What don't you like about this line of work?

  | James Innes

What don't you like about this line of work?

Alternative and related questions:

What aspects of your job would you change if you could?

The meaning behind the question:

This is a loaded question designed to talk you into disclosing potentially negative information about your attitude to your work. The interviewer is trying to gain further insight into how suited you are to this line of work – and in particular how suited you are to the vacancy for which you are now applying.

Your answer:

This can be a slippery question to answer but it’s not really that difficult to get right if you understand the meaning behind the question and are able to avoid various pitfalls.

First of all, you’re not going to get away with replying, “Nothing at all.” Everybody has some aspects of their work that they don’t like – or at least like less than other parts. Even film stars must get fed up with having to be on set at 5am in order to earn their £10 million fee!

Having established that you’ve got to come up with at least one aspect of your work that you’re not mad about, it is essential to make sure you pick on something minor. After all, if there’s something major you don’t like about this line of work then why are you applying for this job? Preferably you should hit on one or two minor issues which almost everyone in your line of work is likely to also find objectionable.

The main thrust of your answer has to be that you do of course very much enjoy this line of work and that any downsides are only minor. As usual, turn an inherently negative question round so as to give a positive reply. Downplay your dislikes so that they appear trivial and irrelevant.


I love this line of work and so it’s hard for me to say there are areas of it that I don’t like – but there are naturally some areas I enjoy less than others. They’re very minor though. For example, while I appreciate the importance of adhering to the requirements of all the compliance legislation it does take up time that I would rather spend actually working with clients to find solutions to their problems. It can also be frustrating dealing with call centre staff at the banks because they rarely seem to have the knowledge or authority to resolve a situation and this is a further waste of time that could otherwise be better spent.

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