If you are back in the job market because you dislike
your current manager, youre not alone. Have you ever heard
anyone say, I like what I do, I just dont like who I do
it for? The majority of people leave their employer not because
of money but because of their manager. The last time I checked the
statistic was 70%.
You certainly dont want to find yourself working
for another manager like the one youre planning to leave. So
how do you recognize a toxic, unfit manager? Have you considered a
strategy for identifying these unhappy and disturbing people?
When you are offered an interview, you naturally get
excited. You prepare to meet your potential manager. You use all the
resources available, lay out your clothes, rehearse your interview
and talk to your loved ones about your big opportunity. But allow me
to add something to your To Do list that could save you
from making a big mistake.
Candidates are eager to land a job and often forget to
assess if the hiring manager is one that they would like to work
with. Consider your meeting as a two-way interview. Make some mental
notes of your own and ask a few questions, too. Here are a few
techniques to keep in mind during your interview that will help
ensure your satisfaction with the new manager.
1. Ask Pointed Questions - Most interviewees
ask questions similar to, Am I going to have training,
How many vacation days do I get and Are there
programs that will allow me to improve my knowledge? While
these are indeed valid questions, they wont help you to
identify a managers attitude or behavior.
Consider asking questions like, How do you
protect your employees from occupational burnout, What
are the specific measures that you take when one of your employees
has been unfairly treated and Do you encourage employees
to make decisions on their own? With these kinds of questions
you will be able to determine the flexibility of the manager as well
as his/her position on coming to the aid of employees under their charge.
2. Listen You have a lot on your mind
during an interview. Quite often, nervous people tend to talk
excessively. Resist the temptation to do so. Aside from asking a few
pointed questions, most of your time should be used to observe your
prospective manager. Pay attention to their manner of speech. Listen
carefully to how they phrase their comments, and the answers to your
questions. Are you receiving solid information or vague responses?
You will gain much more information by listening than by talking.
3. Be Bold - If you are not clear about the
information you receive politely ask for clarification. Most good
managers appreciate your honesty. It will also show your interest in
the company and your new position.
4. Become A Detective Finding out as
much information as you can about the company, your position and your
manager can save you from making a career mistake. Some excellent
ways to do this are to:
a. Arrange a tour of your new
department and talk with the employees who currently work there.
Notice their demeanor and their reaction when you and the manager
walk into the room. Casually ask them how long they have worked in
b. Ask your interviewer the question, What
is the turnover rate of your company and the department I would
potentially be working in?
c. Ask the question, What is your
Compare your mental notes from the tour and the above
two questions. Look for consistency between these three elements. As
an example, well say the manager states that he or she manages
with a family attitude and always puts employees first. However, from
your tour you discover that none of the employees has been working
for this manager longer than a few months and that no one is smiling
or talking with each other. Caution is in order here. While there
could be several reasons for this set of circumstances, it definitely
deserves further investigation.
5. Go With Your Intuition - Your intuition can
tell you a lot about important decisions. Trust your inner compass.
Relaxed and let go of the fear of not getting the job. In most cases,
your gut feeling will lead you in the right direction.
What do you do if the answers to your questions, your
tour and your managers attitude all leave negative imprints?
You must ask yourself if it is worth working in an environment with a
boss you might not like. Would this new job be worth a decrease in
the quality of your life?
As you see, all these techniques require one important
thing - thinking out of the box. If you have your mind attached to
the end outcome of getting the job, you are less likely to judge what
you see objectively. Remember, an interview is a two-way street.
While the manager is looking you over, you can look for information
that will save you from working for a toxic manager.
By Carole Nicolaides, Copyright © 2001, All
Rights Reserved www.progressiveleadership.com