Many job seekers miss a golden opportunity when they are
asked towards the end of an interview if they have any
questions. If they feel the interviewer adequately explained
the position, they make the mistake of answering "No" to this
question. But this is the perfect time to find out if you
really want to work for this person! After all,
even a wonderful job can turn into a miserable experience if
you don't get along with the person you work for.
Here's how to find out if the boss will be as great as the
job -- ask these questions during the interview:
1. "What's your ideal employee
like?" Asking this question will give you an
idea of what this boss would expect from you. Listen
carefully to the answer and deduce what it will mean for
you. For example, if her ideal employee works
independently, you'll know this boss is not
a micromanager. If her ideal employee follows procedures
without question, you'll know it may be an uphill battle to
implement changes or new ideas. If her ideal employee works
long hours, don't expect to leave on time every night.
2. "What are the other people in the office
like?" Does this boss really know the people
who work for her? Does she list their accomplishments with
pride or say something vague and unimpressive? Note her
tone of voice when she talks about her team. Is she
enthusiastic or disappointed?
3. "How does an employee succeed on your
team?" Hopefully she'll give you something more
enlightening than "Do the job right." You want to learn
what standards are expected. For example, if it's a sales
position, will you be expected to exceed a specific dollar
value in sales or obtain a percentage of satisfied customers?
So if her answer is too generic, you may have to follow up
with more questions to get specifics. Ask about the
typical career path for an employee who successfully meets
4. "How do you go about solving
problems?" How she answers this question can
give you insight into her management style. Does she prefer
to take charge when things go wrong, or encourage her team to
In addition to the answers themselves, note this person's
overall attitude about answering these questions. If
she was open to them and answered thoughtfully, she's
probably someone who enjoys promoting good working
relationships. If you're offered the job, you shouldn't
have any hesitations about working for this person. But
if she appeared to resent the questions and didn't answer
them to your satisfaction, she's not someone you'd
want to work for.
It's better to know this sooner rather than later!