Have you ever lived for a day at the office of a potential employer?

Sunday, August 10th, 2008 - Uncategorized

Beth asks: I’ve been reading The Simplicity Survival Handbook by Bill Jensen for his tips on how to do less and achieve more. One unexpected suggestion was that when looking for a new job, if the potential employer is still interested after the first or second interview, ask to spend a day at the office and attend specific types of meetings that are real exhibits of how they make decisions, assign work, problem solve, etc. Then you can judge how your style and theirs will fit. Basically you’re giving your potential employer a situational interview.

Have you ever tried living a day at the office of a potential employer? Did you ever ask and get turned down? Were you ever invited to do so, even just to sit in on a meeting the day of your interview or set free to wander the office area for an afternoon? How did it go?

In answer:
Its something we always do for both new employee’s we take on, as well as when either new candidates ask or we feel that there is some doubt or concern on either the candidates or the employers behalf.

From the perspective of a prospective job candidate, the experience of living a day at the office proves helpful in minimizing the fears, doubts and uncertainty that the candidate could feel when he/she would is assuming for the first time the responsibilities inherent to a new job role, where his/her co-workers, manager, corporate climate and culture remain as a pervasive enigma that should be solved in a carefully planned, although sometimes painful process of employee´s induction.

As we offer a 100%/90day refund in cases of candidate leaving employment, from our perspective this exposure in advance of a candidate to the process of a typical day in the environment are instrumental in providing the feedback that is required to provide the best professional available to fill a job position, in function of his/her soft-skills, positive customer-oriented attitude and proper fit with the system of values, beliefs, procedures and policies that are inherent to that employers corporate culture.

We give each of the top candidates for any internal position an opportunity to spend up to a day observing the people they would be working with, asking questions, etc. I think it helps us make better hiring decisions, and gives candidates an opportunity to decline if they feel they are not a good fit, before having spent a lot of time, energy, and other resources in hiring and training them. We find out a lot earlier if someone is not going to make it in a position.

If the industry and position allows the freedom, I highly recommend both asking to observe if you are the candidate, and giving candidates the opportunity to observe if you are the employer. Of course, expect to sign a confidentiality agreement before you are permitted to do such a thing. But I know you will find the opportunity valuable.

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