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6 Ways You Can Spot a Bad Boss During an Interview

2 out of 3 former employees of the average company say that the reason why they left their job was because they had a bad boss. Whether that perception is justified or not, it is just as important to avoid having a bad boss as it is to find a job you are passionate about to reduce the amount of stress your employment places on your life. During an interview, you’re often trying to convince a boss that you’re the best prospect for an open position, right?

But what if you took that interview opportunity to determine if that boss was the right type of supervisor for you? Bad bosses will give you red flags during an interview that can be spotted. If you can see them, then you can avoid a potentially devastating employment situation. Here are the ways you can spot a bad boss during your next interview.

#1. Listen to your gut. Most people know that a boss is going to be a bad one just by their natural instincts. The only problem is that most of us are willing to ignore this instinct because we need to earn a paycheck to support ourselves and our family. There’s a good chance that if you take a job with a bad boss, you’ll be out of work in 6 months or less anyway, so listen to your instincts. Don’t take a job your gut is telling you to avoid.

#2. Be aware of personality conflicts. Certain personalities naturally conflict with each other because of the way information is given and received. People who are more dominant will struggle to work with people who are more controlling. People who are more supportive can struggle to work with people who need tremendous amounts of information to make a decision. Know yourself and then look for cues from the boss about their personality. If you sense conflict, then get out of there because you’ll have a communication gap as long as you report to that boss.

#3. Have the interviewer describe the actual job requirements. If you ask a boss about their leadership style or direct questions about their personality, you probably won’t receive a 100% authentic answer. Interviewers are selling a job opening that they may be desperate to fill. They’ll tell you virtually anything you want to hear if they think you’re a top candidate. Ask instead about what a worker does every day in this position. Think about how you’ll learn the job. By making your questions about the job instead of the boss, you’ll both be able to get a clear picture of what you’d look like in that job.

#4. Know the company. Many candidates fail on one important step of the interviewing process: they don’t research the company. Just about everything you need to know about an open position can be found on a company’s website, through reviews on a site like LinkedIn, or even a couple of targeted Google searches. You should know before going into an interview whether or not you’ll be a good fit on that team or within that organization.

#5. Show up early and ask questions. You should always show up 15-30 minutes for an interview. This will give you the chance to meet a few folks who might be working for the boss in question already. You can ask questions about what they like and don’t like about their job so you get a clearer picture of what to expect going into your interview.

#6. Language says a lot. How a boss treats you during an interview is likely how you’ll be treated when working for them. If the boss is defensive, aggressive, or tries to dominate you during an interview, even if it’s just in body language, then you’re more likely to be treated as an expendable resource. Look for a boss that is relaxed, somewhat conversational, and willing to engage in a dialogue to avoid many common red flags that are overlooked.

By paying attention to the red flags that bad bosses send out during the interview process, you can avoid many future headaches. Keep these tips in mind during your next interview and hopefully you’ll be able to find the dream job you’ve always wanted.

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