How to Answer the ‘Room for Improvement’ Interview Question

room for improvement interview question

Introduction

Job interviews can be one of the most stressful experiences possible when you’re looking for a new job.

Typically speaking, you have anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to prove that you’re right for a specific position.

And apart from your answers, there are many different factors at play. It’s important to dress appropriately for the occasion. It’s also important to be as friendly as possible, even if you have negative feelings towards the interviewer.

Both you and the employer are doing your best to figure out whether this would make for a good fit.

job interview practice

It’s impossible to know exactly what questions you will be asked during a job interview, and it’s just as difficult to try and guess what kind of answer the interviewer is hoping to hear.

But there are several questions that seem to come up in job interviews quite often. Among them, the room for improvement interview questions remains very popular to this day.

It can have very different applications as well. The interviewer may want to ask where you see an opportunity for improvement within the company you’re interviewing for.

As an alternative, the question may be used to find out where you see room for improvement in your own work performance.

Regardless of whether the question is used to ask about the company or about yourself, we’ve created a guide that will offer suggestions on how best to prepare for this question.

Practice, Practice, Practice

First and foremost, when it comes to getting yourself ready to go in for a job interview, you should set aside plenty of time to practice.

You may want to do some research online as to what questions are typically used during job interviews. But you’ll also need to be prepared to answer questions you may not be expecting.

One of the best ways to prepare for a job interview is to have a friend or family member sit down with you and hold mock interviews.

Give them a list of basic questions and also ask them to come up with a few questions of their own that you won’t necessarily be expecting.

You can also practice for interviews simply by running through potential questions in your head. Try to put together some thoughtful answers ahead of time.

By the time you’re actually walking into an interview, you’ll feel much more confident in your own abilities.

With Regards to the Company

Now we’ll drill down specifically into the room for improvement interview question. The first form this question may take is with regards to the company you’re interviewing with.

The interviewer may ask you what you think the company could be doing better, based on what you’ve seen so far.

Room for Improvement Interview Question

The question can sometimes just be an honest request for feedback, but it can also be a way of quizzing you as to how much you know about the company in the first place.

Walking into an interview while having little to no knowledge of a company’s products, services, or level of success can be a recipe for disaster.

This is why it’s so important to research a company before submitting to a formal interview.

As soon as you schedule an interview with a company, do your absolute best to research the company in detail.

Of course, the internet is a wonderful resource when it comes to finding more information about a company.

Many large companies have Wikipedia articles that detail their history and their major accomplishments.

The Better Business Bureau also often displays reviews and analysis of many different companies.

With all that said, let’s move onto how you should answer the question.

Show Off Your Knowledge of Company History

You certainly won’t be expected to be an expert in company history, but displaying the knowledge you do have about the company’s past can make for an impressive display.

Room for Improvement Interview Question

Try to stick to major events and incidents as they relate to opportunities for improvement.

Make Suggestions with a Grain of Salt

In most cases, your answer shouldn’t come from a place of condescension. Instead, remain humble when offering potential solutions.

You may even want to mention that you’re speaking from a limited perspective, and that you look forward to learning more about the inner workings of the company after being hired.

With Regards to Yourself

But the room for improvement interview question can also be used as a way to ask you about where you see opportunities for improved performance in your own work performance.

It can be challenging to walk the line between arrogance and self-deprecation when answering this question.

Simply do your best to not lean toward one more than the other. Don’t talk yourself up too much and don’t undersell your past accomplishments.

Room for Improvement Interview Question

Be Honest with Yourself

One of the best ways to find this balance is to be completely honest with yourself about your past work and your own abilities.

It’s important to remember that employers aren’t only interested in the tangible results of your career so far; they are also interested in your ambitions and your plans for the future.

If you haven’t had many professional opportunities to do impressive work, then make this clear and explain that you have big plans to show what you’re capable of.

Critique Your Past Accomplishments

Along the same lines, it’s also crucial that you offer criticism of past projects and professional efforts that didn’t turn out the way you wanted.

This is not an opportunity to offer excuses. Don’t dwell on the challenges you faced while working on those projects.

Instead, give examples of how you could have done things better. Have specific examples ready of ways in which you could have improved.

Maybe, for example, you’d like to improve on your attendance.

As we mentioned earlier, don’t be overly critical of yourself. Instead, just be honest with the interviewer.

This will show that you’re capable of keeping a level head about your own work, which will serve you and the company well in the future.

As a result, you’ll be a much more viable candidate for the position.