In this video, I discuss how to answer this typically second interview question?

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I am 1 of those tough interview questions that is designed to ... I'm not sure what it's designed to do. But the fact of the matter is it's not that tough; however, in the heat of the 2nd interview, (occasionally, it is asked in the 1st), it surprises people because they are not prepared and there is nothing that gives them a context for the question... It kind of stumps them.

The question basically is, "What qualities do you look for in a manager (in a Boss)?" Things along those lines.

Again, not a tough question. Let's break it down.

You start off by going, "I work well with the manager who treats all all sorts of people with courtesy and respect. The manager who values ideas and input from the people. They don't necessarily have to follow those ideas but looks for the input, sorts it out and gives you the impression that matters to them what I think."

"I also work well with the manager is very clear about what is expected of me. What my responsibilities will be. What sort of boundaries exist, work. Someone who can streamline my area so that they remove roadblocks and barriers from doing my job.. Some of the trust me and thus things that I don't need a lot of supervision but also expects I'm going to come to them for advice or help or input or if I'm struggling. I also think availability is helpful." You get where I'm coming from? These are legitimate qualities anyone would expect from a manager. You give them back this kind of an answer.

The key thing is the sound like you are thinking of your answer and that is not rehearsed answer. If you make your answer sound like it is a checklist, is going to sound like you planned for this. If you listen to my answer, you'll notice that might sound a little bit reflective. That's really the key to it.

Then there's one more piece so don't think you're off the hook here. The extra piece is to flip the question and ask, "What is your style like?"

Let's be practical here. Do you think anyone is going to tell you, "I'm kind of abrupt and they don't really care what my people think. It's your problem to get rid of the barriers to your success and I don't really care what you think about or what your thoughts are." Do you think it was good to say that to you? Of course, not.

There going to feedback exactly what they have heard you say and that will help hook them into you. To say anything to the countries and make them feel defensive. If you shared what's important to you that something that they can mirror back.

Again, lack of preparedness is the biggest issue with this question. And forgetting to flip the answer to the manager or future boss and asking them what their style is like is the 2nd mistake. You always have to do that flip at the end. It will help nail the higher.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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