Thumbs up if you hate anchovies.

Kristen Wiig gestures that something smells bad.

At your interview, your recruiter may ask "Do you hate anchovies?" but in a formal and work-appropriate way: "What work tasks do you not like to do?"

This question smells "fishy'" but approaching it is easy if you know WHY and HOW.

Why This Question?

What are your first thoughts if a recruiter asks you this interview question?

A. They want to see what I enjoy doing to assign me to those tasks.

B. They're just exploring my interests.

C. They probably want to check my abilities.

D. No recruiter has asked me this question before. I think the company cares about its employees.

A woman on stage, holding a mic, and making a questioning expression.

If any of the above thoughts come to your mind, you're right!

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So what really is the intention behind this question?!

The recruiter wants to evaluate:

  • How you view and approach difficult tasks at work.

  • If you are the right fit for the role and their company.

  • If your answer matches the qualifications you show on your resume and cover letter.

  • The level of honesty in your answer.

How To Answer This Question

Now that you know what the recruiter wants to evaluate, your answer should align with what they want to hear and showcase your best quality.

Before answering the question...

A woman runs her hand in front of her body and stops at her heart. She looks calm and relaxed.

  • Calm your "chi"! It's ok to ask the recruiter for a minute to think.

  • Pick a task you dislike but can still do successfully or you know there's room for growth.

Answer with honesty, but also with strategy. Here is a formula:

  1. Acknowledge that there is a certain task you don't like or find difficult for you to perform.

  2. Name that task.

  3. Give some details on why you don't like the task, why it's difficult, or if something happens and changes your perspective on the task.

  4. Conclude by showing your commitment to getting the job done plus any lesson you've learned from completing the task.

Flaticon Icon Let's put the formula together!

I was never a fan of taking notes or setting reminders on what tasks I needed to do or prioritize because I always believed in my ability to retain information.

This belief was challenged when I began missing deadlines and important duties during the company's busiest sales season, which decreased my team's productivity.

I sought guidance from my supervisor, who introduced me to various tools for keeping track of my work.

One tool that has kept me on top of my work since is the Tasks feature in Microsoft Outlook.

Let's Practice

A cat with a pink wig wears a headset and types on a computer keyboard.

Anna is a fresh graduate who loves to talk to people and help them solve problems. She applied to be a customer service representative for an outdoor furniture company, and one of the job's duties is to assist consumers with furniture assembly.

During her interview, the recruiter asks: "What work tasks do you not like to do?"

How should Anna respond?


There isn't a task I dislike. I lack experience, so I appreciate all the learning opportunities that the company provides.

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There's always something someone doesn't like to do at their job. For me, I can't handle rude people, but I'll always get everything done.


Sometimes, I find it hard to simplify complex instructions. However, I challenge myself to break them down, and if it's not simplified enough, I seek assistance from my colleagues and then learn from them.

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To be honest, I don't believe in my ability to resolve conflicts for people when they're angry, so I tend to find help from other experienced folks and then ask how I can improve.


Pick the most appropriate response:

Take Action

A victorious baby clenches its fist. The text reads:

To answer the question "What work tasks do you not like to do?" most effectively:


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