Advice To Previous Manager Interview Questions

Don’t lie!

Roy Cohen, the New York based careers coach and best-selling author, warns first and foremost against stretching the truth.

“If the boss’ reputation precedes him or her… and youre not honest, your credibility can be challenged,” he says. “If you are leaving an organization because of a boss that has been challenging, to not be somewhat honest, is you potentially risk sounding dishonest yourself.”

“Because bitterness is really not called for an interview – but honesty, for the most part, is.”

Rather than focusing on conflicts, quantify your accomplishments

Dwelling on conflicts with former bosses in a job interview is never a good look for the candidate.

“If an interviewer asks about previous positions, mention the accomplishments you produced for your previous employer and quantify them, if possible,” Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio, career coach and co-founder of SixFigureStart said.

“Would Your Current Boss Describe You as Someone Who Goes the Extra Mile?”

More variations of this question:

  • “Give me an example of when you have been proactive in a task that wasn’t in the job description.”
  • “Would your boss say you are dependable/ flexible/ reliable?”
  • “Tell me about a time when you have gone over and above the call of duty.”
  • Of course, you would like to answer “Yes” to these questions and give examples, so how can you elaborate?

    Can you think of any compliments you have had from your boss or any clients and customers?

    How was your last appraisal? What were the most positive things your boss spoke about?

  • “I was thanked by the company bosses recently in recognition of me covering extra shifts due to some staff being unable to work due to the heavy snow.”
  • Can you give any examples of when you have been dependable, proactive or even innovative?

    What have you done that nobody else has? What did you do first before everyone else copied you?

    What’s The Point Of This Question?

    This question may seem like the interviewer is opening the door for you to share your complaints about your previous boss. However, theyre trying to determine:

  • How you handle being put on the spot
  • How well you play with others
  • How you like to be managed
  • When given the opportunity, will you complain? Or will you reframe your negative experiences and share what you have learned from that experience?

    If you do have something negative to say about a previous manager, direct and reframe. Use this opportunity to share what youve learned about yourself and your ideal management style.

    Avoid going into great detail about what you didnt like about your previous boss:

    Your potential new manager wants to assess how well you will work together. Keep the focus on what skills and experience you bring to this position.

    Let your strengths show in your answer and move the interview onto more important questions:

    Criticizing your old boss may impact how the hiring manager views your potential loyalty to the company. Redirect your answer to show that youre willing to accept accountability:

    Preparation is key for a successful interview!

    Its totally okay to have negative experiences with a past boss, but when asked this question in an interview:

    This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

    Spin a bad management style into a positive

    If an interviewer asks about the style of your previous boss, always talk about it in a positive light.

    “If your manager was a micromanager, say the truth but in a good way,” Thanasoulis-Cerrachio said.

    For example: “We had a very tight working relationship. He/she liked to be kept up to date on even the minutest details and that was fine with me. After the first few months, he/she knew I was doing a great job so the confidence was high, but we continued to check in because no time was wasted when I knew I was going in the right direction.”

    If your manager was a non-communicator, say the truth but in a good way, she suggests: “We agreed upon our goals up front and then because she had faith in me, I got the job done meeting minimally. That was great because we wasted zero times in meetings and everything was really efficient.”

    MANAGER Interview Questions and Answers! (How to PASS a Management Job Interview!)

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