When a hiring manager asks you what you find irritating in other people, they are actually trying to find out what traits and virtues you find important. What you find annoying will show them if you would fit in at their company. When they ask how you deal with it though, they find out even more. This question gives them insight into how you work with others, how you deal with adversity and how well you are able to work with people you do not like. This is helpful to them because you will not always get along with people you work with, but it is important that you can still do your job.
Points to Emphasize
Answering this question has to be done with care. Focus on traits and experiences that show how well you work with your peers.
- Talk briefly about traits you find irritating.
- Focus on how you deal with these traits, such as positive bookend communication, using a cool down period and being directly discreet.
- Mention how you have learned how to deal with these traits as you’ve gained experience.
- Also talk about the importance of teamwork and working with your peers.
By talking about how you deal with your peers and continue to learn to better work with them, you will show you the interviewer that you will be a great fit in their company.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
If you do not answer this question carefully, you will fall into a pitfall.
- Do not focus on the negative aspects of the irritations.
- Be careful not to try to put blame on anyone.
- Don’t feel guilty about finding a few annoyances in coworkers. You can’t get along with everyone all of the time.
- Try not to get defensive.
Be careful to answer this hard question in a positive way that shows your strengths not other’s weaknesses.
Here is an example of what a great answer might look like:
I get irritated with coworker gossip. It is a common occurrence, but there are specific things I do when I encounter this annoying trait. First, I talk with the offender personally. I try not to spread any rumors myself. When I do talk to them I try not to make it all negative. I use this approach called bookending. I say something positive, bring up the negative and end it with positive again. It took me a while to perfect that method.
Proving that you can deal with annoying habits shows the interviewer you can work well with others.