How To Spot a Good Boss During an Interview

We've all heard sayings like "People quit bosses, not companies."


People leave jobs due to various reasons, but most of these reasons actually boil down to the boss’ action or inaction to lead, engage, and retain people.



Your boss is the one who will impact your work experience most. They determine your work, the people you work with and your job growth. They’re also the person you’ll go to when you face problems or need advice.


In a job interview, your top priority should be evaluating whether the company and the hiring manager is the one you’d like to work for.


Here are some quick tips to help you spot a good leader or a good boss during an interview.


Listen to to their communication style

Good bosses talk and listen. During the interview, pay close attention to the interviewer's communication style. Are they able to communicate clearly and effectively while doing most of the listening? Do they take the time to talk about the role and ask about you? Are they attentive? Do they give you time to speak without interrupting you?


A good boss will pay attention and ask questions about what you have to say, because they want to hear your input. They want to understand your perspective and learn more about your ideas so they can make better decisions.


Understand their priorities by asking and listening to their questions

Are they focused on understanding your skills and experience? Or are they more interested in the industry in which you've worked? Do they want to know about the impact of your performance in past jobs? Or do they want to hear about how you got along with other people? These are probably their priorities on whether you're a good fit for the position.


If your potential boss is curious about your skills, interests and career goals, they are likely more invested in your development and growth than one who only wants to know about your qualifications for the job.


Ask about their expectations for their direct reports or team

One of the best ways to find out how good a boss is, is by asking them questions about how they run their teams. What's their leadership style? How do they coach and motivate people? Do they micromanage or allow people to work autonomously?


A more direct approach is to ask about what you need to achieve in the short term and long term. If they do not have any clear idea of how success looks like, you will most likely have trouble meeting (and exceeding) those expectations.


You can also ask about performance reviews and how regularly they happen. Ideally you want the reviews to be structured and repeatable, so you can improve from one review period to the next.


Recognise what you will potentially learn from them

The most important thing you can get from a job is not the money or the prestige, but the opportunity to learn and grow. The person you will learn from and grow with is, of course, your boss. So when you're at a job interview, it is important to understand and consider what you could learn from the person who will be managing you.


The best scenario is when you get leaders who have been in your shoes and can help guide you through your career. They can help mentor you and teach you valuable lessons from their own experience.


At the end of the day, having a good boss (or managing up) can make all the difference in your career. When you have a great manager, your career path will more likely be defined by organic growth, upward progress within the company, and increased opportunities for advancement.


So don't settle for just anyone. Make sure that you use these tips to spot a good boss during an interview.


Kabel allows you to connect directly with your hirer to discover expectations, shared goals and values.


Download & sign up for Kabel on iOS & Android here.

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