How To Suss Out A Bad Boss In An Interview

Oct 17, 2022 | Blogs, Job Search and Interviews

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When you walk into an interview, there’s always an opportunity to ask your prospective employer questions. Interviews are meant for you to observe subtleties and get a feel for how your boss will be on the job. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you! Maybe it’s an amazing company but some leaders can make your life a living hell. Asking questions can allow for you to make an informed decision and suss out a bad boss. They will also respect you for it and make you more likely to get the job!

potential boss/interviewer

Key questions to ask a potential boss/interviewer:

  • Why is this job vacant? Is there a lot of turnover?
  • Is it a new job or a backfill position?
  • What communities are you involved with? Have you championed EDI (EqualityDiversity and Inclusion) on this team? Will this be reflected in my experience on this team? Are you doing anything to change that?
  • How would you define your management style?

After reflecting on the interview and dynamic between you and the interviewer, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I going to be respected?
  • Is this person going to advocate for me?
  • Are they fun to be around?

Trust your gut if you have a voice inside of you that’s telling you something feels wrong and follow that!

Even if you do accept the job and it’s not a good fit, you don’t have to be locked into any situation just because it’s not what you expected. Keep interviewing. Some people leave jobs because it’s toxic. You don’t need to sit in a space where you are not being included, or your voice is not heard. No job is worth your mental health! Keep talking to people, recruiters, and networking events.

Don’t be afraid to hustle. Take a no-nonsense approach to moving towards your goals. Go to networking events, job fairs, and information interviews using LinkedIn, and continue to put yourself in a position to succeed. And follow up! Follow-up is an underrated skill. Stay on people’s radars and get creative with how you put yourself out there.



  • Laura Cohen

    Written by Laura Cohen, a Career Counsellor and Registered Counselling Therapist at Canada Career Counselling – Halifax. Laura is experienced working with clients in numerous industries including finance, the military, business, education, non-profit, arts, IT, and healthcare. She completed her MA in Counselling Psychology at McGill University. If you’d like to connect with Laura, email [email protected] to schedule a 15-minute complimentary consultation. You may be able to use your insurance plan or extended health benefits to cover counselling and assessment fees.