How To Answer “What Do You Really Think About Your Previous Boss?”

Do you have an upcoming job interview? Make sure you know how to answer this tricky interview question What do you really think about your previous boss?” Other similar interview questions are “What is one negative thing your previous boss said about you?” OR “Do you actually like your former employer?”

The interviewer wants to hear you describe past relationships to gauge your personality on temperament, attitude, loyalty and ability to assess others. It’s not about your former boss, but how you communicate your opinion, behave towards others and how you’d like to be managed.

#1. Example Answer

“My previous boss was stubborn as a mule, but a man of his word. Although I prefer to work with people who are more flexible, I’ve learned a lot from him about how to effectively communicate with colleagues that are not pulling their weight and how to efficiently manage and monitor the workload of our team. We surely had our differences but we both chose to focus on performance rather than personal habits.”

#.2 Example Answer

“Well, my previous manager micromanaged each and every situation on the work-floor. I don’t like it when someone constantly peers over my shoulders and watches every move like a hawk. I do, however, really admire his willingness to learn what employees need from a practical and personal point of view. He also delivered open and honest feedback which gave me the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.”

Interview Question Tips

  • Don’t reignite old grudges. For example, don’t say “My former employer is completely unqualified to run the business.” OR “My previous boss was disrespectful, that’s why I’m here today seeking a new job.” Such a response speaks volumes about you and not your former boss.
  • Do reframe negative experiences and share what you’ve learned from them. You can also give a well-rounded answer by highlighting both positive and negative traits of your previous boss. Key here is to show that you are thinking objectively and have an overall positive attitude or vibe.