I just left an interview for a sales position and I got a really weird vibe from the hiring manager. He just seemed really checked out. I think he's going to offer me the job, but I don't know if I would enjoy working for him. My last boss was so mean. This guy isn't mean, but he doesn't seem that excited.
I wouldn't use judge a manager on whether or not they "suck", which is a rather vague and paints a person with a broad brush. If I were you, I would define the 3-5 most important qualities to you in a manager. If you've never had a manager and don't know what qualities to look for in a manager, think of your own strongest qualities and what works best with them.
For example, as someone who prides themselves on their organizational ability, I will also look for that in potential managers to see if there's a good fit. As someone who often has many questions, I also want my potential manager to be hands-on and willing to answer any and all questions I have.
After you make a list of qualities you hope to see in your new manager, I would think about the qualities during and after every interview with a potential manager. Ask questions that help you understand if the potential manager has the qualities you are looking for. It's your chance to interview them just as much as they are interviewing you!
It is so important that your manager be a good teacher. There's so much to learn and you don't want a manager who lacks patience or doesn't have things to teach you. Ask your potential boss how they coach their direct reports. If you get a chance to meet with one of your peers, ask them what the manager taught them.
It's important to remember that a job interview is just as much as much about the company identifying if you're a good fit for them as it is about evaluating if the company (and your potential manager) are a good fit for YOU!
Before your interview, think about what personal attributes or working styles you are looking for in a manager. During your interview, ask questions that help you evaluate if your potential future manager meets those requirements. You can also flip the script by asking them questions such as "what is the best professional relationship you've had with someone you managed? What about the relationship made it successful?" If you are turned off by the answer or don't see yourself fitting into that narrative, they might not be the right manager for you. Everyone has different preferences in terms of the people they like to work with, so it isn't really possible to give a one-size-fits-all answer here—it's really all about do you feel excited to go work with (and learn from!) this person every day.
Glassdoor is an extremely helpful website! If a review of them is not on there I’d just feel out the interview usually their behavior and attitude towards you will show right away if they suck or not.
When interviewing, it's important for candidate's to interview the company as much as the company is interviewing you. It's an awful feeling to be in a chair two months after accepting a job offer only to realize this isn't what you actually wanted.
In order to gain some control over the situation, create a list of questions to ask the hiring manager, peers who are in the role now, and anyone else that can provide insight into the nature of the team and the person managing you.
In the event you are already employed at an organization, and inherit a new manager, it's always a good idea to set time aside to communicate with this person and understand one another. In my first month or two working with a new manager, I tend to over-communicate in order to avoid any gaps or errors.
Finally, instead of complaining about a bad manager, try flipping the script. Use this potentially challenging relationship as an opportunity to grow your communication and interpersonal skills. It's almost certain you're going to have a lifetime of unique personalities and situations that will require patience, understanding, empathy and professionalism. Instead of running from the task at hand, dive right in. You might surprise yourself!