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After leaving a bad job that left you feeling down and hopeless, you start applying for new jobs. You get an interview for a job that is your dream for a fresh career start.

During the interview, one of the questions asked is:

"Tell me about the worst job you ever had and why?"

You immediately get flashbacks of all the unpleasant memories from your last job...

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Don't fret! Rumie's got your back! 🦉

Follow the 2 examples below to answer this question with ease and secure your dream job! 😀

Why would an interviewer ask this question?

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The interviewer wants to evaluate whether you can:

  • Choose one bad job experience from the distant past.

  • Recognize the issue you experienced honestly.

  • Express the action that you took while staying professional in the way that you talk about the issue you experienced.

  • Share the results of what you learned fromthe bad experience.

  • Show a growth mindset from the experience.

Even if your recent last job is a great example of the worst job ever, it's best to use an experience from the distant past because you're less likely to get emotional by revisiting painful memories. 🙁

How to answer: example #1

Icon of an outlined knife and fork crossed.

In sharing about your worst job ever at a fast food restaurant, you can say:

My worst job ever was when I worked for a fast food restaurant [choose one bad job experience].

They did not provide employee training to learn safety guidelines to protect myself while cleaning with toxic chemicals [recognize the issue].

I decided to request safety training via email to my supervisor [express the action you took].No trainings were scheduled, so I decided to search for another job [share the results].

I learned that I can voice my employee rights, remain respectful, and make the necessary changes for myself [show your growth mindset].

How to answer: example #2

Icon of 3 differently-sized, outlined commercial buildings next to each other with multiple stories.

In sharing about your worst job ever at an office, you can say:

My worst job ever was when I worked for a non-profit organization [choose one bad job experience]. The job description was very vague, so I had difficulties knowing what I was responsible for at work [recognize the issue].

I scheduled a meeting with my manager to discuss the issue [express the action you took].My manager responded well and helped me create an official list of job tasks that were clear for me to follow [share the results].

My work stress went away and I learned that it's okay to ask for help [share your growth mindset].

How NOT to answer

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The following response is not the best response:

My worst jobs ever were when I worked at a tutoring center and as a campus counselor [chooses more than one bad job experience].

All the managers were idiots and never helped me learn my job duties [recognizes the issue disrespectfully]. I decided to yell at my manager so that something could be done right away [expresses the action you took as unprofessional].

I got fired because people said "I wasn't doing my job" and my manager wanted to get back at me [share the negative result]. I'm never working in Education again! Academia fires all of their hard workers [doesn't show your growth mindset].


Jeff responds to the question "Tell me about the worst job you ever had" and decides to share about a recent bad job experience that they had while working with their ex-partner. Jeff starts to cry during the interview. What went wrong?

Do you have interview anxiety?

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You're not alone, as it's common and ok to have interview anxiety. Here are some tips to help you manage your anxiety:

  1. Prepare for your interview ahead of time by practicing your answers.

  2. Stay positive and remind yourself that you can do this.

  3. Practice healthy habits, such as self-compassion.

  4. Use relaxation techniques. Try taking slow, deep breaths before answering any question.

Take Action

A woman-presenting person throws confetti in the air with their arms in a Y-shaped and a happy face while looking at laptop.

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Be prepared to answer “Tell me about the worst job you ever had” at your next job interview!


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