Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / APR. 06, 2015
version 3, draft 3

Warning Signs a Future Boss Might Be a Jerk

If you’re working under a tyrant boss, you might seek a new position and hope for a better experience. But the truth is it’s difficult to know whether a future boss will be trouble until you’ve accepted a position. However, there might be tell-tale signs in an interview that you’re making the same mistake twice. Here are six warning signs that a prospective boss might be a jerk.

See also: 10 Things Only a Bad Boss Will Tell You

1. He Never Smiles During the Interview

If you sit through a 20 or 30-minute interview with a potential future boss and this person never cracks a smile or shows the least bit of interest in you, you might be dealing with a difficult person in the future.

Granted, not everyone has a funny personality — or any personality for that matter. But in most cases, we can tell the difference between someone who might be a little uncomfortable in social situations and someone who may be a pain to work under.


2. He Interrupts You When You Speak

If a future employer asks a question but interrupts before you’re able to fully respond, be on guard. If this happens once, it was probably an accident or he was overly excited. But if you can never complete a thought, and the employer seems more eager to say his piece than listen to your responses, you might deal with this same type of treatment if you’re hired


3. He's Rude to Other Employees

Be observant and take note of how the employer deals with other people in the office, if possible. If you notice that the employer is rude to other employees or doesn’t give them the respect they deserve, chances are you’ll be treated the same way.

4. He Comes Off as Inflexible

Some employers have the attitude “it’s their way or the highway.” Personally, I’ve had a future employer say during the interview that he likes things done a certain way — and even if there’s another way to complete a particular task, any other system is unacceptable. Ultimately, you have to decide whether you can live with a boss micromanaging and controlling every single aspect of your job description.

5. He Bashes the Last Person in Your Position

It’s unprofessional for an employer to discuss the last person who held the position, unless the person did a stellar job. But if the previous person in this position was fired or quit, and the employer uses this as an opportunity to talk negatively about the person, he might do the same if you decide to leave the company.

Also, enquire about the number of people who’ve held this position in recent years. If the position has a high turnover ratio — and these people aren’t getting promoted — there’s likely an issue with the workload or the employer.

6. You Have a Gut Feeling

As you’re speaking with a potential future employer, you might have a gut feeling about this person that isn’t good. You may not be able to put your finger on the issue, but if you sense something about the person — maybe his smile isn’t genuine or you feel his charm is over-the-top, go with your gut. Perhaps you discern traits in this person that mirror your old boss and you don’t want to repeat the same mistake.

Most people spend anywhere between 20 and 40 hours (or more) per week at work. Given the amount of time you spend with your boss, it’s important to be respected and to like the person you work under.

What are other signs a future boss might be difficult to work with?

See also: 5 Ways a Bad Boss Can Kill Productivity

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