Spotting an Inefficient Leader in an Interview

While many of us strive for our best in the workplace, the same isn’t always the case for everyone, supervisors and employees alike. In most cases, not meshing with a supervisor is simply a case of different work styles or personalities, but there are some out there that simply don’t foster a healthy and encouraging environment to work in. Here’s how to identify red flags in an interview that could mean you’re better off moving on.

Be wary of a potential manager if he/she…

Keeps you waiting. We know—accidents happen. Alarm clocks don’t go off, traffic accidents clog highways, important meetings run later than expected. But if a hiring manager shows up late to an interview without notice or even a brief explanation or apology, this could mean a number of things, the foremost being that they don’t respect your time. Other possibilities include a disorganized work style and professional values that may not line up with your own. While a chance lateness to your first interview is by no means reason to toss aside a potential opportunity, it could be a red flag if combined with any of the following signs…

Is unprofessional. Like punctuality, professionalism is vital during an interview, and not only on the part of the interviewee. Hiring managers are representations of their company when interviewing potential candidates, so if he or she acts unprofessional or inappropriately during the interview or displays lazy or uninterested body language, these can be red flags not only regarding the supervisor but the company as a whole.

Makes the interview feel too “routine.” Of course, there are common interview questions that get asked by nearly every interviewer, such as “where do you see yourself in five years” or “why should I hire you,” but an interviewer should be attempting to challenge and engage with the interviewee in a number of ways. Whether they use traditional tactics or the infamous Google-style questions, they should be invested in your answers and digging further, rather than reading off a script with little interest.

Can’t or won’t answer questions about the job. Whether you want to know why the previous employee left or what a typical day in the job is like, it should raise warning signs if the employer doesn’t provide a satisfactory answer. It’s good practice for a candidate to ask questions about the position during or at the conclusion of an interview when prompted, not only to show interest but to discern if they would work well there. This can help eliminate a poor match and the resulting waste of time and money for both parties involved, so if an employer can’t or won’t answer these questions, it should definitely raise a red flag.

Doesn’t address vital information. Likewise, if you leave with more questions than you arrived with, you may want to consider why the interviewer failed to discuss key aspects of the position. For example, if there is no talk about who you’d be directly working with—a major aspect of the position that many interviewers should at least discuss, if not display by introducing you to potential teammates—it could be a bad sign regarding that team or the supervisor.

These blunders may seem like no-brainers to job seekers who have had good luck with past supervisors or to employers who employ best practices. But these are all real possibilities when interviewing, so be on the lookout and know what they mean!