The No Asshole Rule emphasizes that one of the best ways to avoid the negative effects of workplaces that will leave you feeling demeaned and de-energized is to carefully assess your boss and colleagues during the interview and recruitment process. Guy Kawasaki and I had fun with this challenge a few years back when we developed a list of 10 signs that your future boss is likely to be a bosshole. In this spirit, I got a remarkable note the other day from a fellow who used his job interview to determine that his future boss was likely to be an asshole. Note the often subtle signs he observed. This are his exact words, I just removed a couple key sentences (with his permission) to protect his identity:
Just wanted to thank you. I read your "no Asshole rule" book on the plane my way to an interview. I suspected from our initial phone interview that he could be a jerk. I decided to take a new approach to the interview...to see how he interacted with shop floor employees and people that worked directly for him, to see how he spoke to me, and his verbal and visual actions, to see if I wanted this position instead of trying to impress them so they want to hire me. I watched people that worked for him stand away from him when talking to him. I saw he never smiled, and no one smiled at him. He passed people on the line without so much as a nod to them. And to top it off, he cut me off TWICE when I was talking like I wasn't even speaking, and then once even rudely didn't even PRETEND to listen to me as I talked about my background. In fact, I believe he started looking around and saying "uh huh, uh huh, uh huh" rudely "rushing me along" about 15 seconds into my background discussion. To top it off, I remember you saying "assholes hire assholes", so I asked him if he had recommended the hiring of the people on his current team, and he boldly bragged "I hire EVERYONE on my team, it is all MY decision"...so I turned down the offer. I believe in my heart, I would have worked for an asshole. . And life is too short to do that again.
I find this guy to be very astute. What do you think of his analysis?
What are other signs that you look for that a future boss -- or colleague --is likely to be a certified asshole?