You're in a job interview with your potential future manager. The interviewer asks:

"What have been your most positive and negative experiences with managers?"

You immediately think about the many terrible experiences you've had with your previous managers.

Jim from The Office making an awkward face

🛑 Pause!

Remember: This is an interview, not a venting session. Keep it professional and positive.

What They Really Want to Know

A woman says,

The interviewer really wants to know:

  • Do you take responsibility for your productivity?

  • Do you hold grudges?

  • Are you a good fit for this company and its management style?

How to Answer

  1. Keep it positive. Focus on how you were able to stay productive despite challenges, and how you used these experiences as learning opportunities.

  2. Highlight skills. Mention relevant skills you learned from working with managers.

  3. Talk about yourself. Remember, this interview is about you and how you deal with situations.

An animation of a smiley face holding out hands in a meditative position. The text reads,

Try It

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The interviewer asks, "What have been your most positive and negative experiences with managers?"

Which is the best response?

Option A

"A positive experience I had was with a manager who didn't care if we left early or not. I appreciated the flexibility. A negative experience I had was with my last manager. I didn't like him because he always gave me bad performance evaluations. After three years of working for the company, he never recommended me for a promotion, so I finally decided to look for a new job."

Option B

"I had a manager who was hands-on, gave me constructive feedback, and provided opportunities to challenge myself and demonstrate my growth. I've also had a manager who interacted with me only during performance evaluations and didn't know enough about me to give me personal feedback. I took it upon myself to solicit feedback and schedule one-on-ones with him proactively to stay accountable for my career growth."


In the scenario above, which is the best response?

Take Action

A woman sitting in front of a laptop says,

Be ready to answer the question effectively!


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