This question focuses on the organization as a whole and is probably best suited for the human resource representative or recruiter. You can also use it for other interviewers to get more insights into the inner workings of the organization. The natural follow up is to discuss this in the context of competition. Another really interesting follow up question is how the current situation can be approved upon, more about that in the goals section below.
Preparation gets you the Job: As with most questions, you should prepare yourself to offer your own opinion and insights. You should consider what you believe are the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. As an outsider you will not be expected to know everything, but if you have industry experience or are positioning yourself as an industry expert, competitive knowledge is also expected. If you are able to stimulate really interesting conversations with the interviewer, this could make you a more attractive candidate for the job.
Discussing the Future gets you the Job: Asking the interviewer what he or she believes could be improved upon or developed further could stimulate really interesting discussions. If you have done your homework and prepared your own bullet points of what you believe needs to be done, then this could be the opportunity you have been waiting for. It is an excellent opportunity to showcase your ideas and demonstrate that you can add value to the organization. Have this conversation in the context of your functional role or area of expertise and you are good to go.
Understand Interviewerâ€™s Viewpoint: No matter what your own opinions around this topic may be, it can be really interesting to get the interviewers viewpoint. You should of course first prepare your own list, but understanding what the interviewer considers to be the top themes can be really interesting for your own selection process.
Badmouthing the Employer: Spontaneous answers or thoughts can easily be seen as badmouthing the employer. This should of course be avoided. On the other hand, simply praising the employer up in the skies may not get you the brownie points you were hoping for. Most interviewers will prefer a candidate that offers a true picture of the organizationâ€™s situation, where disadvantages are positioned in a non-threatening manner.
Getting caught up in describing the Negative: If you choose to use this question to stimulate conversation, you should not describe the negative too vividly. The point of the exercise is not to hash out what is wrong, but to show them what your contribution could be.
All HR & Recruiter Questions to ask at an Interview