It’s a trap! When a hiring manager asks, “Have you ever had trouble working with a manager?” they are fishing for negative answers. These are the types of questions that you should answer with the most caution. Read below to see how to navigate this cryptic question.
Sunshine and rainbows
We would never advise you to lie in an interview. However, omitting the truth can help in this scenario. When an interviewer asks about possible negative workplace scenarios, you should always answer in a positive light.
Even if you have had a string of terrible bosses, it would be best to stick to the golden rule: "If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” If you start to discuss the negatives, you will appear to be a negative employee. Unfortunately, the interviewer will not side with you on these questions. They will assume that just like you are complaining about your previous manager, you will also complain about them.
For more interview questions and answers, see the 50 Top Job Interview Questions And Answers!
Ignorance is bliss
If you have had managers that you had trouble working with, you don’t have to hide it. If you do feel inclined to share, share a story that may not have affected you directly. Speaking of how the manager was overworked and stressed can help. This shows that you didn't have problems with the supervisor, but instead, there were outside factors involved.
If you have had a series of great bosses, consider yourself lucky. You can use that experience to express how you have received motivation from these employers positively. This can also provide the opportunity to relate your experience with the job description.
Provide examples of how managers have pushed you in the past to grow as a professional in your industry. Any chance you get, relate your skills and experiences to the requirements of the position you are applying for. This will ensure that you will leave a positive and lasting impression!
"I have been lucky enough to have a string of great employers. Each has pushed me to become a better professional while sharpening my skills for (Your Industry). I can remember specifically when (Manager Name) was mentoring me as I was struggling with (specific task). Now I am one of the most efficient people I know with (specific task)."
"I once had a supervisor that had a lot going on outside of work. (He/She) was struggling to balance these issues with their day to day responsibilities. This began to play a factor a factor in the company morale and was discussed amongst other employees fairly often. (Chosen manager) was a great person and was qualified for the position once these issues cleared up. Personally, I did not have a problem working with this manager as we always had a great professional relationship."