During a typical job interview, the candidate will often have questions for the interviewer about various aspects of the position and the company. Sometimes, especially with entry-level positions, the person may want to know more about the field they might be working in. It’s not uncommon to hear the question “What are the most significant characteristics of this industry.”
What they really want to know is the information that doesn’t come up in a Google search. They want to hear from you what makes your company unique among other companies in similar industries.
Points to Emphasize
If there was ever a time to bring up the companies mission statement, this is that time. Take advantage of this opportunity to show off your company and your industry.
- Highlight the competitive nature of your company.
- Describe recent innovations that make your company stand out in the industry.
- Share profit and growth information from recent fiscal years.
- Emphasize your company’s national and/or global presence.
When potential employees ask “What are the most significant characteristics of this industry,” they want to know that the company they choose to join is one where they can achieve success, and where better to become a success than at a successful company.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Interviewers will often make the mistake of downplaying their company’s success because they don’t want to unintentionally exaggerate the positive characteristics. However, you need to be careful that downplaying doesn’t become negativity.
- Ambiguous phrases like “we can hold our own in the industry,” should be avoided
- Don’t gloss over recent innovations and successes in the market place.
- Do not talk about profit losses or declines in growth.
- Never represent your company as a little fish in a big pond.
You want to be honest, but even when providing information that is less than stellar, you should present it in a positive way.
When posed the question, “What are the most significant characteristics of this industry,” you need to be truthful and positive. Consider this sample answer.
“Our competitive nature is probably most significant. In the past year the company has added two major accounts and expanded production. This allowed us to pass some of our competitors in production and profit, and although we currently only operate in this state/the United States, we are considering the addition of facilities in another state/another country.”
The candidate needs to know that the company is viable and the industry is profitable. Remember, just because you don’t currently operated in a number of locations, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. The important thing is that your responses be candid and confident.