This week’s KIQ comes from Disrupt CEO Gary Elphick: “If I call up your current employer right now what three things are they going to say about you?” (Tread carefully: they might actually ring up.)
Boss image from Shutterstock
This is a variation of the question “what are your greatest strengths?”, but from the point of view of the interviewee’s current/former employer. It’s a good way to make the applicant think about how they are perceived by upper management. It’s also more likely to receive a sincere response — after all, confirmation is just a phone call away.
“I like this question because there is so much to it,” explains Elphick. “Those that know me know I’m quite likely to actually pick up the phone and find out there and then…Having to think about their current employer and their point of view also helps them consider themselves and the role in a more rounded manner.”
From the interview chair, it’s best to divide your answers between likeable personality traits and employment skills. We’d advise against saying anything negative even if your boss can’t stand you — while your honesty will be appreciated, it can only hurt your chances of landing the job. By the same token, don’t overdo the fictitious praise.
How would you answer this question? Let us know in the comments.