Two-Way Street: Interviewing your boss-to-be

Bill and Richard over at their Contented Cows blog write about being choosy about your next boss. Ask your potential manager some pointed questions then be prepared to drill down into their answers:

* What’s your proudest moment thus far as a manager? Listen carefully for “I answers” as opposed to “we answers.” Is this person a narcissist (a legend in their own mind), or someone who is more likely to be considerate of others (you)?

* What kind of workers do best on your team? Turn your listening devices up on this one, as the response can suggest whether this person is willing to be challenged, willing to be wrong, apt to listen to others’ points of view, and whether they’ve even taken any interest in the folks on their team.

* What’s the turnover rate like on your team? Whereas a high rate (> 40% annually) might suggest that the person is a poor recruiter, a jerk, or just personally inconsiderate, an abnormally low rate might suggest something even worse - a complete lack of standards.


When first interviewing with the recruiter, ask them these questions about the hiring manager; if they don't know the answers, send them back to get'em. But be forewarned - you'll be surprised how many recruiters (corporate and third-party) will get their noses bent out of shape for asking these questions.

Keep in mind that many bosses are also legends in their own minds so if it sounds as if a herd of diahhretic is walking through then be prepared to really get into their answers. And if you don't want to do it because your scared of the repercussions, well, then you'll get what you didn't ask for.

In the end, the recruiting process is a two-way street and the only insurance you have is asking the right questions.

More boss grilling from Forbes

Views: 140

Comment by Dan Nuroo on April 5, 2009 at 9:49am
Amen... It has to be. My advice to job seekers, is be active in your own employment search. Don't believe in what you read, that the employer has all the power. You have to agree to work for them as much as they have to agree to hire you!

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