How To Get The Boss You Want

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When we’re on the job hunt, we often forget that interviewing is a two-way street. We’re too focused on impressing the interviewer when we should also take the time  to get to know that person.

Even at senior-level positions, we all answer to someone. During the interview, you will eventually meet your potential supervisor. This person plays an important part in shaping your future career. So don’t you think it’s important to know how they plan to do it?

“Do you  have any questions for me?”

Every interviewer asks that question and you better have questions for them. If you don’t know what to ask, here are some icebreakers:

  • Is this a new position? If the company is structuring for growth, you want to know how you can grow with it. If they are filling an old position, you want to confirm what skills they liked about the previous employee and what new skills they want to bring in with the new hire.
  • How is the department structured? This gives you a better picture of how you would function in the organization. Are you partnered with someone? Who are your direct reports? Does anyone report to you? Knowing the department structure also gives you an idea of how you can grow with the company.
  • How long have you been in your position? If your future boss has been at the job for a short time (under two years), they may be still trying to figure things out. If they’ve been there for a while, you want to see if they are set in their ways. Are they open to new ideas or do they want you to just maintain course? Neither one has to be a red flag. You have to know what you’re most comfortable with.
  • What are your immediate and overall goals and how does this position contribute to it? You want want a supervisor with a pretty clear plan and you want that person to have an idea of what you’ll be doing day one.
  • How will my performance be measured? To know if you’re doing a good job, it helps to have goals to measure against.

After you get the questions rolling, the most important part is to listen. Do you like what they are saying? More important, do you feel you can learn from this person? Can you grow from this experience? These are keys in choosing you future supervisor. Make sure it’s a person whose supervision matters to you.

Remember, these are career-deciding questions. If you aren’t hearing what you are looking for, your instincts are telling you that this may not be the job for you.  It’s ok to walk away. God has other plans for you.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” ~ Psalm 32:8, NIV

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