Most job interviews follow the same pattern and often wrap up with questions like, what do you do in your spare time? Do you have any questions for us? And the one we’ll look at today – how would you improve this company?

It might seem like a loaded question or that the interviewer is trying to catch you out. In reality, it’s pretty straightforward and gives you a chance to show you’re keen and know about the company. So don’t panic!

Why they’re asking this question

This is a common competency-based interview questions used to see:

  1. Can you provide constructive feedback?
  2. Have you done your research?
  3. Do you have any solutions that will benefit the company?

Try not to look at this question as a challenge. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to chat about some of your skills that you might not have already mentioned.

How to answer the question

If you’re tempted to say “I wouldn’t change anything” don’t! A good company is always striving to do better and they’ll be interested in hearing your honest feedback. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have asked.

It’s really important to prepare for this question and think about what you can contribute. Whatever answer you give make sure to follow up with a solution.

For example, if you work in marketing you might say you’ve noticed inconsistent social media messaging. You could then follow up by saying something like “in my previous role I used a scheduling tool called SproutSocial to organise and manage all social media posts on a weekly basis, I’d love to implement something like this to help streamline the process here.”

This answers the question, provides an achievable solution and doesn’t offend.

You could also add in some things that you enjoy in your current role that contribute to a great company culture. For example, you might love getting involved in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and suggest that if they don’t already organise things like this, you’d love to help organise something.

What not to say

The last thing you want to do is offend anyone or come across as rude. Avoid criticising things that are difficult to change or that you don’t have a viable solution for.

On the other end of the spectrum, don’t be overly positive either. Good businesses are always looking to improve and offering solutions show you’re innovative and forward-thinking.

Overall if you’re asked “how would you improve our company” be honest and offer solutions as well as critique. You want to showcase your knowledge while showing how you can help improve the company.

Looking for more job interview advice? Download our free job interview handbook or view our guide to competency-based interview questions.