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The Top 5: Bad Boss Behaviors

Tips from the trenches to keep your copier career on track

Interviews Are a Two-Way Street

With all the work that goes into applying for a job and trying to make a good impression during the interview, it’s easy to forget that interviewing is a two-way process: you’re evaluating your potential employer as much as the employer is evaluating you. Avoid signing up to work for a bad boss by staying alert to these five warning signals:

  1. They ask illegal questions in the interview. It sounds crazy, but it happens all the time: the hiring manager asks illegal questions during your interview. Questions about how many children you have, or about your race, religion, gender, age, marital status, military status, or disabilities are not allowed. Best case scenario: this hiring manager is incompetent. Worst case: they’re unethical. Either way, consider this a red flag.
  2. They talk too much about themselves. “I once interviewed with a manager who kept interrupting me, so he could tell me stories about himself,” writes Lisa Quast, a contributor for Forbes. “These are managers who have an excess of self-importance and are extremely preoccupied with talking about themselves. These are also the bosses most likely to steal your ideas and take credit for your work. Run quickly in the opposite direction.”
  3. They reminisce about the good old days. In this industry, there are still some managers who miss the days of selling standalone photocopiers and who haven’t quite wrapped their heads around the value (and inevitability) of the managed services model. Working for people who have one foot in the past will restrict your income and stunt your professional development. Avoid it.
  4. Other employees don’t like them. As you arrive for and leave your interview, observe how other employees interact with the manager. Do they greet the manager warmly as they walk down the hall, or do they avoid their gaze? Are interactions friendly and cordial, or cold? Look for signs that other employees dislike or distrust the manager. If you are lucky enough to see the manager feeding into some workplace toxicity take that as a sign and run!
  5. They don’t pay attention during the interview. Employers often pass on candidates who don’t seem passionate about the position, and candidates should do the same with bosses who aren’t giving it their all. The manager’s focus during the interview should be on finding out whether you’re the right person for the job. If they’re checking email, answering calls, or texting while you’re speaking with them, their mind is elsewhere. A boss who can’t give you their full attention during the interview certainly won’t listen to what you have to say once you’re hired. Be wary.

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