The signal and the noise


I would contend that observations are more important than questions. What people say they are going to do isn’t near as important as what you SEE them do.

Ask to speak with 2-3 people currently working for the company. Do a reverse reference check. The company gives you employee references.

Ask what they like most about working for Company X?

Ask what do they like least about working for Company X?

Ask what is the greatest challenge facing the company?

Specifically, ask to speak with a person who is currently reporting to your prospective boss.

You want to know what it is like working for them. Are they going places in the company?

Working for the right boss has a greater impact on your career trajectory than the actual job.

If you are working for a boss that is on the rails and at risk of getting canned. Run away.

Discern the signal from the noise. What does that mean? Most of the crap we hear is noise. Occasionally, there are a couple of common themes that come up over and over again. That is the signal.

For example, I’m currently reading the book Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance. Lots of gossip and noise is spouted about Elon in the news and media. Most of it is crap. The book mentions it.

Yet, there are consistent themes you learn about Elon. He is ruthless and persistent to get a job done. That is the signal.

TMZ is noise. Reading 20 interviews Elon has done, that’s the signal. News equals noise. Signals are harder to get to.

Most questions you ask will get you bull shit noise. “Our company culture is so unique and amazing” and now I’m going to throw up.

The signal you need to know is found in the common themes you find from the people working for the company. Not from us recruiters working our ass off getting you to sign the offer.



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