Unfortunately, job candidates often don’t take time to assess whether a potential manager is going to be good for them. But they should, as pre-interview research is a great opportunity to glean information regarding their approach to leadership, their expectations of you, and their personality.
A boss or manager can have a substantial effect on your job satisfaction, career, mental well-being, and ability to succeed in the role. Consider the following ways to assess a potential boss ahead of your next interview.
How Can You Research Your Next Interviewer?
Consider What Kind of Boss They Would Be
Start your research by trying to find clues about a potential boss’s management style. While you could simply ask them in the interview, some managers — especially the poorer ones — haven’t given much thought to their management approach. For example, a micromanager probably won’t tell you they like to in control of everything.
A potential manager’s LinkedIn profile should offer some hints. Check to see if they have given or received recommendations from their employees. If so, it’s a promising sign that they are supportive (at least publicly). It can also indicate that they realize the importance of good working relationships. Also, look at the people they follow, who they engage with, and the content they share. Collectively, this information can reveal how passionate they are about their line of work and growing their career.
You can also find out a lot about someone’s management style by asking current and former direct reports. If you know anyone who has worked for this person or even someone who has worked at the company, don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
Finally, consider how any information you’ve learned about the manager’s style compares to the company’s stated values. If you notice major discrepancies, such as a laid-back style and a buttoned-up culture, it might be seen as a red flag, especially if the manager hasn’t been with the company for long.
What are Their Priorities and Pressures?
Understanding the kinds of projects that a manager is supervising will allow you to gauge the difficulties they’re facing, the kinds of interview questions you’ll likely be asked, and what the organization is looking for in an ideal candidate.
Obviously, you can Google the manager’s name and search social media to look at the kinds of subjects they are linked to and posting about. Some tech managers have a personal blog or website that can be quite revealing about the kinds of work they do. Trying to find a hiring manager’s name on GitHub or industry forums can provide you with some clues about technical needs and the demands on their team.
What Are Their Interests?
Looking into a potential manager’s personal interest can reveal a common background or interests. If you can find a common ground, it can help build a personal connection that could land you the job, or a great offer. Having a good personal relationship with your boss also goes beyond the interview, as it can have a profound positive impact on your job satisfaction.
Company leaders need certain qualities if they want to draw in and retain talent. Identifying these qualities is essential to develop strong leaders who create a feedback loop of talent and success inside the organization.
A word of warning: You’ll want to avoid bringing up anything your research found that might be controversial or too personal. Talking politics or mentioning your interviewer’s children will likely be seen as a major red flag.
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