How to Spot a Bad Boss While Job Searching

When you're involved in a job search, it’s easy to get caught up in focusing on all of the tangible aspects you’re looking for in your new position. You make a detailed list of what you’re willing to accept and what won’t meet your needs, from compensation to benefits.

But have you considered some of the aspects of a new job that aren’t on paper? What about the type of boss that you require for your next position?

Sometimes, there will be vibrant red flags you can’t ignore. But more often, the signs of a poor manager are more subtle. Look for signals throughout the hiring process to identify concerns at each step.

Before the Interview

Look up employee reviews and research the manager on LinkedIn. You can learn a lot from a LinkedIn profile. How long do their direct reports tend to stay? Is there a lot of turnover?

Ideally, you’ll want to discover a well-spoken industry professional. Do they convey a tone of arrogance or appear to have less-than-professional interactions with anyone who reports to them? That should spur you to consider everything more closely.

During the Interview

While interviewing, managers shouldn’t be answering texts or taking phone calls. Honestly, that’s disrespectful regardless of title or position. Instead, they should be devoting all of their attention to you, determining if you’ll be an excellent fit for the team.

A distracted boss might be a sign that they lack time management and will be unable to provide you with the kind of job and career support you need to thrive.

After the Interview

After you’ve finished your interview, did you feel like you just ended up having a fantastic conversation full of possibilities? Or, does your gut tell you that something’s amiss? If so, listen to that feeling!

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