When you’re interviewing, what are you looking for in a boss and how do you find answers? What people say is secondary to how they behave. Actions speak louder than words. Some actions you can see and experience during an interview. Other feedback is available from current or past employees, by chat sites, or on-line company websites.
Here’s a list of behaviors that most employees are looking for in a boss:
- GIVES CLEAR DIRECTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS– One of the most important indicators of an effective boss is clear guidelines and knowledge of what your results should look like. In that way you have a clear picture of expectations. When you have the correct information your job is much easier. When a boss is ambiguous about what is needed or what the end result should look like, your performance will be problematic.
- PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY TO GROW – If you’re not learning new things and growing in responsibilities, then you’re stalling out. Once you’ve learned and mastered the job you were initially hired to do, will you be given additional tasks? Ask what’s the plan once you’ve proven high performance in your current job. Is there a career plan for you? Will you receive training and development for potential promotion? How many subordinates have moved on to higher levels of responsibilities over what time period?
- IS POSITIVE AND SUPPORTIVE TOWARD OTHERS – Positive reinforcement is a powerful device. It can encourage higher performance and reinforce team effort. Look for it while interviewing. Praise can be contagious. Look for the boss who is upbeat, positive, optimistic, and encouraging, has high standards and provides support when needed. On the other hand, put-downs or negative humor can demoralize an individual or work group. Make sure you are compatible with the style of management of your potential boss.
- IS RECEPTIVE AND ASKS FOR FEEDBACK – The hiring boss who constantly talks, dominates the conversation and seldom if ever asks for your view is self-absorbed with his needs and doesn’t consider your contribution. Some employees may not like to be asked their opinion or views, but usually they find themselves with questions they should have asked. Good bosses want feedback and intelligent questions. Many times they find information or get alternative solutions that will achieve greater results.
- IS RECEPTIVE TO OTHER IDEAS – My experience is that employees who perform a job day-to-day can usually identify ways to increase productivity, improve performance or reduce costs. But they usually need to be asked. Those who are afraid of their boss usually don’t volunteer ideas.
- LISTENS TO YOU FULLY – The best bosses are able to listen, really listen to you, whether it’s an issue that is preventing results, or a concern, or a helpful idea you have. A boss who doesn’t listen is restricted by what he already knows. It’s almost impossible to learn while you’re talking.
You are interviewing the company and your future boss just like they are interviewing you.
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