This is the second part of a 2 part series of blogs, to read Part 1 click here.
As a reminder, in this article we’ll be reviewing the last 5 items of an interview I like to do regularly with my team. It can apply to anyone you supervise and work regularly with. These questions let them know that you see them not just as a person who brings something to the team and project, but also as someone with their own goals and aspirations. It is meant to be an informal chat and I’ve found that the personal nature of the conversation helps strengthen bonds and trust.
So here are the final five items with an in depth explanation for each, as well as extra details on some subpoints.
This part is focused on you, so keep an open mind and take notes. Again, this is not meant to be an official evaluation, and it promotes trust having your colleague see you writing down things they perceive as faults. This is an opportunity for you to grow, and if you think some of the faults are really qualities, the fact they were mentioned means that at the very least there is an issue of perception that you need to work on.
The last point is especially important for people who are just joining the team. When someone enters a new team, lots of people try to adapt completely to the existing dynamics and don’t question why things are done that way. But coming in fresh from another environment means there’s lots of ideas and opportunities they could bring from there, and this is the perfect time to do so.
Here you give them a chance to share things they’ve seen related to the team in general. Maybe it’s the best team they’ve been in. Maybe they see a certain dynamic brewing in the team that we should get ahead of. Maybe they’ve worked with other members before and know their quirks. This question is best left in an open-ended way in case they want to share anything.
This one is for them to talk about the company. It’s mostly to give you an idea of how comfortable they are with the structure, infrastructure, offices, etc. And to know what the people appreciate about the organization.
Here you should make it clear that you’ll only share anything they give you permission to share (and that you’d do it anonymously). They could have concerns that they don’t really want others to know, but with just them sharing with you, you might be able to do something.
This is just the catch-all for anything else they might want to talk about.
This methodology is flexible by nature so you are always free to modify the questions and add/remove some as you see fit. Perhaps you want to talk about the expectations you have for them when they join the team. Or there could be certain responsibilities you or them handle that deserve focusing on. Just remember that this isn’t really an evaluation, but rather a meeting to share what you both have in mind and how you can help each other.
I hope you can apply this to the people you work with and I'm more than happy to continue sharing more useful stuff in the future!
Interested in tech leadership? Learn more about team-bases approach in software development here.