Tell me honestly about the strong points and weak points of your boss (company, management team, etc.)

This is another question that can feel like a trap. Every advice tells you that you shouldn’t talk negatively about your boss, as the interviewer will usually take the side of the management. Plus talking bad about someone else, especially someone in a position of power and authority makes you look like a spoilsport. However, here we are, with the interviewer directly asking you to bad mouth your boss. The trick here is to seem like you are saying something bad without actually saying anything bad at all. So, how do you do that?

Well first things first, the interviewer has asked for both strong points and weak points of your boss, company, management team, or something else. You shouldn’t seem like you are struggling here. List some things about your boss that you like or admire, and why. Support it with an example of how those qualities helped in a certain situation.

For the weak points, the same guidelines about the question, ‘tell me about your weaknesses’ apply here. You have to show that you are aware of your boss’s pitfalls but you have to state it in a manner without actually looking like you are criticizing him. Talk about an actual weakness of his, or something you didn’t like about him. It shouldn’t be something major, or anything important that makes it seem like he was an ineffective or bad boss. Talk about something superficial, support it with an example where that was a problem. List how you think your boss could have improved this or handled things differently.

Believe it or not, this question is not actually about your boss, but rather about you and your personality. Here you have to effectively show that you are capable of recognizing the good qualities in people and are not above praising them and giving them credit for it. While, you are also aware enough to not only recognize the negative qualities in others, and by connection in you. By highlighting how you think they should address their weakness, you in turn show how you would address them if you faced those issues, hence showing how mature and self-aware you are; all qualities that are definitely a benefit to have in any job.

However, don’t say anything negative about your boss or your previous company, as the interviewer would like to see how loyal you are to your boss and company. If are not loyal to them, then it shows that you won’t be loyal to this company either.

Sample Answer:

Like each person, my boss also has several strengths and weaknesses. One thing I always admired about him was that he never heisted to praise someone who he felt deserved it. He was always quick to highlight someone’s achievements and that helped boost the morale of the person. However, he often praised the people that were closest to him more so that the others. Of course, that is not really his fault as he worked with them the closest hence was in a position to see their work and capabilities more so than the others. Though this did led to some other employees to feel like he favored them over the others, even though I know that was not the case. I feel like he should have made an effort to praise the others more so that the disheartened situation did not arise.

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