Having a good boss or manager can make your job more enjoyable and a little easier. So it’s not a surprise that one in two people have left a job to get away from a manager at some point in their career. That’s why when you’re interviewing for a job it’s important to keep in mind you’re not just there to impress the hiring manager, but you also need to decide if the company and manager are right for you. You may have found a job that meets your compensation needs and the work-life balance you desire. But how do you know you’ve found a manager you want to work for? Follow these tips to help you decide.
Pay Attention to the Questions
The types of questions a hiring manager asks and the order in which they ask questions could be a hint to what they find important. If they’re asking questions about your future goals, they’re interested in professional development. Questions about your personal interests could mean they care about you as an individual, which is an important question to look out for if you care about work-life balance.
If a potential employer is more focused on your past responsibilities instead of your extra initiatives, they’re most likely looking for someone to follow direct orders and will most likely micromanage. Alternatively, if the hiring manager is asking about your opinions on strategies, they’re most likely a delegator and looking for someone that can be a self-starter.
Asking questions in your interview not only helps you learn more about the role and the company but about the manager as well. You just need to choose your questions wisely. Ask questions like “what do you like most about your job?” or “what are your frustrations with your job?” Pay attention to the answers, they could give you an insight into the passion they have for their job and which values they find important. Also, ask questions about the team dynamics and how you might fit into and shape the team.
The most direct way to learn about their management style is to ask. It is acceptable to ask about their management style because you want to get a clear picture of how they make decisions and how you might be involved in the process. Really pay attention to the response. Does it seem sincere or rehearsed?
If you don’t get to interview with your potential manager for some reason, it would be a good time to ask the interviewer what it’s like to work for your potential boss. They’re most likely not going to say anything negative but pay attention to how sincere they come across.
Notice What Has Not Been Said
A hiring manager that is not paying attention to your answers and seems disengaged in the interview, or is maybe looking at their phone, is not someone you want to work for. If your potential boss is acting like this in an interview, they’re most likely going to behave similarly on a daily basis.
If you’re able, pay attention to how the hiring manager interacts with your potential coworkers. Are they friendly or abrupt? If you feel the interview has gone well, you could ask if you could meet some of your potential coworkers. If they’re reluctant, think about why that might be. Is there a strained relationship with the existing employees?
Do Your Research
It’s not a bad idea to do some research on your potential employer. They’re doing the same research on you. Search for any news articles they may have been mentioned in and check out their LinkedIn profile. If you felt like there were red flags during the interview, see if you can find any past employees on LinkedIn that maybe have worked with the manager and shoot them a message asking about their experience working with the manager. They may or may not respond, but if they do you should get a better picture of the person you may work under.
There is no way to know for sure what it will be like to work for a hiring manager until you start working, but it’s a good idea to get the all information you can and, of course, go with your gut. Choosing to take a new job is an important decision, so extra research can be beneficial.
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