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I had applied a job some weeks ago and got an email from the leader of the department saying they have looked at my application and wanted to discuss the opportunity with me via Skype call. So we scheduled a Skype talk. At the end of a positive Skype talk with the leader of the tech team, he invited me to the workplace to meet the team and show me around.

When they call you to meet the team do they evaluate your cultural fit in general? I'm asking because he didn't say it would be an interview but just a face to face meeting with the team, so I'm not sure how to prepare for such a meeting. Of course I expect some technical questions but not a quiz or test. What kind of assessment happens in general in this process?

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Yes, it’s for the team to get an opinion of you and you to get an opinion of them.

Interviews are a two-way street, and I like having candidates meet the team in their “natural environment” so they can see if this is what they expected and if they’d like it.

But it’s naive to assume anyone you meet in the interview process is not evaluating you. They will likely not grill you on specific topics, but yes look for culture fit, how well you communicate and interact with the team, and so on. The fact they they are doing it first before interviews means that they take this step seriously, and/or want to make really sure you’re serious about the job.

Feel free and ask if there will be specific interviews in the same visit (“meet the team” could be poorly worded code for “panel interview,” just like “chat” sometimes means “phone interview” for those being too cute about informality).

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  • thanks for the answer , i was already interviewed by the top guy 45 minutes. i cannot imagine if there will be more interviews after this meeting interview. sounds painful if true.. too time taking and stressful since i spend weeks to prepare for each. – dannys May 24 at 2:14
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    Hmm. Normally you should expect to interview with about four people. I haven’t participated in or performed hiring in 20 years where talking to one person was sufficient. – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil May 24 at 3:04
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If it's an open team meeting (maybe over lunch or a coffee), it's unlikely to be any real "assessment". The focus will strongly lie on judging your "cultural fit". They'll basically try to answer the question of whether they'd like to work with you. Most likely, the topics will be similar to how the team members talk amongst themselves, with an additional focus on getting to know you (and you them). If technical questions come up, this is most likely in the form of asking you about your previous job or general industry-related chitchat (e.g. discussing the merits of different programming languages, the latest gadgets etc.)

Meeting the team is also your chance to ask about the working environment. Do they have a lot of meetings? Are they doing overtime? Who decides what teams work on? etc. You can also ask about topics related to the area, e.g. Where do they go for lunch? How difficult is it to get a nice apartment? What's the typical commute time? and so on.

However, don't make the mistake of assuming you won't be judged. In the end, each of the participants will be asked to give an opinion of you. In my experience, since this is not a strict interview situation, they'll tend to be more lenient towards a candidate, but if something feels off, they might vote against you. Again, keep in mind that they're looking for someone they'd like to work with. So if you're saying something that makes you seem incompetent (being unable to answer an easy tech related question), disinterested (e.g. asking questions only focused on the city's party life), or potentially difficult to work with (e.g. boastful, stubborn, unfriendly), this will come up in the follow-up discussion.

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Ask the leader the same question. Tell him that this is your first time where you'd be meeting the team even before onboarding and you'd like to get some pointers as to what is expected from you from this meeting; will it be an informal technical discussion or is it another round of interview. Be courteous all the time, ensure your tone is inquisitive.

This would tell them they you are getting your doubts clarified before taking the plunge.

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  • He mentioned that I could see whats the job about(the equipment and lab ect) and face to face meeting the team as a group. Thats the only thing I remember. – dannys May 24 at 1:32
  • @dannys it's a good thing that you have an option to look at the lab etc prior to joining the job. I, once, had a similar opportunity as well. And thank God it happened. The place was low lit, no proper AC, and fire safety was thrown to the winds. The staircase was so narrow they only one person could climb up or down at the same point of time. I knew that it wasn't the right place for me. – WonderWoman May 25 at 6:02

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