An interview technique, not to be forgotten.
Throughout the recruitment process interviewees should hopefully be getting a sense of the organisation, its culture and the people they will be working with, and for.
If the recruitment process is efficient, timely and informative you should already be building relationships with your prospective manager, colleagues and key stakeholders and, if hearing a consistent, positive message about what it is like to work there, key challenges, positives and negatives, you should be confident committing to a move.
A key relationship will be with your new manager, a common reason for candidates to seek a new role is where this relationship has broken down, or they feel they are not continuing to being supported, developed, or recognised for their contribution.
1 – How do you want/need to be managed?
In order to identify the qualities you are looking for in a prospective manager, you need to know what sort of management you want, or need. Take time to reflect on the best manager(s) you have worked for, and how they helped you be as successful as possible in your role:
- Do you work best with light touch/involvement, or do you excel working more closely with your manager with regular check ins and evaluations.
- Do you respond better to regular spotlighting of what you have been doing, one to one or in team environments or do you prefer to operate more under the radar?
- Do you struggle with criticism (constructive of course!) in front of others?
- Do you want a manager who is keen to get your contribution/ideas, and will act on these?
2 – Use the interview process to assess your prospective boss’s management style
The interview process is a two-way process, exchanging information about the role, key challenges, fit within a team/department/wider company, your relevant experience and motivation for taking on this role. If you haven’t been able to get a good sense of your prospective manager during the formal interview stages, seek to arrange a more informal conversation with your prospective manager and use this opportunity to ask questions:
- What are their expectations of you and how they will support and manage you?
- How do they manage their current team, how often do they communicate with/how do they communicate with their team?
- How often do they conduct performance reviews?
- How do they like to brainstorm, do they actively seek input from their team and act on it?
- What examples can they share of past successes with their staff, challenges they have helped the team overcome, how was this recognised?
3 – Do your research
Reviews online can be a useful tool, but disgruntled ex-employees can post negative reviews that, without being able to put in context, may not give a full and accurate picture. It is important also to look at this from both your direct manager and wider organisation perspective, a rogue manager who may no longer be with a business. Using this and tapping into your network (Pensions is a particularly close knit sector) can help inform your opinion.
Speak to your recruiter who may well have placed other individuals into a particular team, get their feedback from other hires on what it is like to work there/get up to speed. A compelling reason to join is to understand what turnover rates have been like historically by asking questions such as; if turnover has been a previous issue, has this now been resolved? Are their other placements still there and enjoying/happy?