Why does the hiring manager want to know about your least favorite part of your last job? Because they want to find out more about you, and they are hoping to uncover any potential weaknesses or problems before they hire you. What you say and the way you say it will tell them a lot more than you think.
The basic job interview strategy you want to follow with answering this question is to keep the emphasis on the positive rather than the negative, and be logical (strategic). Don’t tell them something you didn’t like that you will find in this job. Don’t give them a reason not to hire you.
You never want to go too negative with this answer, either, even though it’s about things you don’t like. Something like, “I didn’t like my manager,” or “I didn’t get along with my co-workers” is always a bad thing to say because of what it says about you, that maybe you are the one who’s difficult to get along with. You never want to talk about how the workload was killing you, even if it really was unreasonable, because it makes you look like you can’t handle the job.
But the answer has to be something you didn’t like, so try to make sure it is not something that’s a factor in this job. If you didn’t like that you had no opportunities for promotion, make sure that there are advancement opportunities in the new job. If you weren’t given the chance to be creative, make sure there’s plenty of creativity built into this job. If you weren’t challenged, say, “I didn’t have as much of a chance as I wanted to use my skills in X, Y, and Z and expand my knowledge in this field. That’s why I’m so looking forward to being able to utilize those skills and grow and develop into greater responsibility here.”
Maybe you could even talk about things outside of the job, like “my last job required me to drive an hour every day to get there, and that commute really cuts into my day. This job is just a few minutes from my house. Not only am I really excited about the job itself, but I’m also excited about being so close and getting rid of that commute.”
So, the bottom line is, don’t make it personal. Give them an answer of something that will automatically change as a result of you getting this job.
By Peggy McKee