How to Identify a Bad Boss at a Job Interview

A bad boss makes a job unbearable.

A bad boss makes a job unbearable.

Taking a job out of desperation without vetting your future boss is a recipe for disaster. Anyone out in the job market knows that interviewing, especially if you've been looking for a job for a while, is one of the hardest parts of the process. Interviews are your time to ferret out whether the company is a good match for you. Determining the type of boss who will supervise you shouldn't be a guessing game.

Time Management

Consider if your interviewer was on time or if your interview was rescheduled. Even if you're not meeting with your direct supervisor, a company that doesn't expect managers to respect your time may foster a bad boss environment. Setting a good example from the get-go shows that a supervisor understands deadlines and that meetings are important to her. If you become an employee under this boss, you know that she will honor meeting times and keep projects on track.

Do Your Research

Find out as much as you can about the company and your direct supervisor before and after the interview. LinkedIn and Facebook provide some information, and will put you in contact with previous employees of the company. The employer will be researching you, so do the same to find out whether you're compatible with the boss. Don't forget to ask questions about the previous job holder and the expectations for the position. The answers often indicate how a boss manages the department.

Verbal Cues

See how your future boss speaks to others and to you during the interview. Ask difficult questions and pay attention to the answers. Ask about previous projects and then consider if the boss claims all the success or credits her team. Look for answers on taking responsibility for problems and giving credit where it's due. Beware the boss who is out for personal glory and steals your thunder. If you're looking for recognition, you will want to look elsewhere.

Body Language

Observe the body language of your interviewer. Check if she's listening to your answers, checking her cell phone or looking through papers. If it seems your interviewer is distracted, it could be a tactic to see how you handle the situation, but beware the boss who doesn't take time to listen to you. A boss appearing defensive or annoyed during the interviewing process likely won't change if you become her employee. If your questions during the interview annoy her, it doesn't bode well if you would need assistance on the job.

 

About the Author

Rebecca Gilbert began writing and transcribing in 2003. In 2007, she started a resume-writing company. She earned an associate degree in sociology from Pima College and a bachelor's degree in communications at University of Wisconsin. Gilbert also does tech support for a major technology company and volunteers locally teaching job-seeking skills.

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