Interview Question: What did you like or dislike about your previous job?

Difficult Interview QuestionAnswering this question during the interview requires a pause. Sometimes it can be a trap, especially if the interviewer is expecting you to give a negative answer. If you don’t think things through, you might blurt out something about your previous job, and talk yourself out of the position you’re applying for.

This question is usually asked by recruiters as a gauge of whether you’ll be satisfied in the job. If you were let down in your previous job, there’s a chance you’ll feel the same way all over again.

Focus on the Task

To avoid being unprofessional and accidentally communicating any negative information about your previous company, focus on the tasks that were given to you, instead of your ex-colleagues or company politics.

If you’ve been bogged down with paperwork, for instance, address this concern right away. Share that the inordinate amount of paperwork you dealt with held you back from doing what you do best.

Take the Test

To help you stay focused, make a list of all the previous jobs where you’ve been dissatisfied. List the causes of your dissatisfaction. What kept you from wanting to go to work each day? That will guide you when it comes to answering this kind of interview question. Write down the big negatives you want to avoid, and reframe them in ways that explain what you’re capable of.

Never Badmouth

Never, ever badmouth your previous company. Having left doesn’t give you license to say what you like, unfiltered. Doing this can greatly affect your chances of employment, in that moment, and in the future. If you are asked what you disliked about your previous job, keep it professional, relevant, and keep what you can bring to your new employer in mind as you answer. This question is a chance for you to identify what you really want in order to build your career and excel in it.

Start with the Positive

If you’re going to mention something you disliked during your tenure at your previous company, give your old company some credit at the same time for the priceless experience you gained there.

These simple guidelines should help you draft an answer before the interview. It’s better to prepare — several days ahead — instead of going in unprepared. Practice your lines, and make it sound natural and sincere. Once you feel you have the confidence, then you’re good to go.

Read 11399 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 February 2016 14:40
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.