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Interviewing 101: How to Answer “What Are 3 Things Your Former Manager Would Like You to Improve On?”

By Michelle Merritt @michellemerritt
Strengths & Weaknesses flickr image by Paul Prival

Strengths & Weaknesses flickr image by Paul Prival

 

In our Interviewing 101 series we’re helping you answer one of the Forbes most common interview questions candidates face.  Today’s question, “What are 3 things your former manager would like you to improve on?” is very similar to “What are your weaknesses” .  Unfortunately, this time the interviewer’s asking you to speak for someone else.  This can be tricky and requires you to think on your feet.  Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1.  Think back to your reviews.  What did your past boss mention in your reviews?  One of my clients struggles to hold vendors accountable.  He takes a softer approach while his boss takes a “squeeze them till they bleed” approach.  The right way to handle vendor relationships probably lies in between their two styles.  Another client struggles to be tech savvy.  While personally, I can be too demanding of my team expecting as much from them as I expect from myself.  Each of these are valid responses provided you can demonstrate how you have worked to improve.

2.  Share your what you’re doing to improve.  The best way to share areas of improvement or professional challenges you face is to back them up with what you’re doing to fix the problem.  This is your opportunity to speak about training you’ve taken, books you’ve read, or other ways you’ve worked to improve.  If you can demostrate how these efforts to improve have paid off, even better!

3.  Don’t say anything negative about your boss.  Don’t answer this question by suggestion that your boss didn’t know what she was talking about or that he was clearly out of touch with reality.  We all have areas we need to develop.  Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase the hard work you’ve done to develop your professional skills.

Happy interviewing!

 


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