How To Interview Your Future Boss
Updated June 9, 2023
When working for a company for a while, you may eventually have the opportunity to help your company find a new boss. Whether your current boss is stepping down or simply moving onto another role, it's important that you find someone who can fill the role as seamlessly as possible. You can do this by asking candidates a series of questions to test their leadership skills. In this article, we explain how to interview your future boss.
Why it's important to know how to interview your future boss
Interviewing your boss is an important part of finding an effective leader for your company. By knowing what to look for in a candidate, you can help find the perfect person to lead your company.
Related: 12 Qualities of a Good Boss
How to interview your future boss
Interviewing for you future boss in many ways is just like interviewing any other candidate and will require similar preparation. But you'll also have some additional points to consider for the efficiency and cultural health of your department, which gives you a unique perspective on the process. Follow these steps in order to find the top candidate for this leadership role:
1. Prepare interview questions
Prior to interviewing candidates, work with your hiring team to create a list of interview questions. While general questions can help you get to know a candidate's personality and interest in the role, you're going to want to also ask questions that are tailored to the position. Since you are looking for a new boss, you can ask questions about business management, leadership and anything else that would help you determine if a candidate can effectively run a department or company.
2. Look through their resume
Prior to each interview, take some time to carefully read through each candidate's resume. Highlight a few sections that you hope to elaborate on during the interview. Try to learn how each candidate's previous experiences would make them fit for such an important leadership role. Ask them how they might translate their previous experiences into this new role. Have them talk about specific experiences that might make them the right choice for this job.
3. Tell them about their potential responsibilities
While this person may become your employer, it's important that they have a clear understanding of what your team expects from them. Let them know what their key responsibilities and duties would be in this position. You can even get into your company culture and explain what you'd like to stay the same as well as what changes you seek. The more straightforward you are about your expectations, the more likely you'll be to find someone who can effectively lead the company or department.
4. Take notes
Keep a notepad and pen nearby during the entire interview. Jot down some details about the interview so you can remember how each candidate stood out to you. Use shorthand to take note of what a candidate said for each of your questions. When interviewing multiple people, this will help you keep track of what each candidate has to offer, which will make a good comparison tool later. Once the interview is over and the candidate has left, you may want to expand your notes into more of a detailed overview.
5. Discuss as a group
After all of your interviews are over, meet with the hiring team to discuss candidates. Since this person may be leading your team, department or entire company, you may want to make this decision a group effort. Discuss what you liked and disliked about each candidate you met with. You may even decide that you want to ask a couple of your top candidates to meet for a second interview so that you can narrow down your choices. At the end of the entire interview process, have your team members vote on their pick for the job offer.
Questions to ask your future boss
To set you on a path toward a productive line of questioning, here are some questions to ask your future boss.
1. If you were to get this job, what would you do within your first month of working here?
When you are looking for a new employer to lead your company, you want to find someone who has a plan of action from the start. This question can help your hiring team determine if a candidate is capable of making meaningful changes at the company. Look for an answer that clearly explains what this person plans to do within the first month of employment. Make sure their answer aligns with what your company needs.
2. What is your management style?
This question is a good way to determine if a candidate has the right management style for your company. Think about what kind of leader your company is looking for, so that you can determine which candidates have an appropriate response. Look for an answer that shows this person would be an effective and inspiring leader. You may want someone who can act as an authority figure while also making an effort to build meaningful relationships at work.
3. How would you go about addressing performance issues?
This question can teach you a lot about a candidate's communication and problem-solving skills. You want a leader who can help employees meet their goals and expectations. Look for an answer that shows the candidate is firm but understanding of performance issues. An ideal candidate will have a plan that they can implement to get employees to be more productive.
4. What is your ideal communication style?
Some employers prefer to meet with their teams in person, while others find that an email will suffice. Asking this question can help you determine if a candidate's communication style will fit in with what's already working for your company. Look for someone who is open to many different forms of communication, but wants an overall system in place.
5. Why are you interested in running our company?
While leadership roles tend to pay good money, you want to look for a candidate who has other reasons for running a company. This question can help you learn what each candidate's intentions are. Look for an answer that explains more value-based reasons for wanting to run a company. For instance, wanting to make a meaningful change in the industry is a quality answer.
6. Do you have any questions for us?
If a candidate is truly interested in this leadership role, they will have an entire list of questions to ask you. Look for someone who asks thoughtful questions based on your conversation. You want to make sure this candidate is actively trying to learn as much as they can about the company.
Explore more articles
- Navy Officer Jobs Explained
- 23 High-Paying Jobs You Can Pursue That Are Fun
- 18 Types of Therapists To Explore as a Career
- 10 High-Paying Architecture Jobs (Plus Salaries and Duties)
- How To Find Movie Extra Jobs (With Tips)
- Public vs. Private Accounting: Definition and Key Differences
- 16 Jobs in Criminal Justice With No Required Police Training
- 56 Jobs To Pursue With a Bachelor's Degree in Social Science
- FAQ: What Is a Typical Nurse Schedule
- Manufacturing Jobs: Definition and Examples
- How To Become a Radiologist Technician (With FAQS)
- Retail Work: The Definitive Guide