Expert reveals one question to ask in a job interview to save yourself from nightmare bosses

Alex Lasker

As many reenter the job market following a coronavirus-related spike in unemployment, it’s more important than ever to brush up on interview etiquette.

J.T. O’Donnell, the founder and CEO of career coaching resource site, has shared her advice to help applicants land in roles that are right for them — and avoid potential “Horrible Bosses” situations.

In a TikTok video that has been viewed over 3.5 million times, O’Donnell revealed “the one question” interviewees should always ask in a job interview so they can figure out what it’s going to be like to work for that particular hiring manager.

“When it gets to your turn to ask questions, simply say, ‘can you tell me about the most successful person you ever hired and what exactly they did to be successful?'” advised O’Donnell, who has over 15 years of experience in HR and recruiting. “That’s because whatever response they give you is what they look for in a candidate. And let me tell you why that’s important.”

“Let’s say this boss was raving about work-life balance at the organization,” she continued. “But when you asked this question, they said, ‘The best person I ever hired was Jim. He came in early, he stayed late. He worked weekends. I could text him, call him anytime and he would drop everything for me.’ Does that sound like work-life balance to you? No! It’s a very revealing question about what this boss admires and respects, which means that’s going to predict what you’re going to have to do to be successful and get raises and promotions.”

A woman who identified herself as a tenured HR manager took to the comments section of the video to call O’Donnell’s advice “spot on” for those seeking employment.

“I have been an HR manager for over 20 years and this is a very astute observation and a fantastic question,” she wrote.

“This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard,” echoed another user.

For more of O’Donnell’s career tips — including how to ask for a raise and the number one sign you don’t want to work for a company — check out her TikTok.

If you enjoyed this article, learn more expert tips on how to stand out as a job candidate.

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