Ask About Management Style In A Job Interview To Avoid A Bad Boss

We've talked about how to avoid getting sucked into a bad job, and what you can do about bad bosses, but avoiding a bad boss starts in the interview. Ask the hiring manager about their management style, and what types of people work best with them. The answers you get now can save you a lot of stress later.

Photo by aurenar (Shutterstock).

Over at US News Money, Alison Green lists off a number of tips to help you avoid a bad boss in the first place (many of which we've covered before). One that stood out to us is the direct approach: Ask about the boss's management style front and centre in your job interview. Of course, you can't stop them from lying to you if they do, but you can at least ask. Here are some questions she proposes:

  • "What type of person works best with you, and what type of person doesn't do as well?""What do you think staff members would say if asked to describe your management style?"
  • "How do people you manage know what they're doing well and where they can improve?"

She says, and we agree, that no manager is going to tell you they're horrible to work for, but many will outright tell you they're "demanding". If you have a hiring manager that avoids the question or straight out claims they have no idea how their staff would describe them, you may be in for trouble working for that person. Even if the manager jokingly says "Oh, they'd probably say I'm a terrible boss!" and goes on to clarify, you still might be better off taking that first warning.

How to Avoid Working for a Bad Boss [On Careers: US News Money]


    The second question "How do people you manage know what they’re doing well and where they can improve?”" is a really good one. Thanks.

    Sadly my experience is that you only really get to know your managers management style in the context of the company's culture in about 3-6 months into the job

    I have learnt this again today. Regrettably did not ask the right questions at the time, which ended up in my resignation today. Perfect timing for this article! Lifehacker stalking me or what?

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