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Ask Slashdot: Interviewing Your Boss? 219

First time accepted submitter Uzuri writes "I'm soon going to have the experience of interviewing an individual to be my direct supervisor. I have in mind several things to ask already, especially since I also have the strange position of working as a technical person in a non-technical office and want to be able to be certain that the interviewee understands exactly what that means without coming off as hostile or condescending. What sort of questions would you ask/have you asked the person who was to be your boss? What sort of tells would you look for? What's out of bounds?"
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Ask Slashdot: Interviewing Your Boss?

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  • by quietwalker ( 969769 ) <> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:05PM (#42278533)

    I'm a software dev, and I could do a decent evaluation for anyone from architect down to data-entry, but I don't know that there's anything in my background or skill set that would mark me as being especially able to evaluate a manager based on their day to day duties.

    That being said, what I could look for that's important for my manager to have that affects MY day to day duties - which is going to be the minority of what they do - is awareness of the technical processes, awareness of technical limitations, and a reasonable shot from the hip estimate of costs and risk they think a given task will require.

    I have had managers who have asked me to get a remote server with no external access email us when they or their internet connection goes down. I've had folks who don't understand that if I push a change of a major subsystem directly into production after working on it for only a few hours, it could very well take down all customers. In many cases, these folks won't be able to justify or even consider the costs for refactors, or for separate test environments, but it's a little late after they've told their boss's boss they'll hit the deadline and now you're on the hook for it.

    Beyond those things, just check to see if his management style gels with how your company like to work. Some folks like teams, some like seclusion. Some managers are hands on, some are hands off. Some like rigid project plans, others prefer desk drive-bys. Make sure that their style is good for your company, and for you.

  • Re:you are crazy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Motard ( 1553251 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:07PM (#42278557)

    He said interview, not hire. It's generally a good policy to get many people involved in the interviewing process.

  • by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:29PM (#42278941)
    Contractors are an exclusion to this, though often not managers, some project managers fall into this category. Coming on-site executing a successful project and then doing it again at a different site requires way more managerial skills and organization than a guy that's been getting fat at his corp for the last decade.

Friction is a drag.