You navigated a long recruitment journey and now you are offered to sign for a new management role? Great. But how to ensure your new role will be a step forward in your career and not your biggest disappointment?
Engineers seeking for their next career step must be prepared to answer plenty of questions on a multitude of technology, business and personal topics. And when you get the contract, it is imperative to toss a few decisive questions back to the interviewer. Asking the following 5 questions before you sign up is the best way to ensure your future role will be the right one.
How would you define your organization's vision and culture?
At this stage of the recruitment process, of course you have already done your due diligence by learning all you can about your potential future employer, including its focus, financial status and corporate culture. But it’s is important to validate what you have learned by asking the recruiter to describe the enterprise’s fundamental vision and culture from her or his own perspective. Also, don’t hesitate to ask very specific questions like how operations, finance and systems work together to achieve success. This will not only give you a better view on how the company effectively works as a whole, but it will also demonstrate you have a real managerial mindset with care for details and the ambition to be successful.
Will I be involved in decisions relating to innovation, revenue generation and strategic vision?
From the moment you have the ambition to demonstrate leadership and take a management responsibility, it is crucial to have a clear description of your role, responsibilities and accountabilities. Also, the fact that you are responsible for a team and for driving revenues reveals that the organization will value your role and give you the necessary means to reach your objectives.
What are the attributes the company valued most in your predecessor?
It can be a serious red flag if the recruiter -or your future boss- has trouble defining what he or she most liked about the person you will replace. May be it is a brand new role, but there should be some level of realistic expectations. If the recruiter simply lists bland attributes like reliability, knowledge or dynamism while omitting more compelling skills such as leadership, people management or visionary, chances are high that the organization may be quite reluctant to change and views you as a just an executant, not a decision maker.
A few years from now, how will you know that I am a successful manager?
You can use this question to reveal the type of managers the organization is really searching for. Enterprise expectations may of course be as diverse as candidate’s personalities. But again, you must ensure the managerial culture perfectly matches with your own management style and future expectations. If you’re a strategic thinker and the organization relies on you for driving strategic change and transformation, it’s a great match. If the organization sees your role as just maintaining operations as they are for years, think again.
How do you define the long-term success of your role, and what methods will you use to measure overall performance?
This question is designed to help you understand the enterprise’s view of your future role in contributing to business success. The interviewer’s response will also provide insight into the goals you are expected to achieve. Probing here allows you to discover what their priorities are in terms of e.g. innovation, processes improvement, technology adoption, refreshing team talent, etc. If the company is aspirational, it should be able to clearly articulate the overall strategy and then link it to what you are expected to deliver as an incoming manager. Moreover, this question will also help you determine how highly the enterprise values your future role and if it lines up well with your own aspirations.
Author: Virginie Moreno, Sr. Tech Talents Recruitment Expert & Contributor, EngineeTech365