What did you like and dislike about your previous job?
Tip: answering the first part of this question is relatively easy – you just need to focus on the advantages of your last position (but try not to exaggerate them, because you risk sounding insincere). But the question about your dislikes of the former workplace is much more difficult to deal with if you haven't prepared the answer carefully. The first thing you have to understand is that this question is not an invitation to complain and openly criticize your former boss or colleagues, although it may seem so. Yes, you are asked to make a negative comment about your last job, but don't let this negative aspect be associated with you as an employee. Is it possible? Yes! Simply don't be too negative. Diplomacy is your key to success in this tricky situation.
Interviewer: What did you like and dislike about your previous job?
Tim, 28, is applying for a position of an insurance agent: Well, the thing that I liked most was probably the teamwork. All the colleagues and managers were really friendly and supportive of any new ideas, communication and atmosphere were great. Each team member felt appreciated and we all enjoyed working together. Frankly speaking, there were mostly advantages in my previous job. But the thing I disliked was the lack of challenging tasks in my former position. I think I couldn't reach my full potential as an insurance agent while working in a smaller company. Yes, I had some significant achievements and they were appreciated. But at the moment I'm looking for an opportunity to develop my skills in a bigger company.
Alex, 38, is applying for a position of a Research and Development Manager: The best thing about my previous job was the professionalism of the managers and creativity of the team I worked with. One more advantage was staff training opportunity. It was really useful for employees and allowed to keep up with the latest technologies and innovations, which is extremely important in Research and Development area. But nothing is perfect, so there were some draw backs in my previous company. To be honest, I didn't really like some aspects of internal policy. I guess it was a bit inflexible in terms of administration as for a company in video games market. I am not saying that it was bureaucratic, but a great deal of decision-making was on the top and sometimes it took too long to get the important decisions. So, personally I would be more efficient in a more flexible type of organization and I'd really enjoy having more responsibility in my job.