How to identify a bad boss during an interview.

Uncover a Bad Boss During the Interview

In Lists, Working with a Bad Boss by Jason CortelLeave a Comment

It is inevitable that you will have a bad boss or four during your career. If you are looking for a new job you have the luxury of uncovering a bad boss if you pay attention during the interview process. Here are 8 signs that your interviewer will be a bad boss. Knowing these signs will help you remove the mask of the interviewer to determine if they will be a bad boss.

1) Body language

People can do a good enough of a job masking their bad traits through their words but the body language is much harder to mask. Do they roll their eyes or furrow their brow as you are answering a question? Are they avoiding eye contact? Do they have their body turned slightly away from you? Are they watching the clock?

2) Déjà vu

Bad bosses share a lot of the same characteristics. Pay attention to the interviewer to see if they are giving you signs of past bad bosses and don’t ignore them.

3) Unprepared

The questions that the interviewer asks during the interview will show you how much effort they took in preparing for the interview. If the questions they are asking could have been found on your resume or LinkedIn profile it shows they didn’t do their research about you beforehand.  Additionally, their questions should challenge your experience, if the questions are fluffy and not well thought out it is another sign they were unprepared to speak with you.

4) Unable to answer your questions

If the interviewer is unable to answer your questions or gives vague responses it is a sign they are not engaged or that the role you are applying for is not well organized . This is especially true for questions around “what does a day in the life look like”, “what are the measures of success”, “what does an ideal candidate look like”.

5) Bad attitude

Does the interviewer exhibit a lack of enthusiasm for the company or the position you are applying for? These could be signs that the company itself isn’t good or that the boss doesn’t value the role you are applying for.

6) Distrust of others

Are they blaming others for the problem within the organization? Are they bad mouthing others on the team? Additionally, you want a boss who will trust you. Ask questions around the amount of anonymity that would be given in the role you are applying for. A boss who openly displays a lack of trust in others is a sure sign that they will be a bad boss or a micro-manager.

7) Wrong word choices

Is your interviewer using phrases like ‘you will deal with” or are most of the accomplishments described using “ I…”. Perhaps they start their sentences with negative message which indicates their life is full of negativity.

8) Them, them, them

This is a sign that they will be difficult to work with. Are they spending more time talking about their ideas for success over asking you about yours? Or, they are constantly telling you that you are wrong or interrupting you to provide their own answers.

Before you go to an interview spend some time thinking about what you want or need in a boss. Do you want them to be hands on at first and then to step away after you are ramped up? Do you want someone who is passionate about the field you are in or someone who just goes through the motions? What stage of your career are you in and what kind of boss will take you where you want to go? Knowing what you want from a boss will help you identify the questions you should ask and the responses that should be clear by the time the interview is over.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to prevent working for a bad boss? Add to the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter @ #BadBosses.

Jason has a passion for leadership, management, strategic planning, and organizational development. He is recognized for having the ability to develop client-focused organizational cultures through people development resulting in significantly higher customer and employee satisfaction and retention.
Jason CortelUncover a Bad Boss During the Interview

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