Archive for April 26th, 2011

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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