Have You Ever Had Difficulty Working With a Manager?

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Interviewers ask about issues with managers to discover whether you are a team player who is going to be able to get along well with bosses and others in the workplace. Be careful how your answer. Interviewers don't like to hear too much (or much at all) about bad bosses because it could be someone from their company that you're talking about next time around.

Have You Ever Had Difficulty Working With a Manager?

Watch what you say and be careful answering questions about previous managers.

You don't want to come across as difficult, and you want to cast any past experiences in the most positive light possible.

Even if your manager was awful, you don't need to say so. You don’t know if perhaps your interviewer knows your former boss personally, and you also don’t know when your paths might cross again. It is always smart to be as considerate as possible when describing your relationship with a difficult manager. You gain nothing by coming across as bitter.

Discuss the strengths your past supervisors had and how they helped you succeed in your positions.

Examples of the Best Answers

Hear are sample answers to the interview question "Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?" Tailor your response to fit your personal circumstances.

  • I have been very lucky to have had terrific managers during my career so far. I have respected each of them, and got along well with all of them.
  • I once had a manager who brought her own problems into work with her on a daily basis. She was going through a difficult time in her personal life, which everyone tried to sympathize with, but it affected the atmosphere in the office. It didn't impact my work, but the situation was challenging.
  • No, I am a hard worker, and my managers always seem to appreciate the job I'm doing. I've got along well with every manager I've had.
  • I had a rocky start with a manager earlier in my career, because we had different expectations for the flow of the workday. Once we talked about it, we realized that our goals were very compatible, and we were able to work very successfully together for several years.
  • I have found that if I take the time to talk with my manager at the beginning of a project, we can all get off to a great start on the same page.
  • I did have an experience where I thought my new supervisor was unhappy with me. So I made a point to arrive early one day so I could talk to her in private. It turned out, she was not unhappy with me at all and she apologized if she came across that way.

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