Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains how to answer the job interview question, “what don’t you like about your current job.”

Read Full Transcript

So, what didn't you like about your last job? So, what didn't you like about your job?

You know, basically, it's an opportunity where, frankly, you can disqualify yourself from being hired. It's not like anything that you're going to say is going to make them go, "Yeah, that's the guy we want to hire." But it can swiftly make them go, "Oh, this is a guy we've got to stay away from, like the plague. So, you want to be smart about your answer and not say anything immature.

An immature answer is, "I hate my boss," or words to that effect. Or "my work is boring," or words to that effect, not necessarily that specific answer. But giving an immature answer where you spend a few minutes trashing your current organization. trashing your job, trashing the people you work for isn't going to get your hired. It's going to get you rejected.

So, let's be smart. What do they want to hear from you?

If you think about the typical interview question, what they want to hear is,  "I want to learn, I want to work hard. I want to get ahead," and if you remember that theme over and over again, when they ask dumb questions like this (And it really is a dumb question), you're always smart.

So here's the way I would suggest answering that question. "You know," (again, remember, I'm a big believer, you have to act and even though you may have answered this question 1000 times already, you have to pretend like it's the first time you've heard the question. It's not like, you can sit there we go, "Oh, I'm ready for that one.")

You can't act like you're prepped and rehearsed. You have to make it seem like you're thinking about this for the first time. "That's a great question. As I think about it, probably the thing that is frustrating me the most is I want to be challenged more.Like, initially, when I started my job, there were new things to learn. There were opportunities for advancement. It was a very clear picture of where I felt like I could learn and grow. And as time has progressed, I become sufficiently good that I'm seen as indispensable in this role. I want to keep learning and growing because I'm only (fill in the blank) 27. 35. 42. Whatever it is. Because I'm only such and such age, there's more stuff I want to learn. You know, I want to grow and want to develop. I don't want to be seen as the indispensable person around such and such. I want to join an organization that sees me as having an upside, wants to train me will provide me with mentoring and help me grow because frankly, I believe I have even more of an upside."

And what you do by saying that is . . . it's not like they're going to hear anything and go, "Well, that was a good canned answer." They are going to go, "Okay. You got through that one and let me give them another one." So, recognize, again, this is not an answer that's going to get you hired, but it can be an answer to get you to disqualified.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1300 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session.

If you have questions for me, call me through the Magnifi app for iOS (video) or (phone) offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedInLike me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

Join Career Angles on Facebook and receive support, ideas and advice in your current career and job.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview

Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.” 

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.