What Qualities Do You Look For in a Boss?


Job Interview Questions & Answers: What Do You Look For in a Boss?

Reason Employers Ask This Question

Interviewers ask, “What do you believe makes a good boss?” to learn about your leadership preferences. Additionally, if you are seeking a management position, they want to know what type of supervisor you are. Ultimately, your answer gives managers a sense of how you’ll fit with the company.

How to Respond When Asked to Describe Your Ideal Boss

To answer this question, discuss your own leadership style or reflect on past supervisors and authority figures who helped you succeed. Talk about what made them so likable and how they encouraged you and others to be productive. Mention traits such as:

  • Having respect for their employees
  • Providing clear instruction and constructive feedback
  • Making themselves available to discuss work-related issues
  • Exhibiting patience throughout the training process
  • Keeping a positive attitude and improving workplace morale

Answers to Avoid

When talking about your ideal boss, avoid mentioning the negative traits of past employers. Putting down your former managers can make interviewers think you hold grudges. Also, leave out any bosses who had a go-with-the-flow approach. These people can seem lazy to other employers, and it could make them think you have a similar work style.

Sample Responses About What Makes a Good Boss

Here are some examples of how to answer, “What do you look for in a boss?” Use them as a guide to help you shape a response based on your preferences.

Sample Job 1 – Bank Teller Job

“I think a good boss is someone who frequently checks in with their staff. Though I try to do my best every day, I sometimes wonder if I am doing a good job. My former managers were great about sending emails commending us for a job well done or giving tips on how we could improve in other areas. Their constructive feedback always put me at ease and helped me continue to develop my skills.”

Sample Job 2 – Coffee Shop Manager Job

“To me, a good boss is someone who still considers themselves a part of the team. Though I have separate duties as a manager, I always try to pitch in and help out around the store when I can. I think it improves the manager-employee dynamic when workers know that you truly care about them and are willing to step in and lend a hand.”

Sample Job 3 – Housekeeping Job

“A positive attitude and the ability to inspire others are things I look for in a boss. At my old job, my boss had a great sense of humor and always encouraged us to smile. He made sure we stayed on task, of course, but he was also uplifting, supportive, and made sure we had fun doing our jobs. That kind of leadership made all of us excited to show up and do our best every day.”

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