More Interview Questions and Answers
How would you describe your current employer?
Alternative and related questions:
What do you think of your current employer?
What is your relationship like with your current employer?
The meaning behind the question:
The interviewer is unlikely to be too interested in your current employer. What they're truffling for with this question is what your relationship is like with your current employer and, yet again, to better understand your motivations in wishing to leave them.
We've previously covered the question, "How would you describe your current boss?" Don't make the mistake of thinking this question is the same. They're specifically asking about your employer as a whole, not just your immediate boss. However, my guidelines for answering the question are very similar. Give a short but reasonably complimentary description and, most importantly, portray yourself as a valued member of staff.
Avoid any overt negativity because, ultimately, it will reflect negatively on you. No disparaging comments; you don't want to open up a can of worms here. But, likewise, don't overly sing their praises because it may just ring hollow. After all, if they're that great, then why do you want to leave?! A decent compromise is to drop in a mild criticism which is simultaneously complimentary of your potential new employer.
I have no complaints. I'm happy with the way they operate and with the way they treat me and the way they treat their staff in general. They're good employers. They've taught me a lot; I've gained a lot of experience and I feel appreciated by them for the results I achieve and, generally, as a member of their team. I do feel that they're perhaps not as fast-moving and progressive as they could be which is probably my main reason for wishing to move on and join an organization such as yours.
Word of warning:
I've seen another expert suggest you could just answer 'Very good' and leave it at that. However, I'd advise against this (a) because it makes you look uncommunicative and (b) even worse it can make it look like you don't want to give a proper answer to the question, possibly because you have something to hide.
The Interview Question & Answer Book
More interview questions and answers
Talking about your current employment
- Can you tell me what you enjoy about your current job?
- What will you remember most about your last job?
- Is this the first time you have made an effort to move away from your current employers?
- How do you feel about the possibility of leaving your current job?
- How would you describe your current employer?
Talking about this vacancy
- Wouldn’t you be better suited to working in a larger/smaller organization?
- How do you feel this vacancy differs from your current role?
- What reservations do you have about your ability to undertake this job?
- Can you describe your ideal working environment to me?
- How do you feel we compare to our competitors?
- What would you say is our Unique Selling Point?
- What would be your analysis of the current trends in our industry/sector?
Understanding your career path, plans and ambitions
- What aspects of your career path would you like to have been different?
- What are your greatest regrets about the path your career has taken?
- What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your career to date?
- What do you think are your main career options for the next five years?
- What exactly does the word ‘success’ mean to you?
Addressing problems in your career history
- Why did you only stay with this organization for such a short time?
- Why did you stay with this organization for such a long time?
Coping with stress and pressure
- Are you able to multitask?
- Can you juggle a number of different projects simultaneously?
- How do you handle rejection/disappointment/failure?
- How do you deal with interpersonal conflict?
- What does tact and diplomacy mean to you?
- What makes for a successful team?
Management and leadership
- Would you describe yourself as a good manager?
- Do you really think you’re management material?
- What is your attitude to delegation?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you had to lead from the front?
- Have you ever had to fire or lay off a member of your staff?
- How would you describe your ideal team member?
Personal and professional development
- In what ways do you intend to improve upon your performance?
- How has your current job prepared you for greater challenges/responsibility?
Interests and activities
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- What newspaper do you take?
- Are you interested in current affairs?
The amateur psychiatrist
- If you won the lottery what would you do?
- Can you tell me about the best teacher you ever had?
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
- What are you most afraid of?
Money, money, money
- Why aren’t you earning more?
- How much do you think you are really worth?
- How much does money matter to you?
- Would you still be interested in this job if you current employer offered a pay rise?
- Have you ever had to take a pay cut to keep your job?
- Have you ever asked for but been refused a pay rise?
Author: James Innes