How to answer "What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our industry today?" (with sample answers)

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This post is part of our series on behavioral interview questions.

Why employers ask this

Employers want to know if you have done your research on their industry and are aware of the current challenges it is facing. This question also helps them assess your critical thinking skills and your ability to identify and analyze problems. By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to see how well you can articulate your ideas and whether you have a deep understanding of the industry.

Moreover, employers want to know if you are up to date with the latest trends and developments and whether you have a thoughtful approach to overcoming industry challenges. They are looking for a candidate who can offer valuable insights and solutions that can help their business stay ahead of the curve.

How to answer the question

The key to answering this question is to start with thorough research on the industry and the specific company you are interviewing with. This way, you can identify the most pressing challenges that are relevant to the company's current situation.

Next, choose one or two challenges that you feel are most relevant and explain why you think they are the biggest challenges. Be specific about the reasons for your choice and provide data or examples to support your argument. Use your critical thinking skills to analyze the issue and offer impactful solutions.

It's also important to demonstrate your passion for the industry and the company you are interviewing with. Leave the interviewer with a positive impression by showing that you are up to date with industry trends and developments and that you are invested in finding solutions to help overcome the challenges.

Remember to keep your tone positive and constructive, and avoid making negative comments about the company or the industry. Focus on your ability to contribute to the company's success and how you can help them overcome the challenges they are facing.

Sample answers

Good answer:

I believe the biggest challenge facing our industry today is the constant need to adapt to new technologies and the changing market demands. With the evolution of technology, it has become imperative for companies to be up-to-date with the latest technological advancements in order to remain relevant and competitive in the industry.

This answer is good because it acknowledges the fast-paced nature of the industry we are in, as well as the importance of staying ahead of the curve to survive in the market.

Bad answer:

I don't know. I'm sure there are challenges, but I haven't really thought about it.

This answer is bad because it shows a lack of interest or knowledge about the industry. It also makes a negative impression of the candidate's preparedness for the interview.

Good answer:

One of the biggest challenges facing our industry today is sustainability. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, companies have to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce waste and implement ecologically friendly practices in their manufacturing and operations.

This answer is good because it shows that the candidate is aware of the current social and environmental issues and their impact on the industry. It also shows a proactive approach to addressing these issues.

Bad answer:

The biggest challenge facing our industry today is that there is too much competition, and it's hard to make a profit.

This answer is not entirely wrong, but it lacks depth. It doesn't give any specific examples or offer any solutions for dealing with competition. It also focuses solely on profit margins, which is not necessarily the only measure of success in any industry.

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