“What do you like least about your job?” is a common interview question.
An interview is a chance to show the hiring manager how well you can answer questions. If the interviewer asks what you don’t like about your current job, you should be honest and also talk about why you want the job you’re interviewing for.
In this article, we talk about why employers want to know what you don’t like about your job, how you can answer this question, and what kinds of answers you could give to make the hiring manager more likely to like you.
Why do employers ask, “What do you hate most about your job?”
An employer might ask you what you didn’t like about your last job for many different reasons. They may want to know the answer to this question because:
Hearing what you think about your job right now
Every applicant wants a new job for a reason, so the interviewer can ask this question to see how your answer compares to the answers of other applicants for this role. The interviewer wants to hear a calm, measured answer that talks about your current job, your boss, and the company’s culture.
The hiring manager might use your answer to make sure they’ll use it when talking to employees and setting goals that can be used to measure success. You’ll need to use your people skills to give a good answer to this question.
Your reasons for wanting to leave the company
When a worker decides to switch jobs on their own, it’s usually to move up in their career. There are a lot of ways to answer this question. One way is to talk about how this new job will help you move up in your career, but you’ll need to explain how.
When you answer these questions, you’ll be able to talk more about your personal and professional goals. It gives the hiring manager a better idea of how to help you reach this level of growth if they decide to hire you.
Taking a look at how professional you are at work
You’ll need to answer with the right amount of respect and honesty, which can show if you’re the right person for the job. An interviewer wants to know how you feel about your current job and if you are hopeful about your career. Again, you want to show the interviewer that you care about moral and ethical standards at work.
How to answer the question, “What do you dislike most about your job?”
Review these steps to help you answer the question, “What did you dislike most about your job?”
1. Describe something good about your last job.
A positive tone shows that you are ready to answer this question and talk about your experience in a realistic way. You can start your answer with some good things that have happened to you, like:
At your last job, you may have had a few times when you liked the people you worked with the most. Before you answer the rest of this question, you should tell us about the culture of the company. This will help you move up in your career and do a better job.
You went to college to learn about your job, so explain in detail how what you learned there has helped you in your current job.
A good boss
You might have liked a leadership team that helped you set goals and told you how you were doing. Tell us how they changed your career and what you can learn about how to lead from the way they did it.
Opportunities to help out and learn
A company can give you chances to help people in your community who are in need and give you training so you can learn more about a certain skill. In either case, you’ll need to talk about how these things have changed you. If it helps, you can tell a short story.
2. Talk about what you don’t like by describing tasks and situations.
When you talk about what you didn’t like about your job, list a task or situation that only happened at your job. By doing this, you take the focus off the people at your current job. You want to answer this way because the people at the company you’re interviewing with might be like the people you didn’t like. To answer this question, you should talk about how the new experiences and responsibilities of the job make you want to start in this role.
3. Be honest about how your job is going.
You should be clear about how you feel about your current job so that your next boss will know what you want to change. You want to get back to being positive and looking for what you need most to be successful and a valuable asset. This tone shows how eager you are, but it’s important to be clear about your goals and what you know about where your career is going.
4. Explain why you’re a good fit for the job.
Describe your skills and other qualities that make you a good fit for both the position and the company’s culture. No matter what job you’re interviewing for, you can use your people skills, technical skills, and ability to solve problems. You can show your potential and how it will help your new coworkers by giving an example of how you used each of these skills.
5. Tell me about the new chances you’ll have because of this job.
Read the job description to find out where you need to improve and how your improvement in one area can help your new team do better. By doing this, you show that you are taking the initiative to show where you want to go in the future with this organization.
How to respond
See how some people answered these questions for three different jobs:
Chances for things to get better
“The entry-level marketing job at The Content Lab was a good fit for the degree I just got, and I’m very thankful for the chance to work there. But I don’t think this role gave me enough chances to push myself and learn new things. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned there, but it’s time for me to move on to a company where I can grow personally and professionally in a way that fits the job.”
Example 2: Management techniques
“During my time at The Content Lab, I learned about different ways to manage a large group of people who work together as a team. As important as that experience was for my career, I’m looking forward to working for a smaller company where I can take on more responsibility for tasks that affect the long-term strategic goals of the organization.”
Being able to change plans
“The Content Lab was a casual, friendly place to work, and I loved getting to know people at all levels of the company. Overall, I think that working from home gives me more control over my schedule, which is something I miss when I work in an office. I think that having a flexible schedule helps me do a better job for this company and helps me learn how to better manage my time.”