How do you find a good boss, not just a job?

Recently a friend of mine asked me “I always wonder how to find a Boss rather than a job. Any pointers or experiences, kindly share. Let us assume I am on the interview and I don't know the Boss, the interviewer may be someone else.“

I thought that was a great question! I’m sure there are plenty of experts who have greater insight than myself, but this is what I offered.

  • Ask the interviewers about how they like working at the company and with their boss. Also ask, what do they like most and may about their boss.
  • Hopefully, you will eventually talk to the boss and you can ask him/her how they define success and what he/she likes most about their boss. Whatever he/she likes most is likely a strong trait of their own.
  • Remember you're interviewing them, too. Don't be afraid to dig deeper for more insight.
I’m sure there’s much more. A few more things have come to mind since this exchange.

  • Prepare ahead of time and know what kind of a boss you like to work for. Think about the bosses you’ve worked for that you liked the most and least, and why.
  • Dig into the question (above) about defining success. Learn how you will be measured.
  • See if you can learn how the boss and the company views on what matters most to you. For example, what’s their view on investing in the growth of their employee? Will they give you roles to stretch? Will they fund education and conferences?
I think the key is to prepare ahead of time and don’t be afraid to pass on a job where there are red flags regarding the person you would work for.

I had one interview where I quickly realized whether they wanted me or not, it wasn’t right for me. The hiring manager (the boss) already had a very clear view of the exact person he wanted, with the exact skills, and exactly what they would do. It didn’t matter that it was a field where I had excelled in for a very long time, he already knew everything. Personally, I’d like to be brought on because I’m an expert in my field and have an opportunity to add value to an organization. You should be able to work with your boss to establish goals which you will be measured against, and then he/she should assist you as necessary to achieve those goals.

I’m interested in hearing input from others.


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