Can you describe your ideal employer to me?

  | James Innes

Can you describe your ideal employer to me?

Alternative and related questions:

Which of your employers was the best?

The meaning behind the question:

By identifying what you perceive as the perfect employer, the interviewer can assess how closely their organisation fits this profile – and hence how well you are likely to fit in with their organisation. It’s a clever question and sets a trap that a weaker candidate is likely to walk straight into. If they don’t fit your definition of the ideal employer then why would they want to hire you?

Your answer:

It doesn’t really matter what your idea of an ideal employer is. What matters is that your description should match the organisation to which you are now applying. Of course, if there’s a big difference between your prospective employer and your conception of the ideal employer then you should perhaps be asking yourself whether this is really going to be the right job for you.

The easiest way to tackle this question is to first identify what it is that you like best about your prospective employer – and then build your description of your ‘ideal’ employer around this.

If you’ve already prepared an answer to, “Why do you want to work for this organisation?” (which I covered in the previous chapter) then you can recycle some of the ideas you had for this.


My ideal employer would be a large yet growing company with a strong reputation within its sector, a company which offers plenty of scope for progression within the hierarchy. While my preference is for a larger organisation, I want to work for a company which nevertheless has a dynamic and progressive approach. Your organisation certainly more than meets those requirements.

Word of warning:

It would be inappropriate to openly state that you feel their organisation to be the ‘perfect’ employer. You will inevitably come across as phoney!

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