Job interviews are usually an imperfect method of vetting the best talent.
That’s why Doug Grey, senior vice president of engineering at Indeed, likes to turn the tables on the whole process.
When Grey interviews a candidate who is up for a leadership role at the job search engine, he flips the interview on its head and asks candidates to instead interview one of Indeed’s engineers.
“A very experienced manager will watch them as they perform that interview,” Grey tells Business Insider.
This way, he can actually observe how the person reacts to a real leadership role.
“I call it ‘show, don’t tell,'” Grey says. “I’m not going to ask you how you would do something. This actually puts you into an experience where you need to show us how you would do things.”
He especially keeps an eye out for subtle signs regarding the individual’s leadership style.
In Grey’s own experience, he tends to look for more collaborative leaders, rather than ones with a more authoritarian, “command-and-control” style.
These signs usually become apparent based on how the candidate treats the engineer.
“There’s a power dynamic,” he says. “The interviewer has power over the interviewee. Does the interviewer exert and emphasise their power, or do they de-emphasise it and try to draw the other individual out and equalise it so that they’re on a more level playing field? That conversation will often tell you a lot.”
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