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Job applications often ask you about your least favorite thing to do on the job. Before answering, give the question some thought. As a general rule, avoid being negative about anything related to your work. You don’t want it to appear as if you are difficult to work with or don’t enjoy your job. Job applications usually ask the question as a way to measure whether you will be satisfied working in the position for which you are applying.
Avoid Mentioning Primary Job Duties
When applying for a new job, make certain the task you list as your least favorite won't be an essential part of your daily job duties. Do your research beforehand so you understand what the position involves. When answering the question, point out a minor job task that won’t reflect on your work performance. For instance, mention that since you don’t drink coffee, you have trouble making a good cup of coffee for other people in the office. But add that you are willing to help out with whatever task is needed.
Finding Job Satisfaction
Avoid referring to a person or a company policy as one of the things you like least about your job. Think about what things give you job satisfaction. For example, explain that you love working with people but when it comes to filing paperwork, you have a tendency to put it off. Admit that while writing reports is a necessary part of the job, you feel as if it takes valuable time away from the people whose needs you serve. Point out that you often work late or take paperwork home to complete it on your own time to show that you still get the job done.
Putting a Positive Spin On It
It looks good on your part to put a positive spin on whatever task you discuss. The question itself might come off as being negative but it’s an employer's way of getting to know you better. When referring to something you didn’t like about your last job, mention that while you gained valuable experience from a particular job responsibility, you are looking to use your knowledge and skills in other areas. Explain that with your added experience, you feel ready to take on more responsibility.
Avoid Discussing People
Since it’s never good to mention conflicts or disagreements you’ve had with other people, avoid discussing a co-worker or supervisor. Instead, focus your answer to the question on tangible problems such as faulty office equipment or outdated technology you had to use at your job. It’s better to talk about things than about people with whom you didn’t get along. Bring up a computer system that was in need of updating or a worn-out copy machine that was always jamming. Explain how you dealt with the problem. Show the employer you have initiative.
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Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.