A friend of mine is in the process of being hired by a large company (traditional engineering tech). The position is executive in IT (second line to the CEO), reporting to the CIO and dotted line to another board member.

The hiring process is relaxed, meeting all sorts of executives to see how she would fit it. She is very experienced in her job but is far from being a job hopper, so not very experienced as a candidate (she did hire a lot of people so the whole process is not a surprise but i) the company is in a different vertical/culture she is in and ii) she hired rather geek-oriented people more than execs).

One of the things she would like to do is to meet all her future first line, everyone separately, to get an idea who she would be working with. Since the company she is applying for is in tech but a bit old-style with a willingness to transform (at least this is how they seem to feel), she is afraid that the team she is going to inherit may possibly not be the best one for that.

Please note the conditionals: the company is nice, the people she met are nice and fit in their role but IT has been in the background for generations, managed by a nice guy from finance and now they truly want to move it forward (and give move visibility in the light of the company transformation) by hiring someone externally with the right mindset, experience, ... But the team will stay as it is.

How common is it to have (or request) such meetings (as a serious candidate, apparently the top-ranking one)?

I have never heard of that (neither I did this in a situation similar to hers but in retrospective that would have been a good idea), but it may just be a thing.

Note 1: she has not made the request yet, it is something which evolved from a conversation of ours.

Note 2: this is in Western Europe

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    In Western Europe this is very common. She should have no problem in requesting to meet the team prior to actually accept any offer. Mos likely the company will take the initiative. It might be a push however to specifically ask for individual interviews for every single member of the team. A friendly group chat is probably the way to go. Make the right questions and almost any possible problem will become apparent (technical, social, etc.).
    – armatita
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


How common is it to have (or request) such meetings (as a serious candidate, apparently the top-ranking one)?

I've interviewed at many companies where the role I would fill involved coming in and taking over an existing department.

Every single time, I've either requested to meet with all my potential direct reports, or such a meeting was already arranged for me. Unless the team was very large, I met with each of them individually. I can't imagine jumping into a new team manager position without knowing anything firsthand about the team.

To me, it's extremely important to always meet my potential new boss, my potential reports, and at least some of my potential peers.

I ask questions of them all to get a sense of what the job is like, what the company is like, what I could do to help them, and what would be expected of me in the role I'm attempting to fill. Getting different perspectives always gave me a real sense of what I might be getting into.

So for me at least this was extremely common (as in - it always happened).

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