Asking About the Negatives

When interviewing a potential hire, asking questions about what they didn’t like at their last job (or what they don’t like at their current job) can be just as, if not more, telling than asking about the positive aspects. Here are two questions to consider asking your next candidate.


Man having an interview with manager and partner employment jobInterview Question: What tasks do you presently handle that would be a turnoff if you found them to be a part of your next job?

If asked before a good deal of information about the opening is shared, this question better illustrate if this candidate is a good fit. Be careful not to dismiss a candidate simply because they offer up a list that includes an item(s) that is part of this job. You need to probe.


Interview Question: What did you like least about your last job?

This is a no-brainer in that when you learn the answer you should assess whether or not these tasks are part of the job for which they are applying. While some candidates may quickly and honestly say that there are always parts of a job we dislike, they are part of the job and the candidate may accept their presence and the fact they have to perform these tasks. That all being said it’s important to probe the candidate to determine exactly how much they hate these job components and whether or not they are part of the reason this candidate is looking for a new job.