Your boss can make or break your work life. Here's some ways to spot the good ones.

Energetic vs Vague

One tell tale sign of a good boss is their enthusiasm and energy. When in an interview you can detect this in two ways: the quality of questions the boss is asking you, and the quality of answers the boss gives to your own questions. A good boss will be invested in the questions they are asking in order determine if you are a quality candidate to add to their quality work environment, and will answer your questions enthusiastically to promote that very same quality environment.

Organized vs Cluttered

Take a look around when you get into their office, what do you see? Are there stacks of papers towering over their aircraft carrier sized desk or are they organized with pictures of family and little desk toys that define them? A good boss will have not only the entire office in control, but their own space as well. Little personal touches will show a relaxed and relatable boss that will be a pleasure to work with. A bad boss will be out of control in their space and refrain from showing co-workers a personal side. These signs will be representative of how they will manage you.

Motivated vs Indifferent

Ask your potential boss what goals they or what lies ahead for the company. A good boss will be able to tell you how excited they are to break last month/quarter/year’s numbers and what the plan is to succeed as a team. A bad boss will avoid telling an interviewee goals and the current focal points, or won’t even know them.

Past vs Future

If there is an open position, there must be a reason why that is the case. By asking what happened to the previous employee, you can learn quite a bit about the boss. First, is the reasoning of why the employee left. A good boss will thoroughly explain whether this person moved up, quit, or was fired. Furthermore, a good boss will advise you how to either follow or avoid that same path. A bad boss will sound resentful for a promoted or resigned employee, or not identify good cause for termination. This will foreshadow how you can move up in a company, or not. 

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