our everyday life

How to Answer What Demotivates You in an Interview

by Rick Suttle, studioD

When employers ask what demotivates you during an interview, they usually phrase the question: "What don't you like about your current job?" The question might actually be directed toward a previous job you held, but the caveat is that this question can make or break you during an interview. Companies might use this question as a screener to determine if you have undesirable skills not suitable for the job. Whatever their motives, learn how to properly respond to a question about what demotivates you instead of blurting out an inappropriate response.

Use Insignificant Examples

Keep your responses limited to small or insignificant aspects of your job if asked what you don't like about it. For example, say, "The paperwork gets overwhelming at times," or "I spend a lot of time filing." Sometimes interviewers will actually ask what you like "least" about a job, and these responses are appropriate for that question as well. Avoid mentioning more significant dislikes such as writing reports or traveling, as these might be expected of you in the new job.

Keep Responses Short

Provide short answers to questions pertaining to tasks that demotivate you. This prevents you from volunteering additional information and opening yourself up for additional questions from interviewers. Once you've answered the question, revert back to discussions about the job for which you are interviewing. That helps get the interviewer off the topic, preventing you from volunteering too many details. For example, you might say, "Working for a small company, I spend a lot of time distributing hard copies of documents when electronic versions would be more efficient. What type of software does your company use for distributing documents?"

Stay Positive

Be positive when responding to any question about dislikes on the job, even if you're somewhat fazed by the question. You can always turn one of your negatives into a positive. Tell the interviewer you spend many hours answering calls from vendors about payments, even if it irritates you. Just don't hint at your frustration. Instead, add: "But my suppliers always get paid on time and, in return, help me meet my deadlines."

Never Badmouth Anyone

It's conceivable that a boss or company demotivates you on the job. However, avoid speaking badly of any previous employer or boss. For one thing, interviewers are only getting your viewpoint and might think there's more to the situation, according to a 2010 "U.S. News & World Report" article. Companies might also deem you a malcontent who might cause problems if they hire you. Even if employers ask you directly how you liked past bosses, say they were tough or demanding at the very worst -- but you learned a lot from them.

About the Author

Rick Suttle has been writing professionally since 2009, covering health and business for various online and print publications. He has worked in corporate marketing research and as a copywriter. Suttle holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from California Coast University. He is author of the novels "Hell Year" and "Suicide Peak."

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images