Job Interview Question & Answer: What Has Disappointed You About a Past Job?
Goal of the Question
During the interview process, hiring managers often ask “What has disappointed you about a job?” It may seem like a strange question that requires a negative answer. However, everyone experiences disappointment.
The intention behind the question is to gauge a candidate’s response to a trying situation. How job seekers deal with adversity is a strong indicator of the type of workers they are. Employers want to know if applicants can handle hardship, and to see if their style will suit the company.
How to Answer “What Has Disappointed You About a Job?”
When thinking of past jobs, consider a scenario that reveals career goals and is work-related. Choose a situation in which you set the bar high for yourself but didn’t reach it. Explain the actions taken to ensure future success, again focusing on employment.
Planning ahead and practicing answers to common questions is a great way to prepare for job interviews. On the other hand, sounding too rehearsed is not good. Make sure to keep the discussion natural, and do not memorize or falsify responses. Being honest and genuine reflects your potential as an employee.
Candidates who apply for part-time entry-level work may not have experienced a disappointing job. In this case, use an example from school, such as studying a lot and not getting a high grade. Be sure to finish by talking about overcoming the obstacle to get the desired result.
Tips and Sample Answers for “What Has Disappointed You About a Previous Job?”For a Past Retail Job
Highlight a scenario that shows you can persevere. Jobs in retail require customer service which proves to be difficult at times. A disappointment in the industry could involve failure to meet a sales quota.Sample Answer 1
“Once, we had lofty sales goals for the month. Although I worked very hard, I was disappointed to have missed the mark. Yet instead of lowering my expectations, I kept them the same.”
“After consulting with managers and other employees who were successful, I came up with a new strategy. Not only did I meet the sales quota, I exceeded it. While the standards of the job were rough, I was stronger in the end.”For a Previous Fast Food Job
Also dealing with customer service, fast food jobs are hectic, especially during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours. An example of a disappointment might be not meeting the timing criteria for the drive-thru lane.Sample Answer 2
“My crew and I were completely slammed for a breakfast shift. The drive-thru wouldn’t let up. Unfortunately, we fell behind our expected time for completing orders. This led to our boss reprimanding us, but giving us a chance to fix it.”
“By communicating with my fellow workers, I determined that the issue was the earpiece, and the person taking orders couldn’t hear. We replaced the faulty tech, worked a successful lunch, and had a happy boss. The job was often stressful, but it taught me how to solve problems.”
Keep in Mind
When wondering how to answer “What has disappointed you about a job?” remember to relate everything to work. Ignore interpersonal conflicts and overly negative opinions. Use specific examples to show ways to overcome frustration as a worker.