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I'm currently working through a notice period (3 months) and there are plans to hire someone to replace me.

My role requires a relatively technical skillset and I am unsure that my manager or HR would know what is required, or be able to distinguish between a very competent candidate and someone who simply looks good on paper. I have also been involved in revising the role profile for what I currently do and making sure it matches up with the day-to-day work.

I am keen to ensure that the handover process is as smooth as possible (and have begun processes such as documentation etc to help with this), and therefore believe that my involvement with the interviews would be beneficial. However, I can see that there might be potential conflicts of interest (and the thorny issue of how to broach this with my current manager).

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How did they determine that you were right for the role? –  Oded Dec 12 '12 at 11:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

There is no doubt in my mind that your involvement would be a benefit in finding the right person.

But there are other factors to consider. Foremost in my mind is that you're leaving. And if I was the person on the other side of the interview, my first question to you would be "Why?" Do HR or your manager have reason to be confident that you'd give an answer that made the company look good?

Also, maybe they think that your idea of what they need isn't what they think they need. Whether they're right or not is irrelevant. That might be their perception.

But, in the end, you're leaving and they're left with the results of this decision. So, make it obvious that you're comfortable interviewing your replacement and then leave the decision to them.

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First, do you have experience interviewing other candidates? Unless you do the time to train you to interview is not right before you leave the company. There can be some liability if you should ask the wrong questions even though they may seem to be benign to you. So taking time to get you up to speed and for them to be confident in your abilities takes more of an investment than is wise to invest just to fill one position, especially if it is a standard job title that does not require some highly specialized knowledge to begin the work.

If you are already trained, thinking as a manager, the risk of potential problems outweighs any benefit you could have to the process. Most people providing extended lead time prior to leaving do so wanting to provide plenty of time to secure a replacement. But the reality of hiring is that unless the company is willing to pay 2 people for the same position for an extended period, the company will wait until it can extend and have an offer accepted to start in a relatively short period of time. This means that chances are the interviews for your position will likely happen about a month out from your departure. This perceived delay sometimes embitters the existing employee. I have provided plenty of time to secure my replacement but they wait until 3 weeks before I leave to start interviewing, there will be no time for me to train them! Those sorts of thoughts are understandable but the last thing your employer wants is to have to terminate you early because you acted unprofessionally in an interview.

Your manager likely already has a decent idea of what skills your position requires. If it was me I might run that skill list by you to see if you have any suggestions on improving it. I may have you meet someone that we are likely to extend an offer to, especially if you are going to be working with them for knowledge transfer for a week or so. But for the most part when you turned in your notice I am most concerned with you completing any tasks that are due before you leave, and with ensuring that what you have done is documented so that after you leave your absence is mitigated by complete and accurate documentation.

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In my mind the answer is an an absolute 'Yes', but I don't know the culture and norms of your company. What I'd consider normal and expected behavior/process may well be a slap in the face to your managers.

Are you typically involved in interviewing others in your department? If your input, insight and participation are generally expected in the interviewing process there's no reason it shouldn't be expected now.

However if you're not typically involved in interviewing that's a pretty good indication that management either hasn't considered your participation or has make a decision to exclude you.

If this is the case broach the subject with your manager casually and with a leading suggestion that you might be helpful in selecting your replacement. But don't push the issue.

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