Career and Enterprising

Warning signs during an interview that your potential boss may be a bully

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You’re interviewing for your dream job, and things seem to be progressing okay…

But then the interviewer suddenly drops a question that throws you for a loop. Such questions from your potential boss can reveal a lot about their management style and how they might treat you if you were to work for them.

Thus, let’s discuss how to spot a potential bully boss during an interview, and what to do if you encounter one.

Gives you the silent treatment

If your potential boss ignores your questions, that could be a major red flag. A bully boss will often give you the silent treatment to intimidate you and see how you will react. So if this happens during your interview, be sure to stay calm and professional. Don’t let them rattle you.

Talks over and interrupts you

A bully boss will steamroll over anyone to show their authority. And if you’re not able to stand up for yourself, you’re going to have a tough time working for that person.

Remember that you have the right to be treated with respect, and you don’t need to put up with a potential boss who doesn’t respect your boundaries. So if you encounter a bully boss during your interview, it’s best to move on and find another company that will appreciate you as an individual.

Tries to dominate the conversation
an interviewee with an unhappy face

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If your potential boss tries to dominate the conversation, this person is probably used to having things their way and won’t hesitate to trample over anyone who gets in their way.

You need to be prepared for this type of behavior and know how to handle it. Keep your cool and recognize that you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. If this person can’t handle a two-way conversation, then they’re not the right fit for you.

Plays favorites among other candidates

For example, if they seem to be friendly with one candidate for a particular reason but act cold or dismissive towards you, it could be a warning sign that they will be just as unfair to you once you’re hired. This can be unsettling and make you question whether or not you want to work for that company.

If you do see any of these warning signs during your interview, trust your gut and don’t take the job. There are plenty of other companies out there that will value your skills and won’t put you through the emotional toll that comes with working for a bully boss.

Puts you on the spot with controversial questions

During the interview, a bully boss will put you on the spot with controversial questions that are meant to test your response. These questions are designed to see how you will answer under pressure.

So if you’re not prepared for them, you will likely end up sounding like a deer in headlights. And that’s exactly what the bully boss is looking for. The best way to deal with this type of question is to take a few seconds to gather your thoughts and then give a response that’s confident and respectful. Stay calm and collected, even if you’re feeling overwhelmed. And whatever you do, don’t get defensive.

When interviewing for a new job, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs that your potential boss may be a bully. This will help you avoid working for someone who may make your work life miserable. Some warning signs to look out for include if your potential boss is overly domineering and demanding. If you see any of the abovementioned warning signs during your interview, it may be wise to look for a new job elsewhere.

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