How To Answer Interview Questions About Your Pet Peeves

In any job interview, you will be asked about your weaknesses, your failures, and in some cases, your pet peeves. Why pet peeves? Your answer will tell them something about your personality, how you will be to work with, if you fit into the company culture, and so on. Related: Answering Behavioral Interview Questions Regarding High-Stress Situations You may have seen some advice telling you to deny having any pet peeves, but in my opinion, that answer will seem obviously false and like you’re avoiding the question. Everyone has things that bother them more than others. However, just because you tell them a pet peeve doesn’t mean that you should let loose your very real irritation with something that actually is likely to happen on the job. As in all interview answers, it’s important both to show a positive face and to be strategic by delivering an answer that goes one more step forward in selling you for the job.

What Not To Say

For instance, a less-than-strategic answer may be: “I can’t stand team projects.” This may be true (it is for many people), but what job doesn’t require that you work with others in collaborations at least some of the time? That answer doesn’t make you seem independent and self-motivating…it makes you seem like you can’t work with others.

Turn Your Real Pet Peeve Into An Interview-Acceptable Answer

If your pet peeve is people who are know-it-all blowhards who showboat and don’t work well with a team, describing them in that way actually says more about you and your attitude (negative) than them. Instead, you could say something like, “I am not a fan of negative attitudes, because it’s not productive. If there’s a problem, it’s better to keep a positive attitude and focus on how to fix it.” This answer makes YOU seem like someone with a positive attitude who focuses on solutions instead of problems.

A Positive Answer

Good interview answers to negative questions always focus on your positive qualities and your fit for the job. One good answer might be: “I’m not very fond of people who don’t work hard. If you’re hired to do a job, then it should get 100% of your talent and effort.” If you’re someone with a strong work ethic who’s ever been irritated at a co-worker playing Solitaire or Candy Crush, this would be a good answer for you. (Just don’t mention the specifics.) **See more great answers to interview questions in How to Answer Interview Questions, available on Amazon.

Related Posts

How To Manage Without Being Mean (Is It Possible To Not Be Pushy?) 5 Things To Consider Before You Take That Management Job #1 Key To Becoming An Effective Leader

About the author

Career Coach - Peggy McKee is an expert resource and a dedicated advocate for job seekers. Known as the Sales Recruiter from Career Confidential, her years of experience as a nationally-known recruiter for sales and marketing jobs give her a unique perspective and advantage in developing the tools and strategies that help job seekers stand head and shoulders above the competition. Peggy has been named #1 on the list of the Top 25 Most Influential Online Recruiters by HR Examiner, and has been quoted in articles from CNN, CAP TODAY, Yahoo! HotJobs, and the Denver Examiner. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!