Interview and review your supervisor… Tips from a career coach.

So many people out there are job hunting. I know the reports like to brag about X number of jobs created this year. But we all know someone who’s looking. For those people, it’s important to be on your game in the interview. When on an interview you should be attentive and responsive. You should answer questions with god timing and confidence. But when on the job interview there is one more thing you should do….

Interview your new boss. Just as they look at you and evaluate your skills and potential, you need to be doing the same.

Here are some key factors to look at:

1.) Are they frantic? Or, are they put together? What emotional state do you see them in? Where is their attention? In an interview, it’s important that they are focused on you. If they aren’t focused during the interview, then it isn’t likely they will focus when you are working with them.

2.) How is their language? Is it casual? Do they use a lot of slang? How carefully do they choose their words? If they aren’t diplomatic on how they ask or respond to questions, then they won’t be later. Sure, they can learn to be better, everyone can, but it’s rarely the focus of a supervisor to improve in these ways. The focus from a company and higher structure sadly is usually for performance and results.

3.) What promises do they make? Does it all feel too good to be true? Trust your gut, because it usually is. On the reverse, does everything sound reasonable and like a sound compromise between taking care of an employee and making a profitable business? We all want to hear our dreams come true in a job, but the reality is any place that will be satisfying to work for in the long term will be balanced between your needs and theirs.

4.) Go in with your own questions. Have an idea of where you want this position to take you. Keep a clear vision of your 1 to 5-year plan. If you want something in your personal life, make absolutely certain that this place won’t be the reason you miss out on a rich full life.

If everything checks out, then most likely it’s a good fit for your employer too. Following this approach helps weed out the inept and poor work environments created be ineffective leadership. It’s so much better to recognize such things early vs getting knee deep in drama and wondering how you can escape without compromising your income.

Now once you have a job, it happens often that companies move supervisors around. When that’s the case it’s important to observe your new boss based on the same list above. Making the call again if this is the situation that will be best for you and the company. If it’s not, then maybe it’s time to talk to someone, or revise your resume.

For people who are in the work force and employed, my advice is to make sure you are always in the best position. This is not just for the sake of earnings, but also for long term growth and happiness.

Thanks, and if you like the advice here, please send this article to a friend you know who’s either job hunting or needs advice if they should stay where they are working. Come check out more at

-Seth Houston