Should a Boss Be Feared or Liked?

Job Interview Question & Answer: Do You Think a Manager / Boss / Employer Should Be Feared or Liked?

What To Say And How To Say It

When interviewers ask about whether employees should fear or like managers, applicants commonly respond with a specific answer. The industry-standard reply actually includes neither option and instead says employers should opt for respect from subordinates. Though differing managerial styles often prove effective based on context, job search professionals generally agree a balanced managerial approach earns respect from workers. Candidates should prepare explanations for the response to offer if needed but should keep answers concise unless interviewers ask for more detail.

Why Not to Say Liked
Some managers seek the admiration of employees. On the surface, the potential results may seem favorable; however, many pitfalls exist with the method. Workers often see bosses who become too well-liked as pushovers and take liberties when carrying out job duties. Employees may expect managers to treat subordinates as personal friends and overlook poor work performance or excuse violations out of camaraderie or kindness. Successful managers remain likable without appearing too malleable or lenient. Applicants should mention professional motivation and adherence to company policies as positive qualities in bosses.

Why Not to Say Feared
Conversely, employers may use fear as a method to enforce productivity and worker compliance. Threats of termination, harsh disciplinary policies, and aggressive attitudes constitute typical behaviors intended to instill a sense of fear in employees. The drawbacks of the approach remain apparent. Employees frequently respond to antagonistic behaviors with resistance and opposition, which causes discord in workplaces and hinders productive results. Workers with fear-inspiring managers also tend to put less energy into job duties and more effort into avoiding bosses. Alternately, respected employers motivate and inspire staff without resorting to negative methods. Applicants should highlight the positives of ideal management approaches and avoid describing bad experiences with previous bosses.

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