How To Choose a Boss

This article is compliments of Jonathan Lederer, VP of Sales of Popkin Software. I think Jon’s article is terrific. Did you know that there are key factors you need to know when interviewing with your prospective boss? Well, read on. Thank you Jon!

How To Choose A Boss

Choosing a Boss is very similar to choosing a significant other. Actually, if you truly think about it, you will probably spend more time making decisions to please your Boss than any other person in your life. If not, you are most likely looking for another job or you will be shortly. However, in my opinion, if
you follow these basic rules, your chances of making a good decision dramatically improve. These rules are as follows:

  1. On the interview, come in with a series of questions. It is essential to recognize that you are interviewing your prospective Boss as much as he/she is interviewing you.
  2. Never choose a job without meeting your Boss and their Boss, too. It is not only important to get along with your Boss, but to understand the dynamic between the person you report to and their Boss (ask to speak to them separately – this way, your new Boss is not on their best behavior). This also enables you to see if there are discrepancies in what the position entails.
  3. Go through typical day-to-day scenarios. How do you react in XYZ situation? If they respond similarly to you, certainly let the individual know that you would react in the same way (this illustrates that you are both on the same page). If he/she does not react in a way you like, reevaluate your position. You can
    love a job, but if you can’t interact with your Boss positively, the job is not worth it.
  4. Watch the way in which your Boss responds to your questions. Body language is as important as verbal communication. Remember, your prospective Boss may love your resume; however, in six months, if you don’t get along, his/her memory gets extremely short.
  5. Can you manage their expectations? The job may be fantastic, but your new Boss may not truly understand what it will take to be successful. Your approach, in solving issues, may be very different from the way your new Boss may solve the same dilemma. Politically, you can still get into trouble even if you resolve the issue.
  6. Do your personalities clash? Be honest with yourself and say, “Can I spend the rest of my life with this person?” If your answer is no, then you better run.

Like all relationships, interacting with a Boss takes hard work, understanding, dedication and communication to make it work successfully. Only you can decide who is right for you; however, with all good decisions, knowing what you are looking for always makes the decision that much easier.

Happy hunting!

Suggested Reading

The Art of Possibility
by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

I’m recommending this book like crazy to my clients. Rosamund and Ben spoke at last year’s International Coach Federation conference in Atlanta, and they were phenomenal. Probably the best speakers I’ve ever heard. I ran to the bookstore to buy their book. I wasn’t disappointed. “In the face of difficulty, we can despair, get angry or choose possibility.” This book is a roadmap to helping bring the sense of possibility into your life.

201 Best Questions to Ask on Your Interview
by John Kador

This book is a great resource. The questions you ask on your job interview are as important as the answers you give. They reflect your attitude and can set you apart from the multitude of applicants competing for the same job. Here’s a terrific example: “What’s the most important thing I can do to help within the first 90 days of my employment?” That gets the interviewer thinking every time.