Home / Interview Questions / What Do You Like and Dislike About Your Current Job?

What Do You Like and Dislike About Your Current Job?

While you could probably talk at length about why you don’t like your job, an interview for a new one is not the time to air your complaints. When an interviewer asks what do you like and dislike about your current job, it’s important to be strategic with your answer. 

We’ll explain what interviewers really want to know when they ask about your likes or dislikes about your current position. Then, we’ll share tips to help you craft a great response and show you some samples of what a winning answer looks like. 

Why do interviewers ask about your current job?

A job interview is usually the first time a hiring manager meets you face-to-face. Your resume has already told them about your skills; now, they’re trying to get a feel for what you’re like as a worker. 

Asking about your current job helps a hiring manager understand what aspects of your work you enjoy and what motivates you. On the other hand, they also want to know what discourages or frustrates you and what’s pushing you to leave your current employer. These things will help them determine whether the position is one you’ll be compatible with. 

What hiring managers look for in an answer about your current jobs likes and dislikes

Interviewers want to see if you can articulate what’s not working for you in your current job and what aspects you’d like to be different about a new one. Your responses will tell them if the job has what you’re looking for and whether the position will challenge you. They also want to see if your needs align with what the company can offer regarding job duties, opportunities for advancement, etc. 

A hiring manager also wants to see how you talk about your current employer. Do you disparage your current company or boss? Or can you talk about your likes and dislikes tactfully and professionally? How you respond to this question will give them a glimpse of your character, which is an important factor in choosing the right candidate. 

How to answer the question, “What do you like and dislike about your current job?”

Plan your response

It’s not every day we’re allowed to spell out our feelings about our job in black and white. This is your chance, so it’s a good idea to think it through ahead of time. Planning your response ahead of time will help you strategize how to position the negative aspects; it’ll also help you gain clarity about exactly what you’re looking for in a role, which may narrow down the number of positions you’re applying for. 

Keep it positive

Even when talking about your dislikes, it’s best not to focus too much on the negatives lest you come off as a complainer. Instead, position your dislikes as opportunities you’d like to have, like the ability to work more independently, take on challenging new projects, or gain leadership experience.

Highlight your skills

Craft your answer to give you a chance to weave in your strengths. For example, “I’ve always been great at coming up with new ideas, but there wasn’t a lot of room for creativity in my last job. I’m looking for a place to contribute suggestions to help us serve our customers more effectively.”

Cite factors beyond your control

One strategy for answering ”what do you dislike about your job?” is to indicate things that aren’t necessarily anyone’s fault, but that means the job is no longer a fit. For example, “One of the main reasons I was hired was to be the point person for our Spanish-speaking customers. My company recently decided to close its South American offices, which means I no longer get to do the thing that drew me to the position in the first place.”

How not to answer

Bashing your employer

Whatever you do, don’t badmouth your current or former employer. Not only does it reflect poorly on your professionalism, but the word may get back to the very people you’re speaking badly about, which could damage your relationships. 

Naming names

When citing your dislikes, don’t mention individual people or departments. Instead, keep your negatives focused on tasks, processes, or qualities. Instead of “my boss required us to let him know where we were at all times,” try this: “I didn’t have the autonomy to manage my own time. I want to feel like my employer trusts my ability to get my work done.”

Sample answers to “What do you like and dislike about your current job?”

Example #1

“I really enjoy all the people I work with. Collaboration is important to me, so it’s been great to be part of such a talented, tight-knit team. Being on a small team has its downsides, though. One of them is that there aren’t a lot of paths upward in the company. I’m looking for an opportunity to grow, and I feel I’ve reached a ceiling at my current job.”

Example #2

“I love that my current job lets me work on something new daily. Having variety in my work helps me stay motivated. I’ve recently become more interested in the public-facing aspect of my job. Unfortunately, my company is primarily focused on behind-the-scenes work. I’m looking for a role that will allow me to get more face time with the people our work impacts.”

Once your interviewer has broached the subject of your current job, be prepared for a follow-up question like “why are you leaving?” They might also ask you to expand upon why you want this job in particular.  

By keeping your response positive and connecting what you’re looking for to the job you’re applying for, you’ll help the interviewer see that it’s a strong fit while maintaining your professional, polished appearance.