Graduate Informal interviews
Having a difficult and horrible boss can not only ruin your working life, but it can also have a detrimental effect on your career progression.

Unfortunately, most of the time you won’t realise how bad a boss is until you start working for them – by which time it’s too late as you don’t want to quit and look like a job hopper on your CV.

Luckily, there are some signs you can look out for in the interview stage that should set warning bells ringing in your head.

1) Late To The Interview

While there can be a reasonable explanation for running late for an interview (bosses are busy people after all), if they turn up more than 20 minutes late with no explanation or apology – this should concern you.

If they can’t even make the time to interview you, why would they bother to make the time to manage you properly and help you advance in your career?

2) The Office Is Extremely Messy

Now, we all know our desks can get a little disorganized from time to time, but if there are piles and piles of files and papers everywhere when you go for an interview, and the office seems to have little structure, it might be time to reconsider this opportunity.

A disorganized office means a disorganized boss – and you have to ask yourself if they can’t organize an office, will they be able to organize a team?

3) Other Employees Avoid Them

When you’re walking to your interview, assess how other employees react to your potential boss and read their body language.

If they avoid communicating with the boss or turn away from them, this could suggest that they’re not very approachable and the employees don’t feel comfortable around them – not ideal attributes!

4) Poor Body Language

During the interview, keep an eye out for negative body language signs from the interviewer and your prospective manager.

If their arms are crossed during the whole interview, that could mean they’re very defensive and closed off. Or if they’re very distracted and doing things like staring out of the window when you’re speaking or checking their phone, this suggests a disinterest in you as a candidate, which could mean they won’t show an interest in you as an employee.

5) Asking Illegal Questions

One of the biggest signs that you’ll be working for a bad boss should you take the job is if they start asking really inappropriate and illegal questions during the interview.

Probing you about your plans for having children, your religion, marital status, or sexuality are all no-go areas for a job interview, so if they start asking questions about things that make you feel uncomfortable, chances are they wouldn’t be very professional in a work setting.

6) Unable To Describe Culture And Vision

When you ask them about the company’s work culture and its vision, if they can’t convey this confidently and clearly, then this could be a big problem.

A boss is supposed to inspire and lead you, following the values and the plans of the business, and if they can’t even tell you what these are during an interview, then you should be worried!

7) Speaks Negatively About Former Employees

If you ask them why the last employee left the position that you’re interviewing for and they begin to badmouth them, then this could be a sign that you shouldn’t want to work for this person.

Talking negatively and gossiping about former employees in an interview suggests a very unprofessional attitude, and let’s be honest – no one wants to work in a bitchy environment!

8) Struggles To Answer Questions About Personal Progression

Obviously during an interview you’re going to want to ask about the ability to progress within the company, and how this is to be achieved, but if the interviewer can’t give you a clear answer about how you can develop within the company, then this should be a cause of concern.

One of the main responsibilities of being a boss is to manage your employees’ progression, and if they haven’t got a clear idea of how you’re going to further your career, then there’s no way you’re going to be able to know!

9) Only Ask Simple Questions

If you don’t feel like you’re being tested in the interview and that you’re only being asked questions that are already answered on your CV, then this could be the sign of a bad boss.

This shows little interest in getting to know you as a candidate, and perhaps suggests they’re not interested in their own job, which could mean they won’t be interested in yours.

10) Lack Of Enthusiasm

Finally, if you get a general unenthusiastic vibe during the interview, then this should be the nail in the coffin for you for this job.

To succeed in a role, you need to be surrounded by positive people who are passionate about the same goals and values, and if your boss lacks that drive and ambition, then this can be passed on to you which is not ideal.

So there we go, my top 10 signs of a bad boss during an interview.

Do you have any more signs you can think of? Let me know in the comments below!

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