The purpose of this question is twofold: to find out about your professional dislikes, but also to gain some insight into why you are looking for another job. The interviewer assumes that there must be something you dislike about your current job, because otherwise you presumably wouldn’t be looking for another one.
It’s always best to present yourself in the most positive light and not to whinge about your employer or workplace, but certain dislikes are legitimate and can even reflect well on you. For instance, if you say you dislike the inefficiency or sloppiness of certain systems in your office, then that will tell the interviewer that you value efficiency and accuracy. It would be even better if you could suggest ways of improving the systems or demonstrate that you have already helped to change the systems in your current workplace.
If you’re going for a job as a sales rep, it might be alright to admit that you don’t love paperwork, while also emphasising that you understand its importance and are willing to do what is necessary. However, it might not be such a good idea to say you don’t like paperwork if you’re applying to be an office manager – it could very well cost you the job. Similarly, a sales rep who says they don’t like dealing with people probably wouldn’t get very far.
If your main complaint is that you simply don’t like your job full-stop, then this can be something you use to explain why you are seeking a change. Still, try to frame your decision in positive terms. Instead of saying that you hate your job and just want a change, you could say that while you learned many valuable skills in your current position, you are now seeking a role that would enable you to better use all your capabilities, in an environment in which you could really thrive and grow – a win-win situation for both you and your potential employer.
One thing to remember: keep your complaints impersonal. Stick to objections about behaviours, practices or conditions, rather than people.
You should also use this opportunity to demonstrate how well suited you are to the role you are applying for, as well as the company. For example, if you are applying for a job with a larger company, you could say that while you love your current job, you would welcome the opportunity to work with a larger organisation – or anything else that explains why you would prefer to work for the company you are applying with. Positive reasons to switch to a different company could include its corporate culture, size, structure, industry, working conditions or schedule.