If you have clicked on this post and started reading it, then chances are, that you are struggling with your current boss, aren’t sure about your potential boss, or aren’t entirely positive about your own management skills.
Whatever the case you are currently in, I salute you because this is the first step to get out of an unideal situation and seeking a better one.
No one wants to do the same mistake twice, right?
You never want to work for someone who is as bad as your current neglectful, or incompetent boss. That’s why we pulled together a quick guide to help you identify and avoid a bad boss early one.
As you go through the job search journey, there are ten questions that you would want to ask to reveal the answer about your future manager:
Case #1 : Questions to ask the interviewer if they directly work with your potential manager
1. What is his/her management style?
Notice the way the interviewer is responding and if they like the management style or not. Find out if the manager is motivating, supportive and respectful and if he/she tends to be a micromanager. Find out if the manager delegates enough or doesn’t trust new employees, if he/she communicate often or prefer to everyone completes their work fully independently.
2. What is your favorite thing about working with your boss?
Take note and focus on the attitude and tone; is there specific aspect or personality trait that employees seem to keep bringing up such as empathy, honesty, or flexibility? Did they provide enough examples to support their claims or was the answer they provided broad and with minimal details?
3. Can you tell me more about the culture and the team?
Find out how people get along inside and outside of the workplace. Look at how they communicate with each other and to which extent is your potential boss involved in the team culture. Is everyone comfortable in their work environment or are there any problematic areas?
Case #2 : Questions to ask the interviewer if he turns out to be your potential manager
4. What does your ideal employee possess?
Take what they say about their ideal employee to heart and make sure you truly fit into the criteria they want. If you find that you really don’t fit or match this criteria, then it is a sign that you would probably not get along or enjoy the job or the team.
5. Do you often give constructive criticism? If yes, how do you give it?
Make sure the manager does give feedback; no one wants to ever stay in a position where they are without learning and developing. However, the manager should also show that they care when providing feedback. Giving constructive criticism and feedback isn’t meant to scold or point fingers, instead it is intended to make the tasks easier, but also to give the employee the chance to learn and develop their skills.
6. How do you evaluate your current employees?
Find out if there is a review cycle for employees, and if they are being regularly evaluated based on their performance. Does the manager aim to help employees set and accomplish their career goals? Does he/she recommend the employee specific action steps to lead them to their career objectives?
7. How long have you been managing this team?
Find out here if the manager is fully invested in the team. Also, look into how the team itself has grown since this manager started the position. Is there any turnover or conflict? Notice if there are signs of dissatisfaction whether in the job itself or the management approach.
8. How do your reports reflect your management style?
This is a self awareness question to your potential manager. Focus on the response as they want to be able to expose that their reports are well managed without sounding self-centered or disconnected from reality.
9. Who inspires you as a leader?
Their responses of the people of their choice will reflect on their leadership strategies that they like to follow. Try to understand why they have chosen that person and what influenced their choice.
10. How does your team celebrate success or relax after pressure?
This point will show how the manager values work life balance and how they recognize achievements and efforts.
Beyond the questions to be asked, there are other factors that you should focus on during the interview that will reveal the potential manager’s attitude towards the team:
One factor would be body language, which is essential in every interview process and it’s not just focused on you as an interviewee, but for an interviewer as well. Non verbal cues come in here too, be attentive to those signs. Observe the way the interviewer responds to your questions, their tone of voice, eye-contact, facial expressions, and such. These cues can reveal a lot about the manager’s personality and approach.
Another factor includes your own values and principles. Each one of us has different preferences for the work environment and management style. One person may perceive the interviewer’s responses as a definite no, while the other may be able to deal with them. It all boils down to what you believe in and value the most and how that aligns with your potential manager’s personality and management style.
Prior to going to any job interview, have a couple of minutes with yourself and focus on what you look for in your potential boss, and whether you can compromise on one attribute or not. If you find yourself not sure of what you exactly want in your future boss, then try to think of your past mentors, leaders, bosses or anyone who has been your inspirational leader or manager and what that person possessed.
During the interview process, if you feel there is something suspicious or unclear, try reaching out to previous employees or to people who may know this person and ask about him/her.
By Haneen Kawar
This article originally appeared in Bayt.com. This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.
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