How to answer “How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?” in a job interview. Similar interview questions are: “What would you change about yourself?” or “What areas require self-improvement?“
The main reason why interviewers ask this question is to find out how you view yourself, if you’re interested in self-improvement and/or if you have personal or professional priorities. That way, the interviewer can determine if there’s a cultural fit and whether they can help you reach your goals.
Example Answer (Experienced)
“Next year, I’d like to improve my interpersonal skills by attending more industry-specific events and conferences. That way, I can build a professional network and meet like-minded professionals that give me new energy, ideas and knowledge that I can apply in this position.
I’ve noticed that the [Industry] is a rapidly changing environment that already requires constant self-improvement. For example, previous year I had to familiarize myself with [Software 1] and [Software 2] outside working hours. It certainly boosts productivity and helps organize group projects, but it reduces human interaction.”
Example Answer (No Experience)
“As a recent graduate, I don’t get to lead very often, at least not professionally. That’s why I’d like to improve my leadership skills and take on more responsibilities as a team leader. This could be leading scrum sessions, daily standups or other meetings.
I therefore decided to be a little more assertive in work-related situations by speaking up in front of small groups. I’ve already noticed improvement and I plan on continuing to seek out opportunities, such as attending Toastmasters here in [City], to improve in this area.”
Interview Question Tips
- Don’t ramble about minor resolutions or annoyances. The interviewer is looking for a thoughtful and positive-minded answer. You may highlight a weakness as long as you inform them about your plan on progressing and improving it over the course of next year.
Don’t mention something essential to the job role. For example, when applying for a position in sales. You shouldn’t mention certain interpersonal weaknesses.
- Do focus on professional / work-related improvements. That way, you’ll come across as an ambitious candidate that wants to take on more responsibilities and move your career forward. You can also address a personal priority, but try to keep it relevant to the job role.