Interviewing – A 2-way street

I spent 45 agonizing minutes on the phone today with a hiring manager who, based on his LinkedIn, had barely had any management responsibilities in his short career. He’s approximately 1-2 years older than me, yet he was trying to grill me on why I thought I was suited for this management role, particularly given that I had spent the last 3+ years in an individual contributor/player-coach role after leaving a management role. Did this guy realize the hypocrisy coming out of his mouth, or was it really just me?

When he asked about the company I am leaving, I told him the changing strategy moving forward, and he could not contain himself on his disgust and disagreement with leadership’s decision. He probably spent about 10-15 minutes asking me questions about the rationale behind this… even though I obviously was not the one making any decisions. I had no idea where the hell this interview was going, but I knew just five minutes into this that this is not someone I’d want to report to, work with, or even be associated with.

I truly believe that everyone who is ever in any position to interview anyone else must be taught and given a guide on how to do this because I have had way too many interviews where the interviewer forgets that an interview is a two-way street: the company is evaluating the candidate, but the candidate is also evaluating the company… and the people who are interviewing her. I’m guilty here, too: I know for a fact that I haven’t always been a great interviewer, either. But why are we not investing time and money into building these skills?

The above example is just one instance of terrible interviewing that genuinely does not need to happen. It can be better than this. We can do better than this as a human race, right?

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