Take time to interview your potential manager (yes- really)

By Stuart Daniels, Vice President Human Resources, RMA Group.


A good friend of mine (who holds a senior role in a multi-national company) is looking to leave his current job after only a year. The reason is his direct supervisor, who he describes as being unpleasant, aggressive and moody ¦.those were the best things he could say. Fortunately, he’s good at what he does and has interviews lined up this week, including one at a great location in Germany. Given his recent bad luck, I have recommended that he interviews his potential new manager.. A job interview is often a ˜one-sided’ experience, focused on what the employer wants to find out about the candidate, whilst secondary are the needs of the candidate.

Here’s some questions I  recommended that he ask about his prospective supervisor:

  • How would you describe your leadership style? How do you lead and motivate your team/team members?
  • What hours do you work typically- what time do you get into the workplace/leave the workplace?
  • Do you regularly work weekends? Do you expect your employees to work weekends? Or to be responsive outside of normal working hours?
  • What do you like to do in your time away from the workplace? Did you manage to take all your vacation days in the last year?
  • Do you support training/development of your employees? Have you provided company financial support to develop employees e.g. courses/further education? What’s the most recent example?
  • How long have you been with the company and what are the best/worst things about working here?
  • How long have your team/key team members been together? (If this is significantly less than the answer to their company tenure- ask why? are people leaving the team?)

These are just a few examples and you don’t necessarily need to ask all of these.

Researching a company before, during and after an interview makes sense, however don’t miss out on miss the opportunity to ask some questions of your prospective supervisor. If somebody takes offence or refuses to answer these questions then you need to weigh up the risks of making a change to join the Company. After all, it’s likely that you’ll spend more time with your supervisor than you will with your partner during the week ¦ ¦.and I assume we all gave that decision some serious thought.