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If you interviewed with a company and still want to meet other people before you make a decision, is it ok to ask the company to have a second interview so you can meet those other people?

jhack's picture

You've received an offer?

John

tomw's picture

Not yet, no.

thaGUma's picture

No.

1. You don't have an offer.
2. Interviews are for the company to find out about you, not the other way about.

Get the offer, then ask to meet the team/section whatever to make sure of 'fit'.

Chris

HMac's picture

So, you're asking the company to help you sell yourself to them?

At least it could be perceived that way.

-Hugh

jhack's picture

Tom,

You have no decision to make, as you have no offer.

Once they make you an offer, then you have a decision to make.

Rather than framing your concern in terms of people ("I need to talk to X before I can accept your offer") you could frame it in terms of success in the role: "As Poo-Bah of Marketing, I'd need to interact with product development. I have some questions about how marketing and product development collaborate - can we arrange an hour to discuss this?"

And you better have some good questions prepared, and know how the answers will sway you. You are, in effect, saying: if this discussion goes well, I will accept. If not, I won't. That's a very strong statement and puts a lot on the table. It can pay off, big. Or fail like a balance sheet full of credit-default swaps.

John

US41's picture

I agree with Mr. Hack, as usual.

I would not do this. If I apply for a job, I ask as much as I can in the interview, and then I throw caution to the wind and take the job if the interview went well. You could explore the potential pitfalls of the new job situation forever and still make a mistake.

If your current job is good enough that you feel this choosy, is it possible you should simply focus on staying put and figuring out something dramatic to do to increase performance and make things interesting again?

tomw's picture

[quote="HMac"]So, you're asking the company to help you sell yourself to them?

At least it could be perceived that way.[/quote]

Pretty much, yeah. Given the senior level of the position, it's not something I'm taking lightly.

I want to know a lot more about my team, my peers, and the company than I normally would before taking a position.

AManagerTool's picture

Agreed. On both sides, there comes a point when you roll the dice. You both try to weight them as best you can but there are no guarantees.

tomw's picture

[quote="US41"]If your current job is good enough that you feel this choosy, is it possible you should simply focus on staying put and figuring out something dramatic to do to increase performance and make things interesting again?[/quote]

Some recent changes at my company, which made my pretty enjoyable position now very undesirable for me, have me looking. These changes are way beyond my control and are moving me backwards in my career about 4 years.

Now that I'm investigating other options, I'm finding that I'm interviewing for pretty senior positions and, to be honest, I feel that my biggest weakness is knowing what I need to learn about a company before taking such a position and how to go about getting it.

HMac's picture

[quote="TomW"] I feel that my biggest weakness is knowing what I need to learn about a company before taking such a position and how to go about getting it.[/quote]

Anyone in your LinkedIn network who has someone in their network who works there or used to work there?

Maybe even more importantly, any way you can network to find out more about your potential boss?

-H

tomw's picture

[quote="HMac"][quote="TomW"]Maybe even more importantly, any way you can network to find out more about your potential boss?[/quote]

I've been trying without success. I've found a lot of people who have heard of the company and rave about its public image, but no one who actually worked there (it's not the huge company I was looking at a month ago, so it's not as easy)

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Tom

I am a little lost here. What exactly is your weakness? Do you feel not knowing enough about the company hurts your candidacy or not knowing enough is going to affect your acceptance of a possible offer.

*RNTT

tomw's picture

[quote="asteriskrntt1"]I am a little lost here. What exactly is your weakness? Do you feel not knowing enough about the company hurts your candidacy or not knowing enough is going to affect your acceptance of a possible offer.[/quote]

I feel that, while I've interviewed for management positions before, I've never interviewed for one that offers the prospect of being a partner in the firm within a couple years of bring hired. I feel like I should ask more questions about the company's strategy and meet more of the people in the company, but I'm not sure how to go about that.

HMac's picture

[quote="TomW"]I feel that, while I've interviewed for management positions before, I've never interviewed for one that offers the prospect of being a partner in the firm within a couple years of bring hired.[/quote]

Hey Tom - one word of caution here: make sure you're interviewing for TODAY's need and not for tomorrow's possibility. It could be deadly if you appear to show more interest in becoming partner than in doing the immediate job. Not that you'd do it on purpose - but watch out for being interpreted that way...

-Hugh

AManagerTool's picture

Watch out for the dangle!

HMac's picture

[quote="AManagerTool"]Watch out for the dangle![/quote]

Yeah. What he said. In only five words.

[i]D'oh![/i]

-Hugh

asteriskrntt1's picture

Got it. You will meet everyone you need to meet in the years you work there. Meeting 10 people this week won't let you know if you want to be a partner there in 3-5 years.

*RNTT

tomw's picture

Despite a little advice against it, I pushed hard for the second interview, and I am glad I did.

It turns out this position was not for me AT ALL. There were a lot of details about the position that did not become apparent until some of the more probing questions I asked in the second interview. I did not like the present task and the long-term prospects were not what I was originally led to believe. Not to mention, their strategy for dealing with the current economic crisis reminded me of that annoying Bobby McFcFerrin song.

The interview ended. I did not close. I still got a substantial offer that I turned down.

If I had not pushed so hard for that second interview, I probably would have taken the job and been miserable within the first hour.

Lesson: Interviews go both ways, folks. The company is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. You need to be able to make an informed decision and sometimes one interview is not enough. The risk of being miserable for 18 months is not worth the risk. ASK QUESTIONS!

PaulM's picture

I don't understand. Did you not ask questions during the first interview? It appears that all you gained in the second interview was answers to questions you asked.

You're absolutely correct - you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you. Ask all of your questions during the first interview. That time is yours, and you might not get a second chance.

tomw's picture

[quote="PaulM"]I don't understand. Did you not ask questions during the first interview? It appears that all you gained in the second interview was answers to questions you asked.

You're absolutely correct - you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you. Ask all of your questions during the first interview. That time is yours, and you might not get a second chance.[/quote]

My first interview was basically cut off. They had another candidate coming in, and once my hour was up, I was out the door. I had several questions (some before I even got there, some that came up during the interview), but did not get a chance to ask them.

Could I have emailed or phoned them? Maybe. The second interview was almost two hours, covering almost exclusively things I wanted to talk about. That would be a long phone call.

US41's picture

Your original question was this:

[quote]If you interviewed with a company and still want to meet other people before you make a decision, is it ok to ask the company to have a second interview so you can meet those other people?[/quote]

I still would not advise pushing for a second interview to someone who posted this. I interpreted it to mean: "I've had my interview, I asked my questions, they asked theirs, but I am indecisively wanting to gather endless perfect piles of data before I make a decision." To that, I think the correct advice is "Just take the dang job, already."

Now you reveal the question was actually:

[quote]
My first interview was basically cut off. They had another candidate coming in, and once my hour was up, I was out the door. I had several questions (some before I even got there, some that came up during the interview), but did not get a chance to ask them. Should I ask for a 2nd interview?[/quote]

To this question I would have said, "Yes, you should. You still don't know enough to take a job with them. One hour is not enough time for interviewing for a job at your level, and you need to get your questions answered. Ask them to bring you back in."

Garbage in garbage out.

PaulM's picture

[quote="TomW"]

My first interview was basically cut off. They had another candidate coming in, and once my hour was up, I was out the door. I had several questions (some before I even got there, some that came up during the interview), but did not get a chance to ask them.

Could I have emailed or phoned them? Maybe. The second interview was almost two hours, covering almost exclusively things I wanted to talk about. That would be a long phone call.[/quote]

Now that makes perfect sense, and you made the smartest move, given your situation. Thanks.