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10 questions to ask a potential new boss

Posted on by from Common Purpose

Pluck up the courage and ask away...

I’m a firm believer that job interviews are a two-way street. It’s your chance to assess the company and the person you might work for as much as it is their chance to assess you. If it’s your first job it can be especially daunting to ask bold questions but it is important to do so. (And not just to impress them for having questions but to test their answers).

Always sense the room to gauge the situation but once you have done so these 10 questions might prompt revealing answers (if you are brave enough to ask them!)

1. Do you think young talent should be given their head in their first role?

(You want them to answer no – you want to learn and to develop).

2. How easily do young people working for you get promoted?

(You’re after an "easily and frequently" answer here).

3. How regularly do you give people working for you an hour of your undivided attention?

(I would say this must be at least once a month).

4. Is what you do important?

(It just has to be!)

5. How long do you take for your summer holiday?

6. Do you love your job? Are you good at it?

(Yes and yes – with clear evidence).

7. Who stands in for you when you are not at work?

(They have to be prepared to delegate).

8. Are you ever unreasonable?

(I’d say a good boss would answer yes, reasonable can be quite limiting).

9. Do people who work for you think differently from you?

(If they sift out difference or dissent it won’t be a very creative team).

10. How often do you make mistakes?

(It should be at least weekly, and you want them to be prepared to admit to it).

Julia Middleton

By Julia Middleton

Julia is the CEO of Common Purpose

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