How to Judge the Reliability of Your Boss During an Interview

October 20, 2014 3 mins read
How to Judge the Reliability of Your Boss During an Interview

Once you have found a position that is well suited to your abilities, you will inevitably have to go through an extensive interview process.

As you work your way from an initial meeting with the HR staff, to an interview with your immediate superior, to a meeting with a group of potential colleagues, to a chat with the guy all the way at the top of the ladder, it is not only the company who will be scrutinizsng your abilities and potential—you will also develop your own assessments of the company.One of the main priorities in your assessment of that company will no doubt be whether or not you are compatible with your boss. So, how can you judge within an hour-long interview whether or not you’ve found the right boss for you?

1) Their skills:

  • Are the questions they’re asking professional and incisive? If you are reasonably proficient within your field, you should be able to judge from a quick discussion how your interlocutor’s skills compare to your own. If your potential boss is less skilled than you are, then forget it! If they’re more skilled, then you would do well to learn from them.
  • Are they willing to analyse and resolve issues for you? If you find yourself totally stumped by one of their questions, then you may humbly ask them for help. In doing so, you will be able to see whether or not they’re willing to share their take on the question with you. If they are, then congratulations, you’ve found yourself a decent boss who you can work with; if they’re not, then don’t bother.
  • Did they tell you at the end of the interview what you need to work on? Generally, when the interview comes to an end, you will have the opportunity to ask, “Is there anything that I need to improve?” If your potential boss is willing to give you some pointers, then that’s a good sign that they’re a reliable and supportive person.


2) Their behaviour:

a) The style of the interview: Every interviewer has their own unique style. Generally, employers who adopt a gentle manner of speaking during the interview will also be relatively harmonious in the workplace and won't go out of their way to make things difficult for you. On the other hand, employers who are uptight and tense during the interview will most likely act the same way in the workplace, creating a relatively abrasive work atmosphere.

b) Are they willing to listen attentively? You couldn't ask for anything better than a boss who is willing to listen to your advice and opinions, and who will discuss your opinions with you. Therefore, if your employer is willing to spend a lot of time listening attentively to your explanations, and is willing to have open discussions with you during the interview, they'll probably be a great boss.

c) Do you get along well with them? There are some people who you will always find pleasant to talk to no matter what, and others with whom even the shortest conversation will feel like a chore. You should be able to sense which category your potential boss belongs to from your interview.

d) Their expressions: While this may sound fairly ambiguous, it is true that you can tell a lot about a person's character from their expressions. A warm and gentle expression is generally a good indicator of a reliable boss.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China