3

I applied at a place for two positions in the same department but different 'teams.' I got a call that both teams are interested and that I will have a webcam meeting later with the two hiring managers so that I can decide which position I would like to take.

That is pretty much all of the information that I have. Nothing about salary has been mentioned. Aside from the people and types of projects I would be working on, I don't really have much to go off of in terms of the difference between them. Both positions involve things that I am qualified to pick up but haven't worked on specifically so there is no real way to judge which I would prefer without actually starting. I am fairly certain that things like benefits would be identical.

  • What kind of questions should I be asking?
  • How do I ask about salary. Is it appropriate to simply choose one over the other for salary?
  • If I am unable to make a well informed choice, what should I say as my reasoning so as not to sound apathetic, unprofessional or too personal about the choice?

I don't believe this is a duplicate because I am going to be speaking directly with both hiring managers about making a choice.

2 Answers 2

3

What kind of questions should I be asking?

  • Projects (both open for your and currently developed by other team members)

  • Role responsabilities

  • Teams (team size, roles, structure...)

  • Medium-Long term ambitions of each team (i.e. were does each hiring manager sees his team in 1-2 years)

  • Career progression opportunities

  • Salary (but see below)

How do I ask about salary. Is it appropriate to simply choose one over the other for salary?

I wouldn't really care much about that at this point. Keep in mind that, from the point of view of the employer, the last thing that they want to do is to start a bidding war to see which one finally manages to keep you.

You can (and you should) ask about this anyway; but if it was me I would simply state my guess that both salaries are going to be similar, and ask to be corrected if that's not true. That way, you can take money out of the problem and focus on projects, teams, career progression, opportunities and so on.

Still, at some point you will have to negotiate about salary, but this probably should happen after an official offer is made - I don't think a team fit meeting is the best place for salary negotiation, anyway.

If I am unable to make a well informed choice, what should I say as my reasoning so as not to sound apathetic, unprofessional or too personal about the choice?

I would be surprised if they are expecting you to make a decision on the spot. If you are not able to decide at that moment, just tell them that you'll want to have a bit of time to considerate both options, offer to set a hard deadline for your answer (say, in 1/2 days) and ask for a way of asking additional questions to both managers, in case you happen to have further doubts after the session. As long as you'll make clear that there will be a decision soon, they should find that reasonable.

0

What a lovely position to be in. Obviously not as good as two different companies wanting you, but still pretty good.

You now need to decide based on what you want. From your question, you have not thought about what you want. Often in interviews the question ¨where do you see yourself in 5 years¨ pops up.

Its frowned upon so often by programmers - who in many ways resemble devoted monks with a passion for the ¨now¨. But if you do not know where you want to be in 5 years, then how do you know what you want to do now?

Obviously, as you may be realising, the answer is you do not know. You should take a few hours and draw up a plan about things you like - there is a book ¨what colour is your parachute¨, and while the first half is pretty mundane, the last half shines.

It gets you to think about the best and worst team you have experienced, asks about the culture of the office you like (on time! regimented! or relaxed, no shoes? something else?), asks about the type of work you like (do you like doing small variations on the same thing, learning entirely new things, managing people? being creative or a do-er?) and so on.

Whenever you have an opportunity to choose your job, if you have not thought about what sort of job you like, even if your choice is informed, it is unlikely to be accurate. It is like buying a laptop - there is no end of information of the laptops out there, what you really want to know is what are you going to do with your laptop.

We can all name a list of things to ask. If you want to present yourself, for some reason, as someone who has thought of a list of things to ask, then all well and good.

But just like knowing one laptop is touchscreen, but another is ultra-high def, unless you know what you want the options become rather pointless. I would strongly recommend you get ¨what colour is your parachute¨ on kindle and read the last half, executing all the exercises. Then go and take this meeting - you might not have the longest list of questions to ask, but the ones you do will actually be pertinent to you.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .