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How to Identify a Potential Bad Boss 

Why is considering the qualities of a boss important when considering a new role? A good boss can make you feel empowered. A good boss can identify your strengths and build on them, and also help you improve in your area of weakness.

Before discussing how to identify a bad boss let’s establish what most employees consider to be a bad boss. Of course all of the traits we discuss that constitute a bad boss do not apply to everyone, some individuals work better under certain qualities. A bad boss can:

  • Fail to communicate and frequently change their minds
  • Use disciplinary measure inappropriately
  • Take credit for the successes and positive accomplishments of an employee
  • Choose favorites
  • Lack integrity and courage

When interviewing with a potential boss here are some tips to help you evaluate what kind of boss they will be.

Pay attention when they ask about your free time. When you are talking about what you like to do in your free time does your potential boss seem interested, do you feel comfortable? During this time it will be easy to tell if your boss appreciates work life balance or if he expects you to say good bye to your hobbies.

Have they made time for the interview? If they have not made time for the interview, eg. they are running late, checking their phone or email, then they probably won’t be making time for you in your new role. It is important that your boss has the time to communicate and train you.

Do not be afraid to ask questions about turnover rates, how long employees stay in given roles, and career paths. Pay attention to the answers, this will reveal a lot about your boss. If the turnover rate is high that may say something about the kind of boss they are, and if there is no growth or career path they may not be grooming talent for the next level.

Watch how your potential boss interacts with others, such as: their secretary, other team members, or those in the interview. Do they interrupt people, or speak over them? Then they will more than likely speak to you in this manner.

These are just a few tips, use your better judgment. Do not be afraid to say no to a potential position if you have hesitations. This will save you lots of time and stress in the long run.

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