According to research, the number one reason that workers leave their jobs is because of their bosses. As the saying goes, “People don’t leave their jobs. They leave their bosses.”
You may wonder then if there is any way to determine at the job interview if the interviewer (your potential boss) will be someone that you want to work for or run from. After all, your boss has the potential to make or break you at work.
Here are some early indicators that may let you know during the interview if the potential boss is one you should avoid:
Disrespectful behavior. If the interviewer keeps you waiting and then doesn’t apologize for making you wait when he or she finally comes out to greet you, this is an indication that this potential boss will be disrespectful in other ways. Disrespectful behavior can also include the interviewer checking email while the talking to you or looking bored and watching the clock.
Unrealistic expectations. I had a client who interviewed for a sales position, and I knew from what she shared with me that the interviewer’s expectations for how much she would generate in sales in the first year was totally unrealistic. This client was desperate for a job so she took the position in spite of my warnings. A few weeks later she contacted me for help to get out of a terrible situation. If the interviewer has unrealistic expectations from the interview, you can only expect things to get worse if you take the job.
Focus is on the interviewer. When an interviewer is solely focused on him or herself and not on you as the interviewee, this spells trouble. The interviewer should be carefully assessing you as a candidate to make sure that the person is making a good hiring decision. An interviewer’s overemphasis on him or herself can be an indication of an egomaniac.
Interpersonal dynamics. You should pay close attention to the interpersonal dynamics between your potential boss and other employees in the organization. This is relatively easy to do if you have a panel interview where potential colleagues of yours are interviewing you along with the potential boss. It also makes sense to observe interactions that are casual, such as how the potential boss treats others who are just walking down the hallway. The interviewer may put his or her best foot forward in the interview, but it is probably that the person will slip up when talking to others in the organization.
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