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Ways to evaluate perspective employer (manager/co-workers) at job interview?

Ways to evaluate perspective employer (manager/co-workers) at job interview?

Ways to evaluate perspective employer (manager/co-workers) at job interview?

Dear Engineers,
After graduating 7 years ago with BSME, I am looking for my 4th job now. Based on my experience, during all the interviews I attended for my previous 3 jobs, I didn’t do a good job in evaluating my manager and co-workers.

For example, my current manager looked good at the interview but later I found that he is unfair at yearly performance reviews, doesn’t care about my professional growth, makes up numbers without actually measuring sizes, and charge extra (for no reason) to customers to make extra money. All in all, he is not a mentor figure type manager that I was looking for. It may be that I am looking for too much in a manager, but again I am looking for the best.

At the same, my co-worker (Engineer) is worried that if I know and learn more than him, he will loose his job. He doesn’t share the techniques to solve a customer problems with us (co-workers) and call it “job security”. He has some very informative procedures and Material compatibility chart, that he has saved in his computer and doesn’t share with us. Of course, I don’t let these things to effect my behavior at work and I work hard to be the best I can be.

It would be nice if you can share your experience in:
what do you look for in a manager at a job interview, what question to ask to check his integrity, what to pay attention to?

RE: Ways to evaluate perspective employer (manager/co-workers) at job interview?

Seems to me you already have the questions in the form of answers in your OP. However, an interview is like date; everyone is on their best behavior. It's unlikely that your date will reveal that they are slobs at home, or are spendthrifts in the course of a single date, but sometimes, if you pay attention to everything, they do reveal some things. It took me a long time to learn that about an ex-girlfriend, but it finally dawned on me that while I would (obviously) open the car door for her, she never reciprocated by unlocking my door (REALLY OLD car) for me, which she could have done. As it turned out, she was very self-centered, and eventually took herself out of the running, luckily for me.

So, ask about how they mentor their subs, and ask for a success story, or a difficulty overcome. Ask how they promote their subs' growth.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Ways to evaluate perspective employer (manager/co-workers) at job interview?

If you get a chance during the interview process, ask the manager's direct reports what it's like to work for them. They likely won't throw their manager under the bus, but if you pay attention and read between the lines a bit you can get a decent idea. Another good question that I like to ask (especially of potential future coworkers) is their favorite and least favorite thing about working at that company. I once had someone say that their favorite thing about working at that company was that the commute home was just 2 stoplights. That gave me a pretty good indication of how mind numbing of a job it would have been, and the low-ball salary they offered was the final nail in that coffin.

As IRstuff pointed out, everyone is on their best behavior, so in the end you have to guess at a few things, go with your gut and hope for the best.

RE: Ways to evaluate perspective employer (manager/co-workers) at job interview?

I usually find facility tours the most telling about the culture as you're seeing more than the chosen few interviewers but I also research companies beforehand so I can ask questions about recent company growth, layoffs, and new products. If you can politely/tactfully ask a "tough" question or two you can also often get an idea of their professionalism, good managers won't be offended in the least and will be pretty open/honest with you.

Another metric I use is their available research & test facilities. If the company seems to be behind the times then its likely their attitude is as well.

RE: Ways to evaluate perspective employer (manager/co-workers) at job interview?

IRstuff, Stick and CWB1:

You have talked about some very important points on the topic. I will pay attention to small details during interviews. I wish I had a manager like one of you three. Thanks a lot.

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