It's weird because I'd say the people I'm working for right now have excellent work/life balance, but we also frequently communicate on the weekends. We do that because we acknowledge that in order to take time off in the middle of the week, you have to do some work on the weekend to round things out.
The beauty of it is that you get to take the time off when it matters most to you. I really believe most people don't have a problem with working long hours. They have a problem with missing out on important events/activities that matter to them.
Whether it's family, snowboarding, or whatever thing you do to decompress, it's important to give people the freedom to take that time whenever they need it. Imposing a 9-5 schedule on everyone is a sure fire way to destroy diversity. You'll just get a bunch of people who are happiest working from 9-5. Not everybody (myself included) fits that mold.
I'm not sure what questions I'd ask, but it would depend on how happy I am where I'm at. If I just don't have time to go through the interview process, I'd probably just cut to the chase and ask them if they're going to let me go snowboarding on a Thursday. It saves time and stops a bad fit from happening way in advance.
But most of the good ones I've worked with tend to advertise this kind of thing upfront, so we pretty much never need to discuss it when the interview happens.
If you were interviewing and told me this, I'd find it incredibly useful. This information is the type of information we (candidates) need in order to make our decision. Not all companies have flexible work arrangements. Also, I know several developers who prefer to work a structured 9-5. The point is, there's no right or wrong answer, and I can't tell you how many conversations I've had around work/life balance since I started working on Key Values (hundreds!). Ultimately, it's like dating. The best scenario is for both parties to be upfront about who they are, what they're looking for, and openly work out whether there is compatibility!
It totally is dating. If I have any piece of advice, it's to just fill out tons of applications, generate leads, and go through as many as you can in the shortest period of time. Speed dating (more or less) will get you the job you want
Interesting, I'd suggest the exact opposite.
I think it's less about a numbers game. If I was being courted (as an employee, employer, or potential love interest), you wouldn't win me over by making me feel like I was just an option out of a pool of hundreds. I'd feel more connected to someone who spent time learning about me and expressed genuine interest because they saw me standing out from the rest.
It's the same reason why we, as developers, dislike generic recruiting emails. Because we know the recruiter sent the same email to a thousand other people.
I totally get that! And if you're lucky enough to have some personal information to work from (most jobs posted just take you to some generic website), then of course you're going to stand out by showing a genuine care for the people you're speaking with.
But, like dating, you often don't have much information at the outset. You don't even know if they're all that into you. So if you invest too much time in the starting stages or give away too much potentially disqualifying information about yourself, your overall cost per acquisition gets too high.
Why invest an hour of your time researching a company that might not be all that interested in you? Or, for that matter, might not be a fit for other reasons?
I usually don't start the interview process knowing that I want to work for a company. The interview process is what gives me enough information to figure out if I want to work for that company. So I'm usually trying to give them just enough information to get to the next step (if I even want to invest time into that next step).
You apply to get a phone call. You get a phone call to get some basic info and see if there's a personality fit. You go through other stages of the interview to tie up all of the other loose ends. Then you compare offers and decide which one best fits your current goals and working style.
If all goes well, you find a role that makes you happy. If it goes supremely well, you stay for a long time.
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