Answering tough aviation interview questions: “Tell me one thing you’d change about your current/last job”

At AviationMatch we want to give you the best possible chance of shining at interview and that’s why we’re posting a range of “Answering tough aviation interview questions” posts on our blog.  Today our post is based on a particularly delicate question and that’s; “Tell me one thing you’d change about your current or last job”. 

So why is this question so sensitive?  It’s a sensitive subject on a whole host of different levels.  First, it could be that you are at the point whereby you hate everything about your current job and you are tempted to state that at interview.  Secondly, it might be that the thing you want to change in your current job is an industry-wide issue and you could shoot yourself in the foot by raising such a point at an interview.  Third is that by choosing the wrong thing to present at interview as the thing you’d change you could inadvertently show yourself as someone who likes a moan or sees a problem and rather than attempting to sniff out a solution yourself, you want someone else to do it for you.

With all of this in mind, when it comes to answering this question, it’s a good idea to look closely at want you say you’d like to change to make sure you’re not going to wind up digging a hole for yourself. 

Here are some Top Tips to help you:

  1. Make a list of random things you’d like to change about your current/last job.

  2. Identify any points that are industry, rather than employer related.

  3. Ask yourself honestly; might you have been able to instigate the change you wanted yourself, for example by presenting the issue with a potential solution to your line manager or boss, or was a solution completely out of your hands?

  4. Create a short-list of employer-related things you’d like to change and make sure that no potential employer could point the finger back at you as a potential source of failing to overcome the issue.

  5. Identify one item that you’d like to change and what you’d do to change it if you were in charge or able to change it today.If possible, relate this to an opportunity that you are aware of in either the role you are applying for or in the company you’re being interviewed by.

By cleverly identifying something that was holding you back in a current or previous role, you can demonstrate yourself as a candidate who understands the big picture and is able to think outside of the box.  It may be for example, that the thing you would change is related to a reluctance to invest, inform or communicate on the part of your employer at the time.  If this is the case, then it’s clever to highlight what you would change and what action you would have taken in order to alleviate the problem, as well as the advantages to the business if the issue you describe had been resolved. 

Here’s a helpful process to go through once you’ve identified a truthful, yet smart issue to raise:

  • Define the problem impartially

  • Outline the potential solutions

  • Describe what you believe to be the best solution

  • Detail the advantages to the business of resolving the issue

By responding in this way to the question “Tell me one thing you’d change about your current or last job”, you get the chance to truly show yourself in your best light as well as someone who has the company’s best interests at heart.  Good luck J.

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