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How to Answer an Interview Question About What Kind of People Rub You the Wrong Way

by Gina Scott, studioD

Even when carefully planning for an interview, you can be hit with an unexpected question. Inquiries into how you are rubbed the wrong way by other people is one of those questions to answer with consideration. You don't want to reveal too much about your own negative qualities while responding to this kind of questioning. One approach you can take is to answer in a way that describes qualities your boss would wish to avoid in a co-worker as well.

Not a Team Player

Teamwork is a critical part of a successful business. One way to answer the question of what type of person rubs you the wrong way is to say someone who is not a team player. Your employer will appreciate hearing that you value the importance of teamwork in a work atmosphere. A type of specific example you can give is when a co-worker did not participate in any activities for a critical department project and the rest of the group had to make up for his refusal to cooperate.


Being irritated by a co-worker who doesn't follow through on what he says he will do or who is not reliable is another answer you can give to this question. Employers also have trouble with workers who aren't consistent or reliable so they will relate to this answer. Rather than focusing on the negative, you can say that you highly value consistency and you are person of your word. You can then go on to say that someone who isn't like that as well tends to rub you the wrong way.

Liar, Liar

It's a rare person who can tolerate an outright liar, so saying that someone who doesn't tell the truth rubs you the wrong way is usually a safe answer. Nearly everyone tells a white lie sometimes, so focus on the more consistent cases of being an untruthful. Give examples such as a time when you worked with someone who lied and called in sick on a big project day, and how this affected other co-workers.You can also give personal examples of people in your life who have been dishonest and how they have negatively impacted your life.

Valuing Accountablity

Saying that people who don't take responsibility for their actions rubs you the wrong way is one way to answer this tough question. Employers rank accountability as an important quality in an employee. It means they don't have to micromanage and can get more work done themselves in the process. Accountability is a character trait that is difficult to teach, so they'll be glad to hear you naturally possess it.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.

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