When I was out there looking for my first job(s) – I was looking for a place to go to make money. Looking back on it and on my resume in my early 20s, I had quite a few jobs for many different reasons. But mostly because I was making bad choices on the people I was going to work with and focused on the money I would be making in the job rather than making sure it was a great place to work where I could be successful.
So in a very adhoc way, in an interview process, I started to realize I could assess my fit, ask questions and evaluate the people interviewing me. When I was just graduating with my first degree, I got an interview with IBM. I actually knew I was not a good fit for them but wanted to get more experience in the interview process and confirm to myself that I would not be a good fit.
Maybe at the time I should not have wasted IBMs time BUT I was young and not that experienced with interviewing and knew IBM had a solid process so they could find other people who would want to wear “blue”. I made it through every interview stage to a job offer. I sat in the office with the hiring manager and thanked him for the offer but let him know I thought the job was exciting but I was not a good fit. He was not surprised. I asked him why he continued to put me through the interview process and he said they really wanted to attract people like myself.
This experience was one of the very obvious situations I found myself in where I was assessing the people and the company as much as they were assessing me. To do the same, here is what I recommend:
I know this sound ballsy – but as an ‘A’ player you don’t want to waste a minute in the wrong role with a boss who is not an ‘A’ player. I have done a lot of hiring and I love when an ‘A’ player fires questions back to me like this. I expect an ‘A’ player to be interviewing me as much as I am interviewing them. This gives me great confidence that they are an ‘A’ player because they have the courage to ask these questions, they are confident at what they do well and they want to work in an environment with other ‘A’ Players. They are concerned as much as we, the hiring company, to get the right person in the right role. Good luck in finding an ‘A’ player boss.