First impressions are indelible. If a new leader’s first encounter with a future direct report is when they are being interviewed for a job, the balance of power is inverted. The subordinate has more power in the interview. The new boss is going to have more power later. The issue is not about power per se, but about how that inverted balance of power complicates an already potentially stressful meeting. Net, don’t do it. Don’t have subordinates meet their new boss until the new boss has been offered the job.
What about informal, non-interview meetings before the boss is offered the job?
They don’t exist. Until someone has been offered a job, everything is an interview – every conversation, and every casual interaction with anyone associated with the hiring firm has the potential to produce information that could impact the hiring decision. Everything communicates. So, there are no informal, non-interview meetings before someone is offered a job.