Tips for Successful Team Match Calls

Tips for both candidates and hiring managers to make the most of team match calls, including how to ask effective questions, how to prepare for the call.

Team match calls are an important part of the hiring process, as they provide an opportunity for both the candidate and the team to determine whether there is a good fit. As a hiring manager, I have conducted hundreds of team match calls (or “fit calls”) for positions ranging from junior to senior roles in software engineering and software engineering management. I have also been on the other side of these calls as a candidate. Here are some tips to help you make the most of a team match call:

As a candidate:

  • Ask questions about the role, team, and manager’s expectations, as well as logistical questions such as start date, work location, and ability to work from home.
  • Understand that the hiring manager is still deciding whether to hire you. Ask about their decision-making criteria and truthfully discuss how you would fit into the role.
  • For example, prepared candidates will often ask about the hiring manager’s criteria for the role and then re-iterate those criteria at the end of the call, highlighting how well they fit each one.
  • Recently, a candidate I was talking to wrapped up the call by mentioning 3 things they are strong at. That was helpful for me, as a hiring manager to hear about their top strengths and consider that in my evaluation.
  • If you still have open questions after the team match call, it is perfectly acceptable to have a follow-up call with another member of the team.
  • If you decide that this job is not a good fit for you, it is better to avoid any potential long-term issues by simply having a short call to determine that this is not a good mutual fit. There will always be a better role for you out there.

As a hiring manager:

  • Before the call, establish criteria for the role. I normally do this by deciding on the top 3-5 areas that are important for this role and consistently evaluating people on those axes.
  • Understand that the candidate is also making a decision. Understand their motivations, interests, and skills, and truthfully discuss if this role would make them happy and give them new opportunities.
  • Do not just sell your position. Discussing issues with the role (project, team, people, etc.) will allow candidates to make a more informed decision.
  • If the candidate still has questions, connect them to other relevant people on your team depending on the types of questions. For example, for someone who has more questions about the day-to-day interactions of the job, connecting them to a peer might help. And for someone who wants to know more about the strategy, connecting them to a person from your leadership might help.

I hope you will find this information useful. Good luck with your job search!

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