The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

January 17, 2017

How to Assess Your Future Boss in an Interview

Evaluating the potential for career development is the most basic tenant of changing jobs. Ideally, your future job will enable you to build on your current skillset, to assume greater responsibility, and to confront new challenges.

Similarly important is an assessment of the person to whom you will report—your future boss. Poor manager-employee relationships are the biggest driver of voluntary resignations. Are you looking for a stable position in which you’ll learn, grow, and ultimately qualify for raises, bonuses, and promotions? We thought so.

Work relationships thrive when a manager is competent, passionate, and respectful and demonstrates strong leadership skills. Here’s what to ask and look for in your next job interview to gauge your compatibility with your future boss.

ASK: Why is this position open?

This will help you understand:
The quality of their leadership capabilities
How difficult or easy they are to work for
How well their team is performing

ASK: What do you like about working here?

You’ll get a sense of:
Their personality
How happy and engaged they are in their job
Their workplace values

ASK: How will you measure or define success in this position?

Get a closer look at:
How organized they are
If they will micromanage, be hands-off, or somewhere in between
How and when they will provide feedback

ASK: What is the biggest challenge facing the team?

Receive insight regarding:
Their priorities
Their working style

OBSERVE: How closely they are paying attention to you as you speak

Get an idea of:
How well-mannered they are
The extent to which they’re interested in you
How strong or weak their communication skills are

OBSERVE: How clearly or vaguely he or she answers your questions

This will reveal:
Their work ethic and how committed they are to finding the right person for the job
How much you’ll learn from them
Their level of interaction with the position and managerial style

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