Before You Take the Job: Get to Know Your Future Manager

    What qualities would your perfect manager have? What management style would inspire you to be your most innovative and productive? When interviewing for a new position, it can be tough and at times nerve-wracking to try to divine if the potential manager’s style and team would be the right fit for you.

    If you’re like most people, you probably hope your future manager will be supportive of your goals and professional development. Research by Zenger/Folkman found the most important quality an effective manager should have is the ability to motivate and inspire others.

    So how can you get the lowdown before you’re actually committed and working in the new position? With a little prep and taking an active role in the interview process, applicants can gain a clearer picture of what to expect once hired. Heather Huhman, writing for Glassdoor, has identified five things you should pay attention to when getting to know a future manager.

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    Five Ways to Get to Know a Potential Manager

    Click through for five ways job seekers can find out more about a future manager before committing to taking a job, as identified by Heather Huhman, a Glassdoor career and workplace expert.

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    Read the Manager’s LinkedIn Recommendations

    If you’ve connected with the manager on LinkedIn, spend some time researching their recommendations. As you scan through their recommendations, pay attention to whether current or former employees provided any.

    Take note of the personality traits people have identified with the manager. For example, do people say the manager is bubbly and fun to work with? Or do they say the manager is results-driven and a team player? These attributes can offer insight into what the manager’s personality is like.

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    Ask Why They Love Their Job

    When you ask someone why they love their job, it gives them the opportunity to talk about their passions and goals. If you ask the manager this question and they offer a glowing response, it’s very likely this manager genuinely enjoys what they do.

    As the manager talks about why they love their job, pick up on the key details of what they like most. For example, does the manager explain why she loves team meetings or does she focus more on creative projects? These qualities can give you a better idea of the manager’s personality and leadership style.

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    Uncover Their Workflow

    Every manager is unique when it comes to getting projects completed. Ask the manager questions about their typical day in the office and how they like to interact with employees.

    For instance, say you’ve applied for a graphic design position with an advertising agency. Ask the manager to explain his system for approving final projects. The manager might explain how he uses a project management system called Brightpod to manage his projects and communicate with employees. You can infer from this answer that the manager is very organized and ensures deadlines are met.

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    Find Out Their Method of Giving Feedback

    Feedback is crucial for workplace success, and each manager offers feedback in their own way. For example, some managers believe in only offering feedback when necessary, whereas other managers provide ongoing feedback on projects and assignments.

    Simply ask the manager during the interview how they give feedback to employees. Depending on their answer, you’ll be able to determine whether their management style fits the way you work. You can also ask how the manager provides critical feedback and addresses areas for improvement.

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    Ask About Their Greatest Accomplishments with the Company

    This question is a great way to find out how a manager prioritizes their projects and what they care about most in the workplace.

    For example, if the manager talks about how his team was able to launch a viral social media campaign, you can assume that the manager cares about the overall success of his employees. On the other hand, if the manager talks about numbers and data, you could assume that he’s a results-driven manager.

    Just because you’re being interviewed for a job doesn’t mean you can’t interview your future manager. The more you can learn about your future manager will help you determine whether the job is a good fit for you. By bringing up some of these topics during a job interview, you’ll discover what you really want to know about your future manager.

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