Job Interview Question And Answer: What Are Your Pet Hates?

Posted October 13, 2011, by Josie Chun

Much like the dreaded 'What's your biggest weakness?' interview staple, your answer to this question can reveal a lot about you. 

Warning: whatever you do, don’t use this as an opportunity to whinge and moan about every little thing that irritates you. A long list of pet peeves will only make you seem negative, petty and hard to please. Instead, choose something that bothers you, and give a good reason as to why. Your employer wants to get a feel for what your hot buttons might be, and whether they could pose any potential problems in the workplace.

Some examples of pet hates could be:

  • Inefficiency
  • Tardiness
  • Sloppiness
  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • Lack of communication
  • Laziness
  • Office politics and gossip
  • Inconsiderate or disrespectful behaviour
  • Negativity

Your response can be a good opportunity to tell the interviewer a little about yourself by highlighting your values in the workplace, and giving them another reason to hire you. 

It’s always best to name behaviours, rather than the people who enact them, and to keep things impersonal and objective.

Whatever you do, don’t come across as too extreme in your aversions. Any tendency towards extreme reactions or anger could ring alarm bells in the interviewer.

It's also really important to consider your choice of words, your tone, the length of your answer and your body language when you answer this question. 

This is an example of a good answer: 'I don't really care for negative attitudes in the workplace. It's not productive, as there's generally a solution to every problem. Instead of complaining, it would be a lot better if people tried to fix the issue at hand.'

Here are some tips to connect with your interviewer

Josie Chun

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