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Potential co-worker (same level) influence/interference during hiring process  

 

B. D. Souza
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 4
August 28, 2014 3:34 am  

Hi all,
I had a question. I am a well-qualified PhD (big school, multiple publication/patent) etc, and tend to get along very well with people (excellent communication). I interviewed with a very big company (TOP). The phone interview went well, the site interview was a 'hit right out of the park'. However, one of the potential interviewers (future colleague in the same lab, and who has the same level as me) did not like me (we are from the country, perhaps some jealousy, etc). However, the hiring managers (scientist whose lab I was going to join) was thrilled both with me (as a person and scientifically).

Subsequently to the onsite interview, I again interviewed on phone with some directors. The interview went fine. The hiring manager wants to go ahead and ask my recommenders for their opinion.

I was kind of worried that the hiring manager might not even as my recommenders if that 'future colleague' had 'influence'. But evidently, the hiring manager is going ahead to ask for recommendations.

My question is how much of an influence could the potential co-worker have had in the hiring process?
How much influence can she still have at this stage? Once the hiring manager decides to go ahead and call recommenders, do the words of the recommenders get the most importance (from this point on)...if the recommendations are good, is it an end-stage forality?


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DX
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 580
August 28, 2014 2:06 pm  

I really don't understand the nature of your issue or you didn't explain it well.

In General, interviews within a Company include selected members of the Team whom you'll be working with or collaborating with, in Addition to your hiring Manager.

All members of the interview Panel have influence over the decision to hire you - the final decision maker being the hiring Manager.

There is nothing you can do if one interviewer does not like you. Thier recommendation is their recommendation. End of Story.

The hiring Manager takes the last decision.

Just because one member of the interview Panel votes negative does not mean you won't be hired. You can't control who is on your Panel, nor their recommendations, and would be defeatest to your application to raise that now or after or at anytime. That's the purpose of the Panel to get multiple views.

Welcome to interviewing in the industry.

DX


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B. D. Souza
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 4
August 28, 2014 11:16 pm  

Let me explain.
When I interviewed in the site (big industry), the hiring manager interviewed me (and liked me a lot).
One person in the group did not like me because of background issues (the person is a postdoc, and let us say that even I am interviewing for a postdoc position.

How much influence can an existing postdoc have on the hiring of a new postdoc? Again, the boss (hiring manager) really liked the new candidate and the recommendations are great.


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Ana
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 194
August 29, 2014 9:46 am  

Hii BD,

How could we know that? there are few things as unique as inter-personal dynamics!

You if you asked instead if every time someone is hired the feedback from the people who met with the candidate is unanimously positive the answer is big no. Usually in an on-site interview in industry you will meet with a handful of people one-one-one (hiring manager and a few other key people) and a larger group of people during your seminar and lunch, or also during the lab hour if included. In come cases everyone likes the candidate, but in many cases someone has different feelings and that doesn't necessarily prevent the hiring.

There is also another layer of complexity here. Everyone might love you and you might still not get an offer. That's because there are other people people interviewing for that role, and they might love 2 or 3 people. They will first make the offer to their top favourite.

So knowing for sure that one person didn't like you is not enough for us (or for you) to know if you will get an offer.


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ACZ
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 4
August 29, 2014 11:36 am  

How can you know after meeting someone once that they don't like you?
Who told you that?
How can you say what the others didn't like about you (background, 'jealousy', etc) without talking to them properly?

I understand what is your main concern. I observe the hiring process in our company - it is much easier route for the candidate if everyone on the hiring panel 'love' him/her, but it happens that one person is against (for number of reasons), and unless those reasons are very specific and defined the process goes on. Also, I have not seen any 'I don't like him/her for no reason' reasoning during hiring - usually the lack of 'liking' was a consequence of particular behaviour that was promising the particular lack of professionalism or correct attitude in the future.

You should be on your best behaviour during the interview with your future colleagues anyway, shouldn't you ;)?


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P.C.
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 205
August 29, 2014 4:00 pm  

Stop Overthinking.
Prepare, suit up, give your presentation and speal.
Stop thinking about issues you cannot control. You seem to be constructing a whole series of speculations and negative thoughts and conclusions.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" - Mark Twain


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B. D. Souza
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 4
August 29, 2014 5:52 pm  

I thank you for your replies. I was nice to all my colleagues, etc.

However let us ASSUME that there is someone on the interview panel (same rank that I am interviewing for) who does not like you (for personal reasons or previous acquaintance, friends of friends, etc). How much can they (same rank i.e, junior) affect the decision process if everything else goes superbly well (i.e, great talk, hiring manager likes you, etc).


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JMO
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 12
August 29, 2014 6:19 pm  

As PC suggested, "stop over thinking". Worst case, this person could veto your hiring; best case, this person has no role in the hiring decision. Neither situation is under your control.

But you might want to consider if you really want to work in this lab. You seem incredibly uncomfortable with this potential co-worker. If you got the job, would you be able to see that person daily and work productively without worrying that they are "out to get you"?

We've had lots of people write in about toxic post-doc positions looking for ways to get out. This might be a good chance to avoid getting into such a situation.


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Ana
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 194
August 29, 2014 6:43 pm  

I agree with JMO. We can't know what that person thinks of you and his potential impact in the final decision (which also depends on how the other candidates do), but what is clear from your posts is that you are very uncomfortable with this person. Interviews go two-ways, and it's easy to miss potential red flags when interviewing as everyone shows their best face. If you interview already showed such big flag you might want to reconsider your interest in working in that group.


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Andy Spencer
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7
September 4, 2014 9:49 am  

Of course we don't know the individuals involved, but I would estimate that a postdoc at a large company is likely to have exactly zero influence on hiring decisions of a manager.

Andy


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B. D. Souza
New Colleague Registered
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 4
September 5, 2014 4:59 am  

Hi Andy,
You are proved right. Zero influence.


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Dave Jensen
Prominent Maven Moderator
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 899
May 1, 2019 9:54 pm  

I just had someone ask me this question and I recommended they come here and post to get a response. Then, I found the forum already had significant entries on the topic so I bumped up this version 1.0

It's a great thread and I hope that newcomers will re-read it and add to the forum. I think it's all still relevant today. As you read it, do you sense that the original poster was being a bit over sensitive and somehow "assuming" that he/she isn't liked by the potential co-worker? 

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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DX
Honorable Maven Registered
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 580
May 6, 2019 9:01 am  

Hi Dave,

I re-read the last two entries, one by Andy Spencer and the response of the original poster.  Clearly Andy Spencer, in my opinion, does not know the concept of team-dynamics.  Irrespective of the title of a member of a team, be it a post-doc, contractor, or consultant, or perceived "lower ranking", ALL ...and I repeat...ALL member of an interview panel have some form of influence be it officially captured on an HR interview feedback from OR verbally.

Team-dynamics means that irrespective of employement status, on a team, there are relationships and that holds more than employement status.

Rule of thumb, when you interview, have the view that EVERYONE that talks to you will have some from of influence, even down to the "secretary" or "team assisstent".  For the later you will be working with them daily, despite admistrative tasks, you'll learning quickly how much you rely on them..and them on you.  

I said in another thread, that there is nothing personal to be taking from an interview.  If someone doesn't like you, that's not personal that's is what it is. Too bad. Not a fit for the team. Deal with it.  I've not been offered jobs because people didn't like me.  Too bad. AND...know what? I've been offered jobs where people DID like me!  Far more awesome jobs nontheless!   So if one can't handle not being liked - then..um..find a different career.  That's my recommendation.   

DX


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Dave Jensen
Prominent Maven Moderator
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 899
May 6, 2019 3:55 pm  

Good comments, DX.

I remember one client company where the executive secretary in the department was asked by the hiring manager what she thought of the various people who had called on the boss for the initial interview (this was a scientific sales role).

They all had to introduce themselves to her and wait in her lobby until their appointment. She developed impressions -- one person treats her like a low-level worker, one person treats her like a potential future co-worker. It was not the "deciding vote" but it was interesting to see that the boss was taking the temperature across more than those whose names were on the interview agenda.

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


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