How to “reverse reference check” your future dealership boss

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You’ve researched the dealership, impressed them in the interviews, and the job offer is yours for the taking. But before you accept, there’s one crucial step many candidates miss: getting the inside scoop on your potential boss. In the tight-knit world of truck, machinery, and agricultural equipment dealerships, your manager can significantly impact your day-to-day and your long-term career prospects.

Why bother?

Dealerships often check your references – why shouldn’t you do the same? Learning about your future manager’s working style, personality, and leadership approach can make the difference between a thriving work environment and a frustrating one. It also shows initiative and demonstrates that you’re serious about making the right career move.

reversereferencecheck | Teamrecruit

Strategies for your investigation

Ask thoughtful questions
During the interview, ask questions like, “How would you describe your approach to managing a sales/service/parts team?” or “What do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities in this department?”. Listen carefully to their answers and how they make you feel.

Utilise LinkedIn
Search for your potential manager on LinkedIn. Look for former colleagues or business partners in the industry who may be willing to share their insights.

Tap your network
Use social media and professional connections within the dealership world to see if anyone knows your potential boss or has worked with them in the past.

Seek or Indeed reviews
Check employer review sites for mentions of your potential boss or their department. Take reviews with a grain of salt but look for patterns that might be insightful.

Beyond direct references

Requesting and completing actual references from a potential boss may not come across in the way that you hope, so here’s how to look for clues elsewhere.

Dealership culture
Does the overall dealership environment seem supportive and growth-oriented? Does it align with your values and preferred working style? A mismatch here can be a red flag, regardless of the individual manager.

Industry reputation
Does your potential boss have a positive reputation within the industry? You might discreetly ask around your network or pay attention to how they are spoken about during the interview process.

Remember: it's a two-way street

Finding the right dealership job is about finding the right fit for you. By researching your potential boss, you empower yourself to make a confident decision.  If you have reservations, think carefully about whether this is the right opportunity.  A great dealership with a poor manager could still be a frustrating experience, and vice versa.

Additional tips

Trust your instincts
If something feels off, don’t ignore it. Your intuition can be often correct, so it’s worth looking into things further.

Consider the ‘what ifs’
Imagine yourself working with this person in both good and stressful scenarios typical of the dealership environment. Does it feel like a partnership you can thrive in?

By doing your due diligence, you increase your chances of landing a role with a manager who supports your growth and helps you build a fulfilling career in the truck, machinery, or agricultural equipment sector.

Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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