1 Over Interviews

When employing staff I’m looking for my teams (and myself for that matter) to finalise things with a 1 over interview; an interview with the hiring managers’ manager. Recently we were hiring another 2 new senior engineering managers and I had 1 over interviews with them which ultimately caused me to jot down these thoughts.

Although 1 over interviews are a pretty normal practice nowadays (for a load of good reasons), I strive for consistency, simplicity and repeatability so I go into these 1 over interviews with a specific approach in mind, best in a relaxed mutual environment over something like a coffee or tea.

My context and opening gambit is simple, we are here because I have strong trust in my hiring managers. My hiring managers also understand that my time is a precious commodity and don’t use it sparingly, so we don’t need to repeat the discussions and vetting been done to date.

The thumbs up has already been given and endorsed by others, so this is really about two things, why am I here and why are you applying.

The why am I here is an important frame in my view as I want to clearly outline the challenge and opportunity that I saw and very much personalise it. Joining is personal. I think it’s also important to lead the contribution to this conversation because not only do I have more exposure to the environment and context, it gives the candidate an opportunity to speak into the same frame using their own perspective.

If the two why’s are aligned, we are in a good space. We are going to be rowing in the same direction, if not… you know.

All going well, this leads further into a conversation around curiosity and things that only the two involved will shape in realtime.

Ultimately I really do trust my hiring managers and work hard to attract and retain them, and in that these have to be their hiring decisions that they are accountable for. At the same time it’s important to me that potential new team members hear from existing senior staff as to why they are here, in their own words.

The measure of success of this is candidates feeling more inspired to join and hiring managers being endorsed for great hiring decisions.