One of the most influential factors in a job is your immediate supervisor. They affect what, when, and how you do your work. Finding a good fit between you and a manager can greatly help or hurt workplace efficiency. It stands to reason that this is something that will be addressed in a job interview. This question is how companies look for a synergistic fit between manager and employee. We’ll help you answer this question today.

Avoiding Negativity

The first key point to mention: it is imperative you don’t bad mouth a past boss. Although this question may make it extremely tempting to do so, resist the urge. Venting about one of your past managers will only wind up making you look bad. While the complaints may be reasonable, all that will accomplish is making you look petty.

Boss Screams at Employees Angrily

Remember to focus on positive qualities, not negative.

Instead of discussing negatives, talk in positives. Think about the qualities and management styles of past supervisors that you think were the most effective. If there is a management style that worked extremely well for you, bring it up. Highlight what you liked the most, and how that made you a better employee. Ultimately, focus on the qualities and management styles that empower you to be the best employee you can.

An Honest Difference

This question is also a test to see if you have reasonable expectations when it comes to a boss. If you ask too much in ways of positives or negatives, you risk making yourself look like a hassle to manage. You don’t want the hiring manager to worry your boss won’t be getting your best work because of a difference in preferred style. It is good to highlight situations in which you work best. However, don’t make yourself look like you need special conditions to work.

Finally, be honest. Like many interview questions, overthinking your answer and saying something that seems scripted is off putting to interviewers. While you may have mentally drafted out a perfect answer, all that work may be worthless if it isn’t genuine. So in closing, make sure you are honest about your expectations and what you would like to see in a supervisor. If you answer disingenuously, you may wind up in a job where you fight with your boss everyday, and nobody wants that.