The grass is always greener on the other side. In reality though, perfect jobs do not exist. You see a young manager in a flashy suit driving a fancy car, thinking they must have an amazing job. In reality, they may work 300 hours a month, for an average salary, with no life outside of work (+ a depression), and will have to return the car to the employer once they leave the job. This was just an example, of course, but I hope you got my point. Companies want to hire people who are enthusiastic about their job, but at the same time see it realistically, with both good and bad things that belong to it.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this interesting interview question. I tried to include on my selection answers for different job titles, as well as some unconventional answers. In principle it doesn’t matter if you have done the job before, or apply for your very first position. In both instances you should show realistic expectations, and show the same attitude. More to the attitude later on, after we look at the answers. You should understand the right attitude from reading them anyway…
7 sample answers to “What do you like least about your job?” interview question
- I like the least the shift patterns. If it was possible, I would prefer working during the day only. My body would thank me a thousand times. However, I understand that patients need our assistance at any time of the day, and at least one nurse has to be in the ward always–including nights, weekends, Christmas. And because I see the meaningful purpose in this work, I can get over it, and still enjoy it, even though it is often hard on me physically.
- I like the least the conflicts with colleagues. Because most of them are pointless really, and people just try to build their ego. At least that’s my experience from the last job. Having said that, I understand that conflicts belong to every workplace, and we cannot entirely avoid them. We are people, we have our struggles, and some people have a tendency to start conflicts, for one reason or another. But it doesn’t disqualifies them–they may do an excellent job otherwise, and that’s why they stay in the company. Though I dislike conflicts, I can live with them, and they definitely do not discourage me from applying for another corporate job.
- If I should pick one thing I like the least, it would be the pressure. I feel the workload is really heavy nowadays. Everyone expects you to do more, to exceed the expectations, to meet yet another deadline. It isn’t easy on the mind, and as a result many people experience a burnout, and have to change their career. At the same time, however, I understand the profit margins are extremely tight in business, and if a company wants to stay in the game, they have to expect a lot from their employees. This understanding helps me to handle the pressure, and stay sane. I simply came to a conclusion it belongs to the corporate environment, I have my remedies, and can handle it emotionally.
- This is my first job application in the field, but of course I did my research, interviewed some people who have the same job, in order to understand all nuances of this career. What I like the least–or at least I expect I won’t like it much, is rejecting people. Rejecting them in the interviews, sending negative responses, or even terminating their working contract prematurely. But I also understand it belongs to the job in human resources. You take some people onboard, and you say goodbye to others. It is the normal cycle in the life of an employee, and someone has to share the bad news with them. I hope I will handle it, and it won’t have a negative impact on my feelings in the job. Only time will tell though.
- I like the least the confrontation with misfortune. Social work is extremely important, especially now, when so many children grow up in broken or dysfunctional families. We need to help, because every child deserves an opportunity to live in a decent environment, and to study at school. But I know what I will see in many families–a terrible environment, alcoholism, perhaps even violence (or at least a clear sign it happens in the house). To me as a woman it is hard to bear with such things emotionally, and I may even need a help of a therapist. But I know why I pursue career in social work, and I see a meaningful purpose in this job. And I believe it will help me overcome the difficulties, and do a good job even though I may find some situations hard emotionally.
- The repetition. You can feel like a robot in a fast food restaurant. Repeating the same simple tasks again and again, they have a precise process in place for everything. You are even instructed what exactly you should say to the customer, word after word… I do not like it, and do not consider it a good trend. However, I also see my situation realistically. I am still studying, cannot have a full time job, lack both experience and education to apply for something better. But I need money to live and support my studies. These repetitive part-time jobs in fast food places or retail stores are the only jobs I can realistically get at the moment. Regardless of whether I like something or not, I will try hard, and take care of my duties, because it is the only way to retain the job.
- Perhaps the career growth opportunities, the lack of them. Do not take me wrong though. I enjoy working as a secretary. The job is a good match to my personality and strengths, and I can be extremely efficient in the office. Having said that, just like everyone else, I feel this need to grow, to progress in my career, to perhaps gain more responsibility, earn more money. But I am not sure if it is possible in the job of a secretary… When I consider all pluses and minuses though, I still prefer to have this job. Some things could be better, but I think it is the case with every single job in the world, regardless of how much money you make.
While you dislike something, you enjoy the job as a whole
This is the main point, and the attitude the hiring managers seek in job applicants. Without a doubt, perfect jobs do not exist, and you see the flaws of your profession. Maybe you even find it hard to bear with them, and they make you angry, or sad on some days. However, you do not see just one side of the coin. On the contrary, you see many good things about your job, and are grateful for having it.
Even better when you see a meaningful purpose in it (which is easier do to in some careers, such as teaching, healthcare, social work, etc), and you always keep it on your mind. It helps you bear with duties you do not particularly enjoy doing, or even with things you outright dislike.
Total honesty can take you a long way in the interviews
Let’s face the reality: there’s not much one can like about certain jobs. Sure, you can always learn something, even in a slaughterhouse (for example that you need to switch to a veggie diet), or while flipping burgers at McDonald’s, or repeating the same process at an assembly line for eight hours a day. But there are definitely more things you can dislike about such jobs than things you can like. And employers are aware of that.
Interviewing for one of these jobs, you can bet on complete honesty. Check sample answer no. 6 as a good example. The candidate acknowledges the drawbacks of the job in a fast food restaurant. At the same time, however, they see their situation realistically. One day in the future, they will have a chance to get better, more interesting jobs. Now, however, with their education and experience, they can only dream of some white collar positions.
But they have bills to pay and life to live, and need some job to do that (unless they want to end up on the street). Hence they do not mind the negative aspects of the job, and disliking most of it, and will still try hard, simply to keep the job and their monthly income. In my opinion, in nine out of ten cases you will get hired with this answer….
Ready to answer this question? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- Tell us about your skills or experience that might be helpful in this job.
- Why shouldn’t we hire you?
- What are your future plans?