Killer Interview Question: How Would You Change Our Company?

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No company is perfect, but how honest should you be when you're asked this question in a job interview?

Negatively slanted questions are always tricky in a job interview, especially when the hiring manager asks you: How would you change our company?

You want to tread carefully because you want to make a good impression but the hiring manager will catch on when you're being facetious. So avoid bland and sycophantic responses like "There's not a single thing I would change about the company." It also makes you look unimaginative; the hiring manager knows their company isn't perfect so there's no point avoiding that.

That doesn't mean you should go full-blown negative when you respond either. Career consultant Alina Tubman told Fast Company that candidates whose answers are based on rumours or focus on negative aspects of the job won't get very far in the interview.

For example:

"One particularly bad answer Tubman got to her change question: "I know your culture is cutthroat, and if I were there I would change that."

"She says a standout response focused on the same weakness but avoided going negative: "It seems like the perception of the culture is that it’s cutthroat. Have you thought about doing things in more of a team environment across multiple divisions?"

It helps to do your research about the company first so you can gauge its potential weaknesses and to pay attention to challenges the interviewer mentions.

How would you tackle this question? Let us know in the comments.

[Fast Company]


Comments

    By including me in it!

    In another time I used to ask "What don't you like about our products?". It not only weeds out the sycophants but it identifies those with a deeper knowledge of the products and sets you up for a profitable discussion.

    Sadly you can't safely initiate this sort of discussion as an applicant.

    I'm sorry you had to find out this way Alina, but... You're fired.

    I think that's a question every employer should ask, especially if the answer is in relation to the position your applying for. Anyone who has gone to places like BigW and Coles knows how things can be improved. They need to please the customer, so a former/current customer knows the experience from the other side. Most likely the managers and staff haven't been a customer for years, so have no idea what the other side experiences.

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