What you need to find out when you’re looking for a job

UnknownI was asked an interesting question the other day by someone who is looking for a job. She wondered that with all the idiot bosses out there, how can you tell in an interview whether or not you’re going to have a good one.

I didn’t have a good answer so I thought a while on this one and here’s what I decided:

If you want to be successful in your next job, you”re going to have to be working in an environment that supports success. This is your boss’s job, to ensure that you’ll be as successful as possible.

I hadn’t thought about this as the boss’s job but when you get down to it, this is what a boss has to do. A boss has to manage or lead you in a way that makes you successful. So to figure out whether the boss will be any good, that’s what you’ll have to find out, whether she’ll do the things necessary to make you successful.

I’ve said before that if an employee fails, it’s the boss’s fault. He has failed to hire correctly, train correctly, or supervise correctly. But what about an employee’s perspective? What does an employee need besides native capabilities to be successful.

Well it comes down to four things. Besides the right resources, an employee needs to:

  • Know exactly what is expected of them,
  • Know how they’re doing,
  • Know how to get better at it, and
  • Know how they’ve done.

If a boss can do those things then you should succeed. For the rest of the week I’ll propose questions that will attempt to get at answers to these questions.


  1. Thanks for this perspective. Hearing my responsibility as a boss framed this way caused me to pause and reflect on how I’m doing, and gave me an easy little way of thinking about what I could be doing day to day to be a better boss.

    • It’s a very simple mantra. The research I’m doing is indicating that this is all employees want, to know where they stand. This makes communication then the most important leadership skill. More coming on Communication next week.

  2. I’m not a boss…yet! This is great preparation.

    As an employee, this will be the criteria I reflect upon to examine my growth and evaluate my competition.

    Great job CP. Thank you. This is a beauty in simplicity perfectly illustrated.

    • Thanks for the feedback. This is becoming my mantra.



  1. How will you know what's expected of you? - [...] I set out four questions you need to get answered in an interview to tell if you’re going to …

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>