What Has Disappointed You about a Previous Job?


Job Interview Questions and Answers: “What has disappointed you about your past jobs?”

Why Interviewers Ask This Question

When an employer says, “Tell me something about your previous jobs that disappointed you,” their goal is to gauge how you handle difficult situations while on the job. They are also trying to determine whether you are a good fit for their company by examining your work style and career ambitions.

How to Answer “What Has Disappointed You about a Previous Job?”

Respond to the question, “What disappointed you about your last job” by highlighting issues related to your career advancement goals. You could also talk about an interaction with a coworker, customer, or manager that made you feel unsatisfied and how you handled the situation to create a positive outcome.

What Not to Say

Avoid saying negative things about your former employers and coworkers when answering this question. If you focus on blaming others, the interviewer may think you are unwilling to accept responsibility for your role in the situation. They may also see these responses as an example of how you would talk about their company if you end up leaving it.

Sample Answers for “What Disappointed You about Your Last Job?”

The following examples can help you answer the question, “What did you find disappointing about your previous jobs?” Use these samples as a guideline for creating your response, but remember to answer honestly with your own experiences.

Sample Job 1- Team Member at a Fast Food Restaurant

“I have been disappointed by the lack of advancement opportunities at other restaurants where I’ve worked. I like to learn and challenge myself by taking on new responsibilities. When there isn’t any room for growth, I start to feel unmotivated about the work I do and start looking for new jobs that are more engaging.”

Sample Job 2- Stylist at a Hair Salon

“When a former coworker of mine quit unexpectedly, I was disappointed. She was popular with our clients, so her regulars were a bit upset about me taking over her appointments. It hurt my feelings a little that these clients did not like me, but I still managed to stay friendly and professional. Eventually, I won them over and developed a good relationship with each of them.”

Sample Job 3- Pharmacy Technician Jobs

“I was disappointed when my last job relocated out of state. I used to work for a small neighborhood pharmacy, and the couple who owned it decided to move their store down south. I enjoyed working there and had established a great rapport with all of our customers, but since I was unable to move at the time, I had to start looking for work elsewhere.”

Things to Keep in Mind

When answering the question, “What has disappointed you about a previous job?” remember to focus on details that help interviewers understand your work style. Give details about how the jobs in your past were incompatible with your career goals. When discussing interactions with former coworkers and managers, focus on the facts and avoid saying disparaging things about them.

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