Interviews are a two-way street. While you might be trying to get a job, you also want to know if you’re getting a bad boss in the process. You can’t just ask “Do you suck at being a boss?” but you might be able to get an idea with subtler questions.
Photo by Matthew W. Jackson.
Business bog Harvard Business Review suggests asking questions about how you’ll work as though you already have the job in order to get a feel for how working with this potential employer will go. Ask them questions about how your day-to-day tasks will be carried out, or brainstorm a project if you can. This will give you an insight into how they think:
At the same time, you can watch how she responds. “Look for her willingness to engage in dialogue, rather than asking you pre-established questions,” says Fernández-Aráoz. “Think of it like rehearsing a collaborative working session with your future boss.” If she’s willing to engage with you during the interview, she’ll likely engage with you in a working relationship. After (and only after) you’ve built rapport, ask questions that will elicit her expectations for the person filling the position, and any potential downsides of the job.
Of course, you can’t judge anyone totally off of one conversation, but this will likely get you much more information than asking “So, how do you manage your employees?” It will also show an eagerness on your part to work and (hopefully) an understanding of how that work would go.