Signs of a Great Future Manager

You’re interviewing for what seems to be your dream job. The salary, location and company all seem like a great fit for you. The one thing that’s harder to gauge is whether or not your future manager is a good one or not. One of the biggest concerns for employees taking a new job according to our yearly surveys is the person they’ll be reporting to. A good manager can make your workplace enjoyable and even make you look forward to coming in each day. A bad manager, however, can make you dream of handing in your resignation. How can you tell if your future manager is going to be great or not? Here are some telltale signs of a great future manager.

They’re Honest from the Start

Great managers are honest – they don’t try to sell you on a company or role that is completely different than reality. They also don’t make promises they can’t keep – like offering bonuses or upward mobility they can’t actually deliver.  A great future manager is honest from the start and is willing to put everything they offer in writing, such as future promotions/raises they might offer as an incentive.

They Care about Your Personal and Professional Goals

A good boss will try to understand you as a human being, since different things motivate different people.  So they will take an interest in you as a whole, not necessarily just in your career aspirations.  They will want to learn this upfront so that they can be honest as to whether there is a cultural fit and if they can help you achieve what you are after. Some goals may have to do with a promotion or target compensation, others may have to do with work- life balance.

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Just like every employee is different, so is every company.  This conversation will help make sure there is alignment both professionally and culturally.

They Discuss how they will measure your Success

Understanding what is expected of you to be successful is important to understand before joining a new organization.  A good future boss will tell you upfront or at least be able to answer the questions with specifics that can help you be focused on the right things to succeed in your new role.

They’re Respectful of Your Time

Good managers mutually respect their employees and value their time and energy. If you meet a potential future boss for the first time and they don’t respect you or your time, this may be a red flag. Good leaders will recognize that your time is valuable too. They won’t schedule a call for 1 pm, then not call until 1:30, or make you wait in reception for an interview beyond a reasonable timeframe.

They Don’t Blame Others

If your potential future boss tells you that all your predecessors weren’t good at the job (which is why they’re looking at you) and blame them for failures, beware. A good manager doesn’t place the blame on others or talk poorly about others that might have been in the role previously. A good future manager doesn’t talk poorly about others, just as you’re expected not to talk poorly about your past employer.

They Answer Questions

An interview is a two-way street and a good future manager should offer the opportunity and be willing to answer questions you might have about the role and the company. If anything, they should be excited to see you are engaged and in turn get you excited about coming onboard.

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Share your thoughts on what signs indicate a great future manager in the comments below.

Signs of a Great Future Manager
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Elizabeth Becker

Elizabeth is Marketing Manager at PROTECH. Comments and feedback can be directed to her at