Do you ever go into interviews wondering what the signs are that your interviewer is a great leader to work with?
When you go into an interview, you are interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you, but you may not be quite sure what exactly to look for.
Simon Sinek says that leadership is not about being in charge, but about taking care of those who are in your charge. I agree with him.
You should be looking for the kind of leader who will be committed to your success and learning while you are in their care. Great leaders don’t just care about the job you’ll do, they care most about forming a strong working relationship with you because they know this is how you’ll most succeed in your role.
Here are some things you will notice in your Interviewer if they are going to put your success first.
They will take significant time to get to know you as a person, not just as a professional.
Great leaders care about who you are, who your family is, and what your pursuits are outside of work. When a great leader gets to know you beyond your professional merit, they care about your success on a personalized and individual level. It means they are willing to take their time to learn about you so you can have a great working relationship. If the interviewer doesn’t do this, it might be a sign that their priority is taking what they can from you.
They have a uniform interview guide.
If your interviewer is using the same interview guide and questions for all candidates, you’ll be able to tell. This is a sign that they care about the fairness and integrity of the process. Because they have created a level playing field for all of the candidates, you know they have a preference for fairness and are focused on merit.
They believe you are interviewing them, too.
A good leader knows that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. This means they want you to discern if the organization fits your career needs. Most interviewers are only concerned about you fitting into what they want.
If an interviewer believes you are interviewing them, they likely believe in being as accountable to you as they expect you to be to them.
One major sign that an interviewer believes this is if they allow you to ask them questions too. When they do, ask them good constructive questions that build a trusting relationship. If they answer professionally and honestly, chances are they know that you should be able to interview them too!
They respect your time.
If an interviewer doesn’t respect your time during the interview process, then you know what you can expect while working with them. One way they can respect your time is by letting you know when you will hear if you were the successful applicant or not and holding to it. And they should let you know even if you weren’t a successful applicant.
Their timelines should be reasonable; usually long enough to interview about 5 candidates (some might interview more, some less), then be decisive within a day or two after the interviews are complete. They may give you a deadline of when they’ll know by, then something happens that makes it go later. They should still call you by the date they pledged and tell you that.
Not a lot of leaders do this, and it’s understandable why they don’t. It takes a lot of work. But the leaders who put in the work do so because they’re as committed to you as you are to them. They will take as much ownership of your success as you do.
Hopefully, these signs of an interviewer being a great leader help you find a fulfilling work situation.
This level of care from a leader is rare in today’s world. Should you stumble on a great leader like this, go through your interview as you would with anyone else. If you get too giddy when you recognize it, you may over-sell yourself.
If they offer you the job, don’t think twice. This is a leader you likely want to work for.
If you need any help along the journey, I’m here for you.