Wouldn't you be better suited to working in a larger or smaller organisation?

  | James Innes

Wouldn't you be better suited to working in a larger/smaller organisation?

Alternative and related questions:

Wouldn’t you be better suited to working in a different type of organisation?
Wouldn't you be better suited to working for another organisation?

The meaning behind the question:

Is it a polite way for them to tell you they're writing you off?  Or is it more likely yet another sneaky way for them to test how you react?  While the question might come across as superficially rather negative, it's often an encouraging sign.  It might mean you just have one further hurdle to cope with and the job could be yours.

Your answer:

This question reminds me of something an HR officer once said to a new member of staff at the end of their trial period, "I think you'd be better off working for either a smaller or a larger organisation"!  In this case, though, they're not telling you, they're asking – and your answer clearly has to be "No"!

There are two main ways in which to answer this question.  You can either ask them what leads them to ask such a question and hence pick up some useful clues which will help you to counter any concerns they may have.  But this will require you to think on your feet.  The simpler approach is to have an answer pre-prepared which explains (or reiterates) why you feel their organisation is just the right one for you.  You can draw on your answer to the top 10 question we covered back in Chapter 2, "Why do you want to work for this organisation?".  Your focus should be on what in particular attracts you to their organisation – and don't be afraid of singing their praises. 


It's true to say that I have generally worked for larger companies.  However, while larger companies have certain advantages over smaller ones, they also have certain disadvantages.  Your company may not be the biggest in the sector but you clearly have a reputation as one of the most progressive.  The company is evolving and developing rapidly, undoubtedly helped by the fact that you are smaller than some others.  It makes you more manoeuvrable.  I'd like to play a part in capitalising on that manoeuvrability to help the company become one of the biggest in the sector.  I want to work for an organisation which is forward-thinking and isn’t afraid to tackle new challenges, unlike some of the larger companies I have previously worked with.

Word of warning:

Don't let them unnerve you.  Don't be intimidated.  Avoid being defensive.

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