What is your least favorite task as a manager?
Are you interviewing for a management-level job? You’ll probably get asked about your least favorite task as a manager. With this job interview question, they are trying to uncover potential weaknesses you’ll be bringing to the job, without asking directly about your weaknesses. Hiring managers know that you’ll be ready for the expected question about your greatest weakness, but maybe not as prepared for this one. They want to hear an honest answer. Are you irritated by mundane details? Do you get bogged down in the details? Are you impatient with people who work for you?
Your answer should also give them an idea of what your management style is. Are you task-oriented or results-oriented? Are you interested in mentoring and developing your subordinates? What you don’t like will tell them a lot about how you work.
The important thing to remember when asked about your least favorite anything that has to do with your job is to always choose something that is a very small, insignificant task on your to-do list!
For instance, for a management role, you’d generally never want to say you dislike planning meetings, filing reports or other paperwork, training employees to improve their performance, or sticking to a budget. Key responsibilities differ greatly depending on the job, so do your homework and know very clearly what your most important job responsibilities will be so that you don’t accidentally say the wrong thing.
Once, one of my candidates answered this question by talking about something he hated that was actually going to be a key part of his new job…he didn’t get that job offer.
Your answer must be a only a small part of your job, and it’s best if it is something that no one really likes. For example, I might say this:
“My least favorite task has always been firing people. That’s never pleasant. It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t do it if it was necessary, because we all have to do things we don’t enjoy for the sake of the organization’s success.”
That answers the question about what you don’t like, but it also tells them that you’re a grownup and can be trusted to take on the difficult tasks as needed.
In fact, any task you choose as your least favorite should be immediately followed up with an acknowledgment of the necessity of doing even those tasks we don’t enjoy in order to further the continued success of the organization. This will show your maturity and your professionalism.
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