More Interview Questions and Answers
How do you feel we compare to our competitors?
Alternative and related questions:
How would you rate us against our competitors?
What advantages do you feel we have over our competitors?
The meaning behind the question:
No, the interviewer isn't just fishing for compliments. First of all, they'll be interested to see whether you've done your homework and do indeed not only know who their competitors are but also how they operate. Secondly – albeit not related to your job application – they'll have a natural curiosity as regards an outsider's opinion of their organization and its competitors.
A potentially tricky question but another opportunity to impress the interviewer with the research you've conducted, both on their organization and on the sector in which they operate. Above all, of course, phrase your answer in such a manner that makes it clear to the interviewer that you'd much rather work for them than any of their competitors. But do make it sound convincing and not just like you're buttering them up! What do you, honestly, feel sets this organization apart from its competition? Why do you want to work for them and not their competition? Pick – and elaborate on – at least one positive difference between them and their competition. Don't even think of discussing anything which is less than 100% positive.
In conducting my market research when embarking on my job hunt, I obviously took a close look not only at your company but also at your competitors. I'm aware that some of your competitors have a larger market share, higher turnover and higher profits but what struck me about your company was its outstanding reputation for customer service and customer care. Some of your competitors may have a larger share of the market for the time being but, judging by the number of disgruntled customers posting their comments on the Internet, I'm convinced that I can work with you to ensure that we end up overtaking them. You've clearly focused on quality and reputation above all else, knowing that if you get this right then the profits will follow. That's a strategy I agree with wholeheartedly.
Word of warning:
You can be skating on thin ice with questions such as this if you say something which you are unable to fully substantiate, should the interviewer decide to dig deeper. As always, conducting thorough research prior to your interview is absolutely vital.
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