How to spot a bad boss during an interview?

Bosses have the ability to change your entire outlook on your professional happiness. Job satisfaction is dependent on many factors, but primarily the following: 1.) The strength of your relationship with your boss and .2) the strength of your boss’s relationship with their boss. In other words, do you have two layers of protection and advocacy to help in your career trajectory? There is a unique type of dread that comes with having a bad boss. It’s important to try to identify whether your prospective supervisor will be a good boss or a bad boss in the interview environment. Bad bosses can make an otherwise good job a nightmare.

Here are some tips on how to spot a bad boss:

  1. Ask Questions

The job interview should be a two-way street. Every interview should be a mutually informative process. Make sure you have at least two or three targeted questions for the interviewers. These questions should be used to flesh out what the work culture of the company is like. One example could be “What are some of the primary challenges that your team faces.” These questions can get to the heart of what it might be like to work for them.

  1. Observe Body Language

During the interview keep your eyes open towards how potential bosses and potential peers carry themselves. Do they seem tense or ill mannered during your interactions? Are they exhibiting other behaviors or mannerisms that you make you uncomfortable? Do people seem relaxed when they interact with them? It’s important to use all the information you gather during the interview process before making an informed decision. Non-verbal communication is key to this assessment.

  1. Do your research

It’s important to research the company culture and departmental culture of a company before taking the job. The internet is your friend when it comes to researching a prospective job opportunity, so take full advantage of it. Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed have peer reviews and employer ratings of most major organizations. These websites are a great place to start with your assessment. Be sure do your online research, but make sure your firsthand impressions are weighted heavily when forming your opinions.


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