There’s no getting around it: we’re going to be asked what we don’t like about our jobs from time to time. It’s a tough question, but one that can be navigated with grace and honesty. Here are some professional responses to the question, “What do you dislike about your job?”.
Understanding the Question and Its Intent
When interviewers ask this question, they’re not looking for a laundry list of everything that’s wrong with your job. They’re hoping to get a better understanding of what you don’t like about your current situation—and whether or not you’d be a good fit for the position they’re offering.
Therefore, it is important to take your time when answering. Be careful not to just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. If you can, try to frame your answer in a way that showcases your strengths and how they could benefit the company. For example, if you don’t like being underpaid, explain how you’re proactive about finding ways to improve your productivity and contribute more value to the company.
If you’re struggling to come up with an answer, here are a few sample responses that you can use as a starting point:
“I’m really grateful for my job, but I’m looking for an opportunity where I can have more of a say in decisions made.”
“My job is great, but I am unhappy with the long hours.”
“I love my team, but I’m looking for a position where I have more contact with clients.”
Providing Professional Answers
A list of complaints isn’t what interviewers look for when they ask this question. Their goal is to assess your work style and teamwork. So it’s important to provide a professional answer that doesn’t make you sound like a disgruntled employee.
Take a look at these three responses. Each one provides an answer that shows you’re unhappy with your current situation, without sounding negative or unprofessional.
Sample Answer #1
“I’m disappointed that I haven’t had the opportunity to learn more about X.”
This response is positive, while still communicating your unhappiness. It also shows that you’re proactive and willing to take on new challenges.
Sample Answer #2
“I’m not happy with how Y has been handled.”
This answer is straightforward and communicates your unhappiness without being aggressive or negative.
Sample Answer #3
“I’m not satisfied with the level of support we receive from Z.”
Again, this answer is honest and communicates your dissatisfaction without sounding like you’re attacking your company or coworkers.
Examples of Professional Responses
When asked about what they don’t like about their job, many professionals have a standard answer prepared. This can be anything from the long hours to the challenging clients. But it’s important to personalize your response and make it relatable to the interviewer.
Here are some examples of professional responses
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work here, but I’m looking for an opportunity where I can use my skills in a more creative way.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to learn and grow in this company, but I’m looking for a position that offers more challenge and responsibility.”
“The company is great and I’m proud to be a part of it, but I’m looking for an opportunity that offers more stability.”
Strategies to Turn Negative Experiences Into Positive Learning Opportunities
Situations that you don’t enjoy can still be turned into a learning opportunity. Instead of focusing solely on what’s negative, try to find a way to make it a positive experience. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture, is there anything you learned during your time?
For example, perhaps you had to take on tasks that you weren’t initially trained for. You can talk about how it gave you valuable hands-on experience in project management or problem-solving. Or maybe your team was understaffed and you had to figure out how to be productive with limited resources? You could talk about how it taught you resourcefulness and creative solutions for increasing efficiency.
Whatever it is, look for the silver lining so that hiring managers can understand that any challenging situation was an opportunity for personal growth. Show them how you are able to make the best out of difficult scenarios and use this as an opportunity to convey your resiliency.
How to Answer What You Dislike About Your Job? – With Samples
When someone asks you the dreaded question, “What do you dislike about your job?”, it can be difficult to know how to answer. But with a few simple tips and a few sample answers, you’ll be able to navigate this sensitive topic with ease.
First, it’s important to remember that it’s ok to be honest, but not too honest. Choose your words carefully and focus on the problem, not the people causing it. For instance, you could say something like “I wish there were more opportunities for growth in my current position” or “The task deadlines can be pretty stressful at times”. Keep your answer professional and highlight the things you want to change.
You can also consider other phrases such as “I would prefer a more challenging role” or “I would love to have more autonomy in my position”, which can help paint a picture of who you are as an employee without being overly negative or critical of your job.
Ultimately, having some sample answers prepared will give you peace of mind when facing this difficult question in an interview or other professional setting.
Takeaways on Answering What You Dislike About Your Job?
Knowing how to answer questions like, “What do you dislike about your job?” is an important skill for anyone who’s looking for a job or wants to progress in their current career. Here are a few takeaways on approaching this tricky question.
First, always try and provide an answer that’s professional, meaningful and true. It’s best to focus on the areas of improvement that would make your experience more fulfilling or meaningful as opposed to criticizing the company or co-workers.
Second, focus on areas where you can develop or further hone your skillsets—this will not only show that you’re open to growth but also demonstrate that you’re a team player who is motivated and capable of dealing with problems.
Finally, never forget to end with something positive about yourself and/or the job, such as how you’ve grown professionally since starting the role, or what makes it important work. This will let the interviewer know that although you may have some dissatisfaction with certain facets of the job, at its core, it’s still valuable and worthwhile work.
In any job, there are bound to be things we don’t like. But it’s important to remember that it’s not always what we don’t like about our job that’s the problem – it’s how we deal with those dislikes that can make or break our work experience.
In this article, we talked to professionals about the things they dislike about their jobs – and how they’ve learned to deal with them. We hope their stories will help you to better deal with the things you don’t like about your job, and make your work experience more positive.