I am still trying to wrap my head around this Podcast as it seems to be only halfway helpful.
Halfway helpful is not what we usually get from the M-T folks. I love you guys !
Perhaps this is one of the 90% of the time for 90% of the people situations - I may be situationally blind to.
Mark and Wendi in the beginning of the podcast do, very briefly, admit that there is a functional part of the interview that the candidate is using as a way to determine if they like the company. Then they quickly move away from the idea.
Mark issues this podcast as a caution against the attitude of the two-way-street interview.
I definitely agree that extreme caution needs to be maintained against any behavior that shows that attitude.
And I definitely agree that the sit down Q & A time is not an appropriate time to "grill" the interviewer.
Those are my two helpful take-aways.
They continue their advice by suggesting that the time to find out more information is after an offer is made.
This seems to me to be very unrealistic. It would be very difficult to get a hold of people and get answers to the soft questions over the telephone after the interview time.
My experience has always been that the questions from the candidate about work environment etc. need to be more subtle, casual and asked at the right time to the right person.
Interviews that I have been on for my professional career jobs have always included: tours of the facility, small panel interviews with potential peers, Q & A with the potential supervisor, short Q & A with the Director, lunch with select members of the committee, and brief introductions to the staff of potential directs.
Is this unusual?
It is during the in-between times that we can make subtle inquiries about staff morale, parking, traffic, and hours comp time, etc.
Potential peers and directs are seldom experienced at interviewing. They will often tell you truly whatever is on their minds. Even when they don't say things out loud their body language can speak volumes.
The decor on the walls and desks can also be indicators of the working environment.
Here is how it might sound:
· "John here will be giving you a tour of the facility"
-- "OK, great, thank you John, Will I be able to see the desk that this position sits at?”
· "I'd like to introduce you to the direct reports in the department "
-- "Great... oh hello, Sam and Sue and Paul - what are your responsibilities here? How long have you been with the university? - Wow, I'm sure that you have seen a lot of changes here over that time."
-- (then wait - and - watch - and - listen to their responses)
· "So, did you have any trouble finding our office?”
-- "No, not much. Thanks. Is that where most of the staff parks in the morning? I hit a little traffic on the way. Is that common? "
· "Hi, I'm Sally Smith, I'm looking forward to your presentation. I'm sorry I missed your morning panel. I had to stop by my child's school"
-- " Hi, Sally, pleased to meet you. I hope that you get something out of my presentation. And it is nice to hear that folks around here have the flexibility to take care of their family matters like that."
-- (then wait - and - watch - and - listen - to her response) you may learn something from what she says, or doesn't say, or her body language.
Again, I am not suggesting that these kinds of questions should be asked during the formal part of the Q&A, but that they are asked while getting coffee, while being shown around and meeting potential peers and directs, and during lunch.
These times will never come again. They cannot be re-created after the interview or after an offer is made.
The M-T guidance in the Podcast was a bit uncharacteristically a big "don't” instead of the usually wise guidance of "how to".
I just don't think that the recommendation to wait until after the offer is very reasonable or helpful.
I do have a few examples of how my two-way street approach has saved me from some terrible job positions. Had I took the approach recommended in this podcast, I would have ended up in an unhappy situation.
I am curious.
Am I off-base here ?
Or am I in the 10% exceptional situation ?