“Well, to be honest, my previous boss was TERRIBLE! He was disrespectful and completely unqualified to run the branch… He is a big reason I am here today seeking a new career.”
That is an example of how NOT to answer the interview question, "What do you think about your previous boss?"
Can you relate?
Chances are, you are going to have a supervisor that you don’t like throughout your career. But whatever you do, DO NOT word your response like the above statement. If you follow the below guidelines, you will be able to navigate through this cryptic question. Your response gives the hiring manager a fairly accurate picture of the type of employee you will be!
If you can't say anything nice then do not say anything at all
This saying holds true to this question, but unfortunately, you have to say something! If you spew a bunch of complaints and past disagreements you had with your boss, this will most likely have a negative impact on your interview.
Most companies have that overly critical employee that states he or she can do a much better job. Even if you are not this type of person, a negative answer can portray you as such. You should be able to spin any character traits or performance of your previous boss in a positive light.
If you have nothing nice to say it is best to stick to the basics:
“He was goal oriented and this helped me focus and crush my sales quotas and deadlines!”
“She really allowed her employees to use their strengths to accomplish their tasks. She did not micro-manage each position, which helped create a high level of self-confidence for my coworkers and me!”
This interview question is very similar to “Who Was Your Favorite Manager And Why” so we recommend you check this out after.
Put it into numbers
Hopefully, regardless of how your previous boss performed, there was a certain amount of success that you can quantify. It is always helpful to use percentages and dollar figures in your interview.
If you do not have any known facts or statistics that you can share in your response, we would suggest not making them up.
Whatever you do, don’t make up outlandish numbers as this will be a dead giveaway that you are lying!
This question is about you!
No matter your feelings towards your previous employer, there is a right and wrong answer to this question. A successful candidate will use this question to highlight their accomplishments and their personality traits that align with the open position. Although this question involves another person, you should always redirect the conversation to discuss why you are the right person for the job!
If you had a great boss prior to the interview, you should have no problem avoiding the pitfalls of this question. Make sure to keep it professional rather than describe why your boss was your best pal. You are reading this for a reason, so if it’s to prepare, make sure you prepare a response to any question relating to your previous employer. YOU GOT THIS!!!