Avoiding a Bad Boss

Boss yelling at employee on megaphoneNothing is scarier than working for a bad boss. The trouble is, in many cases you have little control over who you work for and how they will behave. That’s one advantage of the job search process – you get to interview your new boss to see if there’s a fit.

This is no trick people. The treat we’ve been denying ourselves is the fact that an interview is a two way street. As the candidate, you should be assessing the corporate culture, the team and especially your potential manager to see if there is alignment between your styles and career aspirations. The following questions can help you get a read on your new manager:

  1. Why did you come to and stay with the company? Look for signs of talking up others and/or being grateful and optimistic about the opportunities he/she had along the way. 
  2. Any must dos or secrets to success in this organization? Look for endorsements of collaboration and communication as oppose to a “do it all on your own” mindset. Humble, effective leaders often attribute success to others and/or luck. At the same time they admit to, own, and learn from their mistakes. 
  3. What’s your management style? What are your hot buttons? Watch out for signs of micro management and other things that would drive you crazy. Also honestly reflect on whether their managerial approach would compliment and challenge what you need at this stage of your career.
  4. What’s the next step for people who do well in this role? This will give clues as to whether he/she is a talent developer and helps people navigate a career path, stifles their growth by hoarding talent, or sends them running for the hills.

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