Is Your Potential New Boss the Right Fit for You?

Are you interviewing for your next great position? Perhaps you’ve already considered the following:

1. What kind of company do you want to work for?
2. What is the product or service they provide?
3. Is the company financially solid?
4. Is the company growing?
5. What is the company culture like?
6. Do they have a strong executive leadership team?
7. Have the executives been with the organization for a long time?
8. Is the compensation and benefit package competitive?

However, before you accept a position, make sure you have given the proper thought to who you’ll report to; no matter how great the company, the product, or the position, if you don’t match well with your manager’s style you’re going to be starting with a considerable burden that you can’t likely overcome. How do you determine if a manager’s a right fit for you? The list below includes some indicators to consider before you make your decision.

Before the interview:
Determine your work style and the type of manager that your style will match with. Go online and do a search for management styles to get more detailed descriptions. However, what you’re likely to find are these common management styles: Autocratic; Paternalistic; Democratic; and Laissez-fair.

Autocratic – the manager makes decisions unilaterally without much regard for his subordinates. He’s operating only by what he thinks is best.

Paternalistic – this style is also dictatorial. However, they consider the best interests of the team and the business before making decisions.

Democratic – this manager allows his/her employees to participate in the decision-making process. Matters are decided by majority rule.

Laissez-faire– this manager does not communicate with his team and evades his/her management duties. Uncoordinated delegation occurs.

During the interview:
Ask about the manager’s style of managing, leading and delegating. Today’s busy managers don’t have the time to stand over your shoulder. Remember micro-managers never think they are micro-managers. If the manager mentions their style is hands-off and are available to the team when needed it’s a good sign. Have an in-depth talk with them about their team. Try to ascertain if they’re the type of manager who operates from a diplomatic and fair viewpoint. Are they friendly and open to answering your questions? Or is your gut telling you something different? Ask questions about staff problems or issues they’ve had to deal with. How was the problem resolved? Does the resolution seem logical and right or wrong to you? Answers to these questions will give some insight into how the manager thinks. Are there similarities in how you approach things or vast differences?

If a strong team atmosphere is promoted and you’re offered a job without meeting the team, something might be off. If there’s really a strong team culture you usually have a chance at some point to interview with other team members. This is an opportunity for the manager to show his team respect and get their buy in. For candidates it’s the chance to find out important details about the team. How long have the team members been there? If they’re long term employees it’s another great sign. Be sure to explore how they feel about their manager and note the answers you receive.

Do your homework and use your social networks (like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter). Ask friends, family and colleagues to see if anyone has any insight into the management or the company? Do some homework and see what you find. Lastly, evaluate the information you receive and trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.

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