Have you ever wondered what exactly hiring managers are looking for in job interviews? Are you desperate to know the secret to making yourself stand out and become the chosen candidate? Look no further; today’s episode is a must-listen!
My good friend Adam Serediuk has been a hiring manager for 10 years and has interviewed more than 100 people over that time. He has hired dozens of people and had so much involvement with the hiring process that I knew he’d be the perfect guest to bring onto the podcast to share his wisdom.
Join us this week and hear exactly what Adam looks for as a hiring manager and some solid tips to make yourself stand out during the hiring process. Discover what to do when you don’t have as much experience as other people, the best and worst responses you could give in an interview, and many more tips to help you successfully land high-quality roles.
If you’re ready to dive deeper into your career mindset and start creating bigger, more impactful results in your career, click here to get started on your path to a six-figure career you love!
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- What most people miss out on during the application and hiring process.
- Some ways to make yourself stand out during the interview process.
- Why it can be beneficial to be open about your mistakes and what you learned from them.
- How to adequately prepare for your interview.
- Why an interview should be like a conversation.
- How to communicate your potential and value to hiring managers.
Listen to the Full Episode:
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Featured on the Show:
- Ready to start making a serious impact in your industry? Want to be on the podcast? Join me at http://nataliefisher.ca/start/.
- Check out my YouTube Channel!
- Let’s connect! Add me on LinkedIn.
- Leave me a review, send me a screenshot, and I’ll send you the 50 Examples Story Guide full of detailed stories from my clients and myself that will help you nail the interview!
- Adam Serediuk: LinkedIn
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This is Natalie, and you’re listening to the Get a 6-Figure Job You Love podcast. This is episode 45: Interview with a Hiring Manager.
Hey there, welcome to the Get a 6-Figure Job You Love podcast. I’m your host, Natalie Fisher. I’m a certified career mindset coach, who also happens to want to skip all the BS and get to what it really takes to create real results for you and your career. On this podcast, you will create real mindset shifts that will lead to big results and big changes in your career and your income. No fluff here. If you want to get a six-figure job you love and create real concrete results in your industry and make a real impact, you’re in the right place. Are you ready? Let’s go.
So really quick, before we get into this episode. This interview was done with my good friend, Adam, who we used to work together, and he’s done a lot of hiring in the past. And he’s just going to be sharing some wisdom about his experiences hiring, what he’s looking for. And I think you’re going to find a lot of value from it. Spoken from a true hiring manager, what it’s really like on the other side of this. And some of you might already know, but it’s always good to hear it from a different perspective, from someone who’s been doing it for years and has some really solid tips. And the reason why I also think he brings a lot of value is because he’s been very successful in his own right, as far as landing really high quality roles, negotiating really high salaries, and being able to communicate his own value.
So he’s really going to be sharing a lot with us today, so I hope you enjoy the interview. And without further ado, let’s play it.
Hello. Hello. Welcome back to the podcast this week. So today we have a very special guest, his name is Adam [Cerdu 00:01:47]. Him and I used to work together way back in the day. I worked in HR. He was a hiring manager. And so today, I thought I’d bring him on the show to kind of give us an insider perspective of how a hiring manager thinks, what they’re looking for, and any nuggets of wisdom that he wants to share with us. And without further ado, Adam, why don’t you introduce yourself in your words?
Awesome. Thanks for having me, Natalie. This is really exciting. Yeah, so I’m Adam Cerdu. I mean, I’ve been a hiring manager for about 10 years. I had a career in technology for about 25 years. I’ve been doing this for a long time. And I’ve probably interviewed well over 100 people, hired several dozen over that time. And I’ve definitely had a lot of perspectives and involvement. It’s a very time-consuming and important process, probably the single most important process. Most of my experience is in technology industries and that sort of thing. And I’ve had a career as a system administrator all the way through to director of operations, director of production engineering, like engineering director work, over the last seven years. So hiring and team building is a big part of that role.
Absolutely. Yeah. And I remember we had lots of fun chats back when we worked together, which is one of the reason why I wanted to bring you onto the podcast. I’m sure you have lots of great things to share with us.
So where I thought we would start was, what do you think the biggest problem is that applicants have and the competition that they’re facing with how they’re going to get your attention as a hiring manager? What do you think the biggest problem is? The biggest mistakes they make? What do they miss when most people are applying? Because we know most of the resumes are not going to get selected.
That’s a great question. And I think the thing most people miss is perhaps unfamiliarity with the hiring process. There are multiple stages in the hiring process, from getting your application in all the way through to offer. And from a hiring manager’s perspective, at least in software and technology, we may have to have 100 applicants to hire 1. And there’s lots of stages through this. So bringing your best self, bringing all of yourself through that whole process, is really important.
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So a lot of candidates, they don’t make it to a recruiter screen or they certainly don’t make it to the next interview, because they didn’t bring everything. So we’re talking generic applications, not answering questions that may have been posed in the job description, or not having a cover letter tailored to that role. And immediately disqualify themselves by not really putting effort into that role. It’s like, are they looking for that role, a career with that company? Or are they looking for a job, a J-O-B?
Yeah. And not making themselves relevant, specifically.
Yeah. Yeah. And so, for cover letters … and I know that when we worked together, sometimes you’d see a bit of personality on the cover letter, or something in the resume that caught your eye … how do you think that somebody could stand out? And are there any things that people have done, like reached out to you offline, or anything that people have done to stand out that has really worked well?
I think making it really relevant to the role. We’re not necessarily interested in every place that you’ve worked. It’s like, what can you do? What do you bring? What are your interests? Showing, well, who you are as a person in that, you know?
So if you are really interested in back-end development and have done all sorts of things, highlight what you’ve accomplished, things that you’re proud of, things that you’ve learned. And speaking to that role, that company, what you want to do. Because it’s not just about finding that job, it’s about finding something right for that person.
And as a hiring manager too, we want to be able to connect with you on that type of thing. We want to dive into that. We want to talk about your experience, like, “Well, awesome. How did you do that?” It might be relevant to the role that we’re looking for. Maybe it’s not. But trying to create a connection really early on, through storytelling and being relevant to the role, is highly important.
Yeah, totally. And I love that too because I feel like a high value candidate is going to be thinking about what they want. Not just, “Oh, I can do anything you need me to do.” And that’s something that I noticed when we worked together too, you were like, “Well, what does this person like to do? What is this person about?” You were interested in the specific person and how they might fit.
And even in our culture, I think, where we used to work, they would take the attitude of, “Well, maybe we can give this person the opportunity to work on this project here, or this.” And so, having that high value mentality is kind of thinking about what you want, not just what you need to be for somebody else.
Yeah. It’s about: what can you do? Not: what have you done? What have you done is important, but, look, we’re interested in what you can do now. And that clarity of communication is really important, particularly now with more people working remote as well.
It’s like, can you communicate concisely? Can we engage with you? And that doesn’t necessarily mean that your personality is outgoing, gregarious, and all of that as well. Not at all. Claritive communication doesn’t require that. But you do need to be able to speak to what you can do, how you can apply yourself, what you’re looking for. And that has nothing to do with personality, whether you’re quiet, or introverted, or outgoing. Right?
You can get to that.
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Yeah. Yeah. Totally. And knowing that you don’t have to be a certain way, you can just be yourself and still communicate clearly what you can do and your potential, and communicating potential as well, I think.
How do you think people can communicate? So this is a question that I often get that you might’ve seen some good or bad answers for. If somebody interviews and they don’t have a particularly rich experience with something, like a tool or something that you use in the company that you work for, how can they answer that when they are passionate and have the potential and have the ability to learn it, but haven’t necessarily had a lot of past experience with it?
That’s a great question. I think applying relevant scenarios where you had to learn something new before. Like, “Hey, I was faced with this challenge. This is the approach that I took. Understood that I needed to learn some skills.” I mean, that’s part of bringing your whole self to work as well, is acknowledging your weaknesses. So we’re often looking for: how would you approach this problem?
You may not know the exact answer, and this is certainly relevant in technical interviews. We’re not looking for trivia. We’re not looking for the exact thing that you would write, what you would code, or how you do it. It’s like, “How would you approach this problem? How would you learn? How do you discover more?” So that shows that you can learn, that you can develop, that you grow through that. And that’s super important because you’re probably not going to be doing the same thing several months from now. And so we’ll often dive into that in an interview, and it’s like, “Understand you might not have done this, but how would you approach this problem?”
So good. Yeah. I love that. And I love that because a lot of people ask that and I think that they freeze up. A lot of people can freeze up when they’re like, ” Uh-oh, I don’t have a lot of experience with that. What do I say now?” when it’s not even about them knowing it. Because a lot of the times the candidate’s not going to know every single tool or technology that is on the job description, or the company uses. And I think that candidates think that they need to know it in order to get the job. And obviously, I’m sure you’ve hired people who didn’t have every single thing checked on the box, but you saw something else in them that gave you the confidence to hire them.
Absolutely. Every time. I mean, nobody ticks every box. It doesn’t happen.
Yeah. I think that’ll really give people confirmation too, because I keep saying that too. I’m like, “Nobody checks every box. It’s a wishlist.” So you hope that someone can either do everything or they’re going to develop into the person that learns it. But I think who they are as a person who learns, and as a person who’s adaptable, is more important than whether or not they can actually do it right now or not.
Exactly. I want to hear you like, “Yeah, I don’t know. But this is how I’d approach it.” Googling and researching it is an answer. Talking to other peers at my company, talking to my manager, seeing what resources are available. Those are legit answers, that shows resourcefulness. Not, “I don’t know.” I don’t know is not a great answer. You need to be a problem-solver.
Yeah, exactly. So it’s more about the identity of a problem-solver versus having the experience already. Yeah.
So in your experience with hiring, when you do hire people who don’t have as much experience as other people, what are the characteristics that kind of stand out in those people that don’t have the experience?
Right. So, I mean, every company has a hiring rubric, so they’ll have different categories. But skills, verbal, written communication, these types of things that we evaluate people on. So we want to look for strong areas in one or the other. So if you may not have every skill, well, where were you really strong? Is that verbal communication, written? Can you bring something else to the team? Can we learn from
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you? Maybe you not have every exact skill in this category, but maybe you have a skills we don’t have. We’re looking for specific skills, but can we learn from you?
So that would be a big thing that we look for. So those may not be exactly relevant, but maybe we can learn from you because you have experience in some other area; maybe it’s a different industry, a different tool. It is going to be relevant to that role. So connecting that relevancy is important. And also showing that, if you want to get ahead of what the interviewer may ask for.
Yeah, absolutely. And so that was kind of … wanted to dig into the next question, was interviewed dynamics. So we have the established dynamic where the hiring manager, or the person leading the interview, asks the question and then the person answers. And it’s ask, answer, ask, answer. Have you found that candidates can turn that more into a conversation? Or how have some candidates kind of done it so that it doesn’t feel so rigid, or changed the dynamic up in a way where it feels more comfortable?
Yeah. The best interviews are more of a conversation. And the best of the best are a conversation that still allows the interviewer to get through their set of questions. And that’s rare. It does happen, and it’s amazing when it does. As a hiring manager, I always leave those interviews going, “This was amazing. It was a conversation and I got through every question I needed to ask, and had time for the candidate’s question.” So I think being conversational, seeing the different cues in the conversation; maybe you can keep going? Is the interviewer wanting to move on to the next question? Can you engage?
Because it is a conversation. So trying to get that connection early, that’s also a skill on the interviewer’s part. I mean, hiring managers, we spend a lot of time coaching our interview teams, making sure that we are approaching them in really great ways, looking at the feedback people said. Feedback could be: the candidate was very verbose. People get nervous, they’ll talk. And maybe-
I’m sorry, what does that word mean?
Yeah. Very verbose, may be a comment somebody gives on an interview. And it’s like, the interviewee, he just talked and talked and talked. When people are nervous, they tend to talk a lot.
So the skill of a good interview would be to interrupt that. But also to feel, as an interviewee in the conversation, “Maybe I should stop talking.” And we can engage in the conversation, let the interviewer ask questions, offer more information, try to find relevancies. It’s like, “Oh, yeah, that’s great.” Make the conversation flow.
So it does take a little bit of a skill. It’s super hard, I’ll admit, because it requires both parties to be engaged in the communication. But it is possible.
Yeah. I’ve done it too. I think we have this perfection. A lot of my clients, they’re like, “Oh, but I rambled and I didn’t do this.” And they’re very hard on themselves. Is it possible to recover from that? And how do you feel like you’ve seen people successfully kind of see it and then stop doing it? Or do you feel like when someone’s doing it, they’re just kind of always going to be rambling the whole time?
I think it’s great to ask, “Let me know how much detail you’d like.”
Great tip. Yeah.
“How much detail would you like? I’m going to approach this from this level.” And this can go both ways as well, sometimes a response may be too sparse. It’s like, “I did this.” It’s like, “Okay. I want more detail.” So if the interviewer’s not asking, maybe ask them, “Would you like more detail? Was that too much detail?” And you can find that bar.
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Yeah. Love that, yeah. And that’s something I found too when I was interviewing at one of my positions. I would find people were kind of answering in the way of like, “Yeah, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Yeah. I’ve done that. Don’t worry.” Kind of not feeling like they needed to provide so much detail. So finding that balance of level of detail and checking in with the interviewer, great tip. Yeah. That’s awesome.
Yeah. Particularly if they’re not doing it.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. And also we don’t know. When someone asks, “Walk me through your resume,” and people are like, “How do I answer that?” I always say, “Ask them, do you want the long version or the short version? And then you kind of gauge how much detail they’re looking for.”
Yeah. So are there any favorite interview questions that you have to ask, that you ask every time, that you get particularly good insight from?
I have some favorites that I always reserve for myself, other people often answer, but they’re my favorites. Let me know your biggest mistake. Like in software, your biggest customer facing, or production mistake? But what was your biggest mistake? What happened? What did you learn from it? That’s so telling. Everybody makes mistakes, it’s how we learn some really hard lessons. And I get so much from that. And I love it because I’ve made huge mistakes in my career as well.
So I love sharing that as well because that’s part of just who we are.
Totally. And it’s also not about holding that mistake against them, it’s about learning how they approached it. What are you looking for from that answer?
Yeah. I’m looking for: what happened? How did they approach it? How were they supported in the resolution of that? It’s telling. Were they in a supportive environment? Were they not? Because that influences a person’s experience, how they might approach a big mistake in the future. So diving into what they learned from it.
I also love asking, “Tell me how people would describe you, and let me know how they’re wrong?”
Oh, I like that one. Yeah. That’s really good.
Because we all present ourselves in certain ways and may not actually be the reality. So that lets me know a little bit more about the person, how they approach things. I mean, imposter syndrome is a huge thing that comes out through this. And it’s important to know. Those are some of my favorites. I love asking about feedback, like a challenging time working with a difficult coworker. What happened? How did you approach it? Did they engage in that conversation? Did they try to resolve the situation? Did they not? Just what happens, to see how they might approach something like that. Because it’s the reality that does happen in the workplace.
Yeah, for sure. And all of these are realities that happen in the workplace. And I think that the mistake people sometimes make is they try to hide it or they think that it’s going to hurt them when they answer it. But really, the goal is not to hold it against them, it’s to learn about them as a person and how they handled it. So, yeah.
Learn about them, and build that trust as well. You have to be able to share that. You’re bringing your whole self to work like, “Hey, this is who I am.” And is this a person we can work with in this circumstance? You may have all the skills, but when the going gets tough, do you clam up like a little shellfish and just float around? Or what happens?
Yeah. How do you handle tough situations, is basically what you’re asking by asking them from how they’ve done it in the past. Yeah. It makes total sense. Yeah.
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Have you ever had anybody not want to answer this? What if somebody says they just really don’t know the answer to a question? If they just have no idea. How would you suggest they handle that situation in a way that works?
In a way that works.
Yeah. I mean, I’ve done the, “That’s a really good question. Can we come back on that?” But then you actually have to come back on it.
Yeah, that’s true. I mean, I think that’s really relevant in remote work now. And that would be a great way to come back, it’s like, “Hey, I need a moment to think about that. Can we come back to it?” We definitely have to. You could then tactfully be like, “You know, I really have to think about that. Can I write you a response?”
Yeah. Yeah. And as a hiring manager, would you see that as a red flag or a problem in any way?
It certainly wouldn’t be a red flag. It would be something to hone in on and be interested in. So why were you not immediately forthcoming? Did you have to think about this? Are you constructing something? But, I mean, not everybody can think on their feet and certainly on certain questions.
Yeah and it depends what question too.
And be honest and be like, “Hey, I’m uncomfortable with that. I don’t know.” The worst is just like, “I can’t answer that.” And I’ve had those types of responses with various questions, “I really can’t answer that.” I was like, “Oh, okay. So I guess this is how you handle difficult situations, is you just [crosstalk 00:18:35]-
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s the sense of the energy, it’s like, “Yeah, I really want to answer that. I just need some time to formulate my answer.” And if they actually did follow-up with a really good written response afterwards, then I think that would be very telling as well. Right?
Yeah. And with the reason [inaudible 00:18:52] why, like, “I needed a moment to think about this because … it was a while ago, I had to get my facts straight. I didn’t want to be misleading in any ways.” Because it’s probably not the most positive answer if you might be taking a moment to think about it, so being really transparent as to why you needed a moment is important.
Yeah. It could be that, or they just don’t have an example that they’ve thought of right then. And so, yeah. But I think that that comes up a lot, you’re always going to get something that you’re not quite sure of. And it doesn’t have to mean that you’re not going to get the job just because you didn’t know that particular thing. There’s always a way to recover from it. Or even coming back to it at the end of the interview, if you’re like, “Okay, yeah …” I’ve done that before myself, I’ve been like, “Yeah, can we come back to that?” and then I’ll make sure that I come back to it at the end. Or taking the responsibility to get their response answered. And I don’t think that has to be a deal breaker. So I was just curious to hear what your thoughts were on that and how people had handled it in the past.
Have you ever had that situation happen, where you didn’t know the answer?
I’ve had it in a very awkward way, which was asking somebody to diagram something on a whiteboard. And took three attempts to get them to diagram something which they should know for the role. And they couldn’t do it. And they was like, “I’m sorry, I’m really uncomfortable with this. I can’t do it.” And I moved on as an interviewer and it was an interesting experience.
Yeah. Yeah. For sure. And I’m sure that that person, they won’t make that mistake again. In the next interview they’ll know how to diagram, they’ll think that you were asking [crosstalk 00:20:19]-
Yeah. It’s the fact that, it’s like, “I wasn’t prepared for this. I will be prepared next time.”
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Yeah. And it’s totally a process, sometimes we win, sometimes we learn.
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Yeah. Yeah. So as far as your experience as a hiring manager goes, what do you think the most successful candidates that you’ve seen have demonstrated?
The most successful candidates are definitely clear in their communication, they know who they are, they know what they want. Everybody throughout the interview process wants to work with them. And it’s like, “Yeah, this is somebody I can work with. I could learn from them. They’re bringing something.” There’s a little bit of a connection there in some way because you’re speaking the same language. And this is the language of the job, right?
You’re able to connect, “Okay, yeah, you’re at that level. You’re exactly who we’re looking for, and is somebody that we want to work with.” It’s a big part of it. And that’ll be something that, at a offer stage, may select one candidate over another.
Candidate A, they had all the skills. Candidate B has all the skills as well, but I just want to work with them more. They showed something somewhere through the interview, maybe we can point to it specifically. Like, “Yeah, in this take-home exercise, they did this thing. Nobody else does that. They want this more, or they’re more experienced.” So that’ll help choose between candidates.
And being responsive candidate, prepared throughout the whole time as well. Details matter. Zoom interviews now, your background matters, your audio matters, your video matters. All of these types of things add into being like, “Yeah, this is a candidate. Was fully well-rounded, they’re excellent for the job. Why would we not hire this person?” At some point you’re looking for reasons not to hire somebody as opposed for reasons to.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Absolutely. I think those are some really good points. And I noticed that the experience wasn’t the top of the list there, it was kind of more honing in on: do we want to work with this person?
So a good question that I would love to ask you is: what’s your opinion on hiring for soft skills versus for hard skills? And how do you balance that? What do you place importance on?
It’s highly relevant, certainly in software and engineering. I think I read recently, there are 10 jobs for every new grad in computer science right now. So soft skills stands out. You will have the hard skills, the soft skills stands out. So are you conversant in the conversation? Your written, your verbal, all of these things, really important. Right?
Did you write great responses to our questions, if we had take-home questions? To the point of grammar and things like that. Are you communicating really well, asynchronously? Super important. The verbal communication, really important. Were you engaged in the conversation? Your examples of working with peers, like how you handle conflict, is really important as well. You could be brilliant, but we don’t want to hire brilliant jerks. It’s a very popular platitude. I think it comes from Reed Hastings at Netflix, “We don’t hire brilliant jerks. Nobody wants to work with these people.”
Yeah, totally. There’s a Harvard study too that I talk about sometimes, it’s called The Lovable Fool Versus the Competent Jerk. And it talks about how people are just inclined to hire somebody that’s really pleasant that they want to work with, more than they are inclined to hire the person who’s a jerk but is really competent. Even though we obviously have to make decisions for the good of the company,
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emotionally we’re just more drawn to the person who’s just really nice to talk to and we really want to be around them, more than we’re drawn to the skills. Yeah.
Yeah. But there’s a difference between being super nice and being conversant and genuine to work with. You can disagree. It’s like, “Yeah, I don’t agree with the approach you took with this thing, for these reasons.” Healthy debate.
Love it. Yeah.
It’s super important, we don’t want to hire people that are just like, “Yes, that’s great. Whatever you say.” No, that’s not who we’re looking for.
Yeah, like yes men.
You have to be able to disagree, debate. And that’s part of that conversation.
I think that you said it earlier, where you’re like, “They know who they are and they know what they want.” Yeah. That’s a high value.
Exactly, you can shine. And the more senior you get, the more you have to show that, “Yes, I do have an agenda. I do have a career. There’s things I’m interested in. There’s things I want to do. This is important to me. I like approaching problems this way, for this reason.” That might be different than how we approach it right now, but that’s really important. We want people that can do that.
Yeah. Absolutely. Yes.
Like, “Yes. I will do this thing. This is how I will do it.” That’s what we’re trying to figure out.
So good. And I think the reason why people are hesitant to maybe put forward their true opinions is because they’re afraid that you might reject them. You might not agree with them. And you might be like, “Oh, I don’t think that’s how we do things around here.” So what I teach people is that that’s who you are and that’s probably not the right fit for you. And so that’s why you want to be forthcoming.
But I think what you said is really good, in that it’s demonstrating that there’s a lot of organizations out there who really want that from you, they want your differing opinion. And they don’t want a yes person.
I mean, and that’s a change in management styles of the last 20-some years. It’s not necessarily all command and control style management like, “Do what I say, how I tell you to do it.” That may still very well exist in some industries, but in many others, it doesn’t. Management now is servant leadership, like, “How can I create an environment that you can do your best work in? I want to know the work that you’re going to do in this environment and learn how I have to support you doing that.”
So there is a difference there now, and it’s really important to be able to demonstrate that through that interview process. It’s like, “Yes, this is how I would approach this problem.” Because that’s what a manager wants. It’s like, I want to task you with something and be like, “Awesome. Let me know when it’s done. I want to get feedback throughout that as well. But you’re the one doing the work, tell me how you’re going to do it.”
Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that that’s something that people just don’t know when they’re not interviewing, or they get approached with a question and they’re like, “Well, I don’t know if I really want to say that because I’m not sure if they’re going to agree with me or not.” And having the courage … and
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I guess it’s a bit vulnerable sometimes for people to say their real opinions and such. But I think that, in the end, if they don’t, they’re going to end up in the wrong fit.
But I love that. I do remember, when we worked together, there was a lot of healthy disagreement going on. And it wasn’t a personal thing, it was just like, let’s get to the best idea, let’s figure out what’s going to work the best. And for that to happen, there are disagreements that go on. And as long as they’re handled, they’re productive disagreements, basically.
Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. Yeah. Is there anything else that you think would be useful to our listeners today? I think that’s all my questions. It’s been brilliant, there was really lots of value dropped there. Thank you so much.
Again, no problem. It’s definitely great questions.
I don’t know, nothing’s really necessarily coming to mind. I think just being genuine is super important because it’s going to come out one way or another. Right?
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
It’s either going to come out through your interview or it’s going to come out through the course of your employment; and that’ll probably be a lot more uncomfortable than during the interview. So being genuine, being truthful, and finding the right thing for you. Because it is a two way street. Sometimes you do just need a job, but other times you’re developing your career and you’re trying to find that next right step for you. And interviewing the company is equally as important as them interviewing you.
And there’s different [crosstalk 00:28:01] that may be available. You can find out, through their other job postings, certain things, like if they’re hiring very, very process-oriented people in their other job roles, you probably know this is a very process-oriented company. So you can find out these types of things, just through a little bit of research, and then ask relevant questions.
That’s the thing I was going to ask you actually, but I didn’t; so thanks for reminding me. The questions that they ask you, that tells you a lot as a hiring manager. Correct?
It’ll definitely tell you what they’re looking for, what they’re worried about. The same thing as a candidate, your questions for the company will show what you’re worried about. And you should probably ask some uncomfortable questions, questions about retention or diversity. That’ll tell you more about the hiring manager as well, like are they prepared for this? Do you like their response? And then you might be able to hone in on other things. So that’s the same thing a hiring manager is doing when they’re interviewing you, you can interview them.
Yeah. Yeah. And those are great question topics. I was going to ask you if there’s any specific questions that candidates have asked you that you’ve been like, “Wow, that is a really good question.”? Maybe a question about retention or diversity?
Yeah. It’s becoming way more common now, asking questions about diversity. Like, “How diverse is your organization?” It’s a legit question. And a hiring manager should be prepared to answer and talk about that. Or answering, “Hey, do you have a diversity, inclusion program?” These are relevant questions. And you’ll find a little bit more about that organization.
If you saw something on Glassdoor that looked particularly interesting, maybe ask that. They probably know that review exists. They might have a canned answer, maybe they don’t. But you can ask these types of questions to find out a little bit about what the culture is like at that company. And a candidate should not be afraid to, if they have any concerns or they want to learn more, maybe ask to speak to
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maybe one of their peers; if they haven’t already. Like, “Hey, could I talk to another engineer who’s been there for three months, six months … or whatever it happens to be …. what are their experiences? I want to talk to this person to find out what it’s like working at your company.”
Yeah. We’ve heard that the candidate should be interviewing the company just as much as the company is interviewing them, but we don’t really explain how to do that. And I think you’ve given a great rundown of some examples of how to actually do that. Because it actually changes the dynamic, I’m just feeling that with the questions. You’re like, “Well, how are you prepared to answer this? And do you have this in place?” And it’s just showing that you really value where you’re going to decide to work. And you also want to know certain fundamentals about the company that are important. So those are great examples, thank you so much.
Absolutely. And you should have it prepared and ready to go, don’t let this drag on for multiple days. That could be a little bit of a … I’m not necessarily going to say a red flag, but a cause for concern is like, “Why is this candidate really concerned about working for us?”
So have your questions prepared, do it once, maybe twice. Same thing with negotiation, you only have a couple of chances to do it. If you drag it on for too long, it’s very indecisive. And that is something that is a signal, as a hiring manager, maybe this person is indecisive or needs a lot of convincing; which is insight about that individual.
Yeah. So it’s a balance between wanting to interview the company, know who you’re going to be working with, and then being decisive once you get the information. You’re like, “Okay, I’m willing, I like it,” or, “I don’t like it,” or whatever, being decisive about the information that you get. Yeah. Yeah.
And with negotiation too, I’ve definitely seen that happen where somebody is dragging it out too long and then it does get frustrating, and sometimes the offer can fall through. So it’s definitely just decisiveness, I think, would be kind of a heads-up with how to handle it before. So I think this podcast is really going to help a lot of people with seeing an insight into how they can do that, and provided some really great examples too. So, thank you.
Yeah, no problem.
Awesome. Yeah. So those are all my questions. I think we even covered a little bit more than I had planned. So thank you so much for the interview, and this is going to be so valuable to so many people. So thank you so much for being here, Adam.
Thank you for having me.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Get a 6-Figure Job You Love podcast. If you’re ready to dive deeper into your career mindset and start creating bigger, more impactful results in your career, join me at www.nataliefisher.ca/getstarted. I’ll see you over there.
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