Job Interview Question & Answer: What Was Good or Bad About Your Last Job?
Why Interviewers Ask about Work Preferences
While this question may seem like a trap, hiring managers gain information by getting to know what candidates prefer based on real-life experiences. Interviewers use job seekers’ responses to decide whether they are a strong fit for the opening.
Things to Avoid when Answering “What Did You Like or Dislike About Your Last Job?”
Always remain positive, and do not bad mouth past employers. The question isn’t an opportunity to vent. Those speaking on negative situations must explain how they learned from their dislikes instead of bashing the company.
Also, avoid only addressing negative topics. State anything good about the job, but be honest. Hiring staff wants to know this too so they can assess the type of worker a candidate will be.
Answering for Entry-Level Work
Not all interviewees have previous experience, and hiring managers understand that. Hopefuls with little or no employment history may worry about how to effectively answer “What did you like or dislike about your last job?” In this situation, potential employees can touch on school projects, volunteer work, or internships.
While some believe this question requires negativity, interviewees can still show positive reactions. In fact, responses should combine both. Use the samples as a guide when preparing for a job interview. Remember, these are just examples. Replies need to relate to an individual’s personal work history and goals.
Sample Answer 1 – Applying at a Fast Food Restaurant
“I loved my coworkers at my last job. Everyone was supportive, and we all worked well as a team, especially when handling a rush. Learning to work together was definitely my favorite part.”
“However, I didn’t feel challenged by my position. There were limited advancement opportunities, and moving up required many years of service. I like to set goals and work toward them, but at Burger King I felt stuck in the same role.”
Sample Answer 2 – Interviewing for a Cashier Job at a Large Retailer
“Working in the back at Walmart was a great way for me to gain time management and organizational skills. Also, interacting alongside my coworkers made my shifts quite enjoyable.”
“That said, I would’ve liked the chance to work with shoppers. I think I would be well-suited to a customer service position because I have the ability to talk to people while working.”
Sample Answer 3 – Responding Without Past Work Experience
“As the treasurer of a math club, I enjoyed being able to work with numbers and handle the group’s money. It helped me learn that I am really into finances and planning.”
“On the other hand, I did not like the lack of communication between members. This made executing plans with the funds tough at times. Clear objectives and expectations are important to any job.”
Main Points for “What Was Good or Bad About Your Last Job?”
Always be honest when discussing work history, yet not overly pessimistic. Provide a balanced reply which illustrates personal growth. Show employers the kind of environment you value so the interview process goes well.