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5 Ways to Avoid a Bad Boss In a Job Interview

Many people enter a job interview trying to impress the hiring manager on the other side of the table. The interview is really a two-way street that allows an applicant to see if a company really is a place that they’ll want to work! It’s also the chance to spot a bad boss before you accept a job offer. When you use these 5 methods to avoid a bad boss that you can spot in any interview, then you’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary misery.

#1. There’s Bad Energy In the Office

My favorite job interview question was this: “How would you respond to an employee who was upset about their health care benefits being raised?” There were four other people in the room and after the question was asked, they all sat back in their chairs and crossed their arms. Two things became apparent: health care benefits at this company were being slashed AND no one was happy about it. If there’s bad energy in an office, there’s bound to be a bad office. Say a quick “Thank you!” and don’t look back.

#2. Your Interviewer Doesn’t Care… or Cares Too Much

On my very first job interview, the hiring manager asked if I wanted a soda. I declined. Then he asked me if I liked the sandwiches from the local deli in town. I did, so he offered to share part of his sandwich. I declined that too. Then he asked if I wanted to go out for drinks later. I got up and left. When an interviewer is disinterested, then he doesn’t care about the company and that’s a bad boss. If your interviewer is trying to be your buddy, then they’re desperate and that’s a sign of a bad boss as well.

#3. Where Do You See Yourself in 12 Months?

It’s a popular question that an interviewer will ask an applicant, but it’s more fun to turn that question around when you get the chance. “How would you define success in this position in 12 months?” I asked during an interview once. Her response was surprising. She’d drawn up a complete outline of her expectations for the new employee and what they would achieve. A bad boss has assumptions and preconceived notions about you that you’ll never really end up meeting. Stay far, far away.

#4. Does Your Interviewer Ramble?

The worst question I’ve ever been asked in an interview was this: “If you were a road sign, then which sign would you be and why?” Questions like this have no bearing on an interview unless the hiring manager holds a doctorate in psychology. For the average interview, it means that you’ve got a bad boss on your hands because they don’t know how to build an effective team. There’s a good chance you could become the boss in this situation, but there’s an equally good chance you’ll be treated for migraines in 3 months too.

#5. High Turnover Is Bad News

Some jobs have high turnover rates, like child protection workers. Other jobs have high turnover rates because of bad bosses. The interview is your chance to find out why the position opened up and what the company expects of the new employee. Try to chat up the team to see what is going on as well. If everyone is negative, defensive, and avoids you at all cost, then avoid that job at all costs.

These 5 signs can sometimes be hard to spot and you can still end up working for a bad boss, but these tips can reduce those chances dramatically. Use the interview as your own tool and you’ll be able to find your dream job sooner rather than later.

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