Many job seekers miss a golden opportunity when they are asked towards the end of an interview if they have any questions. If they feel the interviewer adequately explained the position, they make the mistake of answering "No" to this question. But this is the perfect time to find out if you really want to work for this person! After all, even a wonderful job can turn into a miserable experience if you don't get along with the person you work for.
Here's how to find out if the boss will be as great as the job -- ask these questions during the interview:
1. "What's your ideal employee like?" Asking this question will give you an idea of what this boss would expect from you. Listen carefully to the answer and deduce what it will mean for you. For example, if her ideal employee works independently, you'll know this boss is not a micromanager. If her ideal employee follows procedures without question, you'll know it may be an uphill battle to implement changes or new ideas. If her ideal employee works long hours, don't expect to leave on time every night.
2. "What are the other people in the office like?" Does this boss really know the people who work for her? Does she list their accomplishments with pride or say something vague and unimpressive? Note her tone of voice when she talks about her team. Is she enthusiastic or disappointed?
3. "How does an employee succeed on your team?" Hopefully she'll give you something more enlightening than "Do the job right." You want to learn what standards are expected. For example, if it's a sales position, will you be expected to exceed a specific dollar value in sales or obtain a percentage of satisfied customers? So if her answer is too generic, you may have to follow up with more questions to get specifics. Ask about the typical career path for an employee who successfully meets goals.
4. "How do you go about solving problems?" How she answers this question can give you insight into her management style. Does she prefer to take charge when things go wrong, or encourage her team to develop solutions?
In addition to the answers themselves, note this person's overall attitude about answering these questions. If she was open to them and answered thoughtfully, she's probably someone who enjoys promoting good working relationships. If you're offered the job, you shouldn't have any hesitations about working for this person. But if she appeared to resent the questions and didn't answer them to your satisfaction, she's not someone you'd
want to work for.
It's better to know this sooner rather than later!
Bonnie Lowe is author of the popular Job Interview Success System and free information-packed ezine, "Career-Life Times." Find those and other powerful career-building resources and tips at her website: http://www.best-interview-strategies.com.