic response and gauge whether it's the good or bad answer; more often than not it's the bad kind and I find myself frustrated almost from day one at the new job.
I suppose I could name drop if I ask about specific things (e.g. "Do you write unit tests?" and if the answer is yes, ask if they use NUnit, MbUnit or something else; if they mention data access ask if they use a clean ORM like NHibernate or something more coupled like EF or Linq) but is there another way short of being resolute to actually call the interview on things (which will almost certainly result in not getting the job, but if they are skirting the question it's probably not a job I want).