Job Search & Interview

How to Answer “What Are Your Professional Likes and Dislikes” in a Job Interview

As your job interview is fast approaching, it’s a good idea to prepare for any and all types of questions. Both the typical and the weird. 

OK, you’re probably well-versed on how to answer standard interview questions. But what if you’re hit with “What are your professional likes and dislikes”? How do you answer that? I’m here to provide 5 great tips that will highlight your strengths and avoid sounding bitter or petty. So let’s dive in!

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5 Tips on How to Answer Professional Likes and Dislikes Interview Questions

“So what do you like and dislike in your job?” Here are 5 tips to help you answer this question: 

  1. Be honest and concise
  2. Don’t blame anyone else
  3. Focus on the positive
  4. Highlight your strengths
  5. Be prepared

1. Be honest and concise 

As much as you’re tempted to say “I loved every single thing about my previous job”, don’t. That’s not believable. The interviewer will either think of you as a liar or someone oblivious to the bad. 

It’s important to be honest. This is a great value in the workplace (and showing the interviewer that you’re an honest person on the get-go is a positive thing). Here’s what Stephen E. Seckler from says:

Honesty, especially while on a job interview, is considered as the best policy. It is seen as a key differentiator in setting a candidate apart from others.

Note: a whopping 40% of candidates lie in their resumes and job interviews

However, you also need to be concise. Don’t start rambling about how you hated so and so and how the work management was so and so. This will only show that you’re bitter. So be honest but concise. 

2. Don’t blame anyone else

When we talk about our dislikes about a previous job, it’s a challenge not to blame the organization, your employer, coworkers, etc. Maybe you’ve always wanted to blurt out how you hate your job because the company’s managers were all incompetent

Save that for your friends and family. Now is not the time to blame others. This isn’t going to help your cause. In fact, it just might do the opposite as it tells the interviewer something about your bitterness, pettiness, or even your untrustworthiness. Here’s what the Jobstreet content team says:

Bad-mouthing at a job interview tells the hirer that you have unresolved issues which you’re having problems moving on from. It also sows doubt in the hirer’s mind that you might bad-mouth the company in the same way further down the line if they hired you.

3. Focus on the positive

Yes, you need to be honest. However, that doesn’t mean that you should go into deep detail about your dislikes. Instead, quickly tell what you didn’t like, then immediately move on to what you did like about your previous company. 

If the interviewer wants to know more about your dislikes, then you can shine a positive light on it. Maybe tell how you were able to overcome that dislike and help improve your career or the work environment. This will show something of your skills in adaptability and problem-solving

Here’s advice from Joe Raymond, a recruiter at Centreline Resourcing:

Make sure to answer this question in a positive light. However negative the reason, try to look to the future and how you anticipate things to be better at the new company you’re interviewing about.

4. Highlight your strengths

When you move on to your likes, this is a great opportunity to highlight your skills and experience in the industry. You can go into detail about what you have achieved from your likes and how they can be applied to the job you’re interviewing for. 

Here’s one example of this: “One thing I really enjoy is problem-solving. In my previous job, there was this recurring issue with project timelines. I took that as an opportunity. I introduced a new project management tool, sorted things out, and guess what? We saw a 15% improvement in project delivery time. It’s just one of those things that I think could be super useful in a role like this, where problem-solving is key.”

Here’s another example: “I liked that me and my team were able to work together to be more productive. In my last position, we noticed there was a bit of a communication gap among team members. We asked our supervisor to organize regular team-building activities, and we even set up a shared online space for better collaboration. It worked like a charm – not only did everyone start getting along better, but our overall productivity went up by 20%. I believe fostering a positive team environment is crucial, and I’m eager to bring that collaborative spirit to your team.”

Read More: “Should I Include My Likes and Dislikes in Resume?” – All You Need to Know

5. Be prepared

Since the weird questions are the most unexpected, you can easily get caught off guard and start to panic or stutter. This is why, as early as now, you need to start thinking about your career likes and dislikes.

If you do this, you’ll be able to answer the question more confidently and accurately (Did you know 40% of hiring managers only consider self-confident candidates?). Plus, you’ll be able to see which likes and skills you need to highlight that match the job description. 

Employee Top Ten Likes and Dislikes 

To help you prepare, I’m going to give you the top 10 professional likes and dislikes examples. This will help you evaluate what other workers think and see if you’re one of them. 

Here is a list of the top 10 likes:

  1. Great coworkers
  2. Positive work environment
  3. Good employee benefits
  4. Interesting work
  5. Excellent pay
  6. Healthy work-life balance
  7. Flexible work schedule
  8. Awesome company culture
  9. Competent people 
  10. Fast-paced environment 

Here are the top 10 dislikes:

  1. Toxic coworkers
  2. Low pay
  3. No opportunity for career growth
  4. Boring
  5. Bad work-life balance
  6. Stressful work schedules
  7. Incompetent management
  8. No training opportunities
  9. Workplace injustice
  10. Insufficient recognition 

Final Words

“So what are your professional likes and dislikes?” Don’t let this interview question catch you off guard. Implement the 6 helpful tips to answer. This way, you can focus on what really matters – your skills, experience, and qualifications for the job you’re applying for. 

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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