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Interviewing Your Next Boss Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

Many of you probably think that the tile of my blog is bizarre. You probably believe that the sole purpose of an interview is to help a company decide whether or not to hire you. While that may be true, the more important thing happening during an interview is your decision about whether or not to go work for the prospective boss.

How well you work with your boss is going to be a HUGE component of your success at your new company. Your boss determines your promotions, your raises, and also determines whether you continue to be employed at all. The boss has more power than you realize. Without chemistry in that relationship, you are basically doomed.

Many of you know what I am talking about. Some of you were hired by a company and soon after you started working, your boss changed assignments (or companies). Sometimes this turns out to be a blessing and other times it's a curse, depending on the relationship that you develop.

In other cases, your boss remains the same, but similar to a relationship after a few weeks of dating, your boss' true colors come out. In those situations, don't you wish that you would have asked just a few questions so that you might have know more about the boss BEFORE you accepted the offer? I bet you do.

Here are several questions that you can ask the prospective boss during the interview:

  1. How do you measure success?

  2. What is your management style – more hands on or off?

  3. What are some of your pet peeves?

  4. How do you encourage your employees to grow?

  5. How have you recognized your employees in the past?

  6. What are the opportunities for cross training?

  7. How do you reward performance?

  8. What are your personal goals for the department?

  9. How can I help you be more successful?

  10. What has turnover been like in your department?

Some bosses are not going to appreciate being given the third degree so scatter one or two of these questions in your interview instead. Then, ask other members of the interview team to help you answer the rest of the questions (in an unobtrusive way). It may also behoove you to do some background checking on your boss much like what the boss is doing regarding you. If you can find someone who used to work for the boss, ask them what it was really like. Be careful about the questions you ask people about the new boss as anything you ask may get back to the boss unknowingly.

It is critical that your boss' management style and your work style meld together well. Some bosses are direct and others beat around the bush. Some micromanage you while others let you sink or swim on your own. You will achieve much more success by choosing the right partner who may, in the right circumstances, later become your mentor.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Finding the right match at work is nearly as important to your happiness as finding the right mate. Spend time searching for details about your new boss on Google and LinkedIn. You may learn some interesting facts about him or her that will help you say yay or nay. Notice the office vibe – are people smiling and laughing or yelling and complaining? If your research and questioning points to nay, walk away. Or else, you may find yourself searching again sooner than you'd like to.
 
  • Tired of all the rejection? If you're interested in learning the Absolute truth about why you're struggling, sign up for a one hour "Capture a Recruiter" phone session today. Reach out to me today with any questions and for an absolutely amazing discount coupon!

Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!