Working with a good boss is a pleasure for any employee. A good boss knows how to make their employees work in a healthy environment. An employee who enjoys his work will produce good work. Thus an employee’s productivity can be negatively affected by his relationship with his boss. Bad bosses are not common in workplaces. Even if you are working in a company of your choice, your boss can turn your job into a nightmare. But you can spot such a toxic boss during your interview. Interviews are tough times for candidates; but interviews also provide you opportunities to assess your future manager- whether you can work with him or consider some other companies for job openings.
It is not always possible to predict whether a person will prove to be a bad boss during interviews, as candidates themselves remain nervous and pre-occupied with their performances. Knowing a few warning signs beforehand will surely help them to spot such a bad person:
1. Arriving late for the interview: Being late for the interview is a warning sign that the manager does not know the value of time. Or he is not enjoying his work. On the other hand, if he informs you well ahead of time that he will arrive late or says ‘sorry’ or asks for apology on being late, he may be a nice person to deal with.
2. Unimpressive body language: A person who displays negative body language, being in an important role like that of manager is sure to prove a bad boss. He may look at the door, phone or watch again and again, avoid making eye contact, attends to personal calls over his phone, recheck your resume. Again he may look down or point fingers at you while talking. Such behaviour shows his disinterest in conducting the interview.
3. Choice of Words: If he is a good manager, positivity will dominate his ideas and use of language. It may happen that most of his sentences begin with negative words or ideas and he tries to justify that or change the topic in a tactful way. This is a clear sign that the person takes things negatively and this negativity may prevail in his work also.
4. Willing to discuss irrelevant and illegal topics: The hiring manager is here to judge whether you are the best candidate to suit the company’s job requirement. His discussions should be focussed on your education, experience and any topic regarding the company, job profile or current affairs. If he asks you questions regarding illegal topics like gender identity, nationality, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, etc. it means that the person is unethical and surely not trained.
5. Not ready to listen: Listening is an art; not everyone can be a master in this. But a boss is expected to excel in this basic mannerism. During the interview, if a person is not ready to listen to your answers, he will probably be a bad boss who would like to dominate and let people listen to his thoughts only. The common gestures these persons do are signalling you to speed up, interrupting you to listen to what they have to say and jump to the next question before you finish the previous answer.
6. Not knowing about the company’s culture and immediate goals: A good manager will surely know for sure what is happening within the company, it’s goals and mission. If you ask 2 or 3 questions regarding the company’s culture, annual turnover and current projects, his answers will be indicators of whether he is a resource or burden to the company.
7. Pre-occupation with his own self: If he is a toxic boss, he will be pre-occupied with his own self and own ideas. He will not listen to what you are saying in order to explain his own view-point. He will probably interrupt you and try to glorify himself. Usually these narcissist people try to impose their thoughts on you and take credit for your achievements.
8. Employees try to avoid him: To spot a bad boss, you need to be a bit cautious. Try to observe the behaviour of other employees when the boss passes by. If the employees go back to their seats hurriedly and start working, he may not be an easy person deal with. If his co-workers are not friendly towards him and quickly turn around to avoid eye-contact with him, it’s time for you to look for the exit door.
9. Conducting the interview in unprofessional ways: Any manager must follow the basic rules of interviewing. For example, he must greet the interviewee, introduce himself and take efforts to make the candidate comfortable. He must be calm, polite so that a good atmosphere is built for the upcoming conversation. But if he comes straight to the point and starts asking questions, he is probably too professional and is concerned only about his work. He might give you a tough time in the future when you will be requesting him for leaves, promotion or any other work-related issues.
Again if the manager asks you too simple questions, answers to which can be found in your cover letter or resume, he himself might not be a very efficient person who knows his work well. A good manager must ask you questions that help them to know your talents in a way that can benefit the company.
10. Some common bad behaviour: Bad-mouthing other employees, lack of trust, stressful behaviours, lack of enthusiasm for the company, lack of serious thoughts etc. are some dangerous signs. Besides, if the person yells at others (including employees, peons or office boys), throw things, slams doors and over-reacts to simple things or comments you must not opt for the current position in the current company.
A good boss is an efficient leader who must not be scatter-brained. A bad boss can use means of threatening, public humiliation to make your professional life hell. If you notice some of the above-mentioned signs existing in the boss during the interview, you know that he is surely not the person you would like to work with. Assess him and make good decisions for your future life.