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New Job, New Manager? Make your choice … April 26th, 2011

Vinod Kumar

JobSearchOne of the key metrics in any HR scorecard will be the aspect of Attrition. And I have done many scorecards for the companies I used to work and they used to have Desired Attrition VS Undesired Attrition in the management scorecard. But this is a single dimension of how the employer tracks their employee from an attrition point of view.

Anyway, this post is not about the employer point of view – but our point of view as Employees. I have read multiple reports stating one of the major criteria for employees quitting is their boss or yet another report. Now you might say, what can we do – I don’t have control on this. Well, let me give you my perspective.

You not only choose a job, you choose your manager too.

Let me elaborate on this a bit more. For all practical purposes, your manager will be the individual who controls what you work on and what work environment you will get end of the day – so all the more requirement for you to get a right manager Smile.

Now in any interview you will always find a sweet spot of 10-15 mins when you get to the end of the interview – you will be asked if you have any questions. This is your time to evaluate the other side as much as they have done their part in evaluating you. Now having a good number of interesting open ended question is important – even more important is listening to what comes from the other side.

Ask of the project : This is a typical way to analyze how your potential boss handles the team projects. Ask of typical team meetings – that gives you an idea to how he/she handles the problems of team and projects by providing solutions. This will also give you a gauge of what culture you will be getting into.

Ask about customer : This is yet another way to gauge who will be your potential customers and most importantly your potential managers perspective and belief on customers. The last thing you don’t want to get into is – bad politics. I stress on this because, if your manager hates the customers and if you are loved by your customers – your manager is not gonna like it either. More worst, if you treat your customers like how your manager treats, then you are going to surely have a dissatisfied customer. Both are bad.

Little questionEye for what is said between the lines : I know as an interviewee you are stressed out just being in the room with all eye’s focusing on you – but look for patterns and signals that are not being said too. Look at how the interviewer (particularly the manager) to some of the key words. The number of times they say “I” instead of using “We” to refer the team – this shows how much the manager is self-oriented VS Team oriented.

As called out before, listen carefully for the complete length of the the interview. Look at how the manager is quizzing you. Are they listening to your answer or just jumping on everything you say in confrontational mode? This behavior, if very strong and dominating, you are likely to have the same behavior from them once you join their team too. On the contrary, if the manager listens to you calmly, prompts / helps you when you are guessing or searching for answers, offers / asks you for a coffee or water, shows his / team’s work cubicle on the way to reception – All are great indicators you have someone who will guide you when you land in that job. So keep a close eye to these patterns.

In conclusion, if you have accepted an offer for a job. Next time, think if you have also accepted (in your mind) to work with your manager. Now choice of a manager is also a choice !!!

Do pass me your comments. Have you ever thought on these lines in the interviews you were part of in the past? This post was inspired by a student who wrote to me about how to face interviews, but I thought rather than rehashing thousands of common interview facing ideas I wanted to talk about the lesser talked about topic. Hope you had fun reading this far.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 at 21:09 and is filed under Personal, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


11 Responses to “New Job, New Manager? Make your choice …”

  1. Pankaj Nikam says:

    Yea it was a great read as many of your posts :)
    The thing which I would like to mention is that, I told similar things to my friend who had gone to his first interview of his life. The HR person when asked him about his questions, he asked about the organization and his growth factor. He also questioned the HR about the focus on quality or quanity of code. The HR told him that the quality of the code is the most. He was happy and he joined. Few days back when I asked him about the same company he went for, he said that its exactly the opposite whatever was being told to him. I was suprised that this kind of happenings are also there. Some of the people project something different than its actually there. Do you think it is fair to lie to a so called joining employee?

    • Vinod Kumar says:

      That is a bad scenario Pankaj. To answer your last question, I am of the school that you must know about the company and the culture even before joining by asking a couple of friends. Then quizzing the HR is to validate what others are saying. In any situation, telling a lie is never an option. It is just a ticking time bomb where one of the party is going to be disappointed.

      Thanks again for dropping a line.

  2. [...] here. For a change in this blog we are not talking about positive attributes. I talked about New Job, New Manager here and will surely be a worthy read if you have landed in this topic. I am sure you equally have [...]

  3. Ashish Jain says:

    Very good post sir :)

    I have given many interviews till now, but have never thought about choosing the right manager.

    This article not only show this side to the candidates but also give very string reasons to this.

    Thanks,
    Ashish

  4. Manas says:

    A very nice article.

    This is definitely going to help people to find a great boss. What I believe is a good Manager is not only your BOSS!!! He should be a good Mentor for you so that you can excel.

    So while job position, salary, good company and projects adds seventy percent to the sataisfation level, manager may contribute the rest 30 percent for a sure.

  5. Ayyappan says:

    It is a good article. I love reading it till the end :)

    I would prefer a good manager rather a job. But, It is slightly difficult in these days.

    Anyways, I have read somewhere in the interview tips that we should not ask too many question at the end of the interview :). I think, getting answers to many questions at the end is difficult for a candidate.

    Finally, A good manger is a person with good attitude. How can we wait for a good manager?

    yours,
    Ayyappan

  6. Vinod Kumar says:

    Lohit – Infact also wanted to write “People dont quit company but they quit on their managers” … You caught the gist very well or rather read my mind :).

    Pinal – Yes good managers are important, the post was to find one as you decide on a new job :).

    Dhananjay – It is all the more difficult to find good managers. Forget getting a leader :) …

  7. Pinal Dave says:

    I am all for good manager. Well this story goes both ways but again, good manager is everything can make your life wonderful even the job is not that exciting. Again, a good manager will enable employees so if the job is not right fit for you – he will guide you to get right job.

    My vote – Good Manager

  8. Lohith says:

    Sensei

    Excellent points, well directed and apt information for anybody who is attending an interview.

    Personally i would have attended many interview but believe never ever have pondered on those points but one thing is for sure – People dont leave compant but managers.

    So this is a must read for all. Thanks for such a wonderfull article on a very subjective and naive subject :)

    regards
    Lohith
    http://about.me/kashyapa

  9. They say , “You can not manage intelligent mind, you can only lead them ”

    all we should look for the leader who can pull us and push us.. ..

    Very nice post Vinod sir .. Thanks for sharing

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