Killer Interview Question: What 3 Things Would Your Current Boss Say About You?

Killer Interview Question: What 3 Things Would Your Current Boss Say About You?

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.

[Via Business Insider Australia]


  • Another goofy question that will tell you nothing. I’m amazed that companies that use these questions can get good staff: a) the bright ones might say; man, is this all the company’s got upstairs? I’m off. or b) He’s a great guy, always there, and very helpful. And you learn didly squat. There are two types of legit questions: what did you do, and what would you do.

    • I normally feel the same about these “killer interview questions”. However, I participated on an interview panel recently where this question was asked and the responses were great. We had two very close candidates, and this question helped make the decision. It really revealed character – which is an important part of working in a team – and was easily the most interesting set of responses.

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