When in an interview, it is important that you know what is actually being asked. Many questions have hidden meaning, but if you are able to recognize what they are getting at, your answer will be even more impressive.
Being asked what makes you uncomfortable is one of the most difficult questions to deal with. You walk a thin line between not answering the question and hurting your chances of being hired. The interviewer wants to know what could potentially affect your performance. This means it is okay to admit that certain things make you uncomfortable, while emphasizing how you are able to function despite discomfort.
Points to Emphasize
It is difficult to tackle this question, but if you choose your words carefully, you can appear as a very calm and reasonable person.
- Be honest. Denying that anything makes you uncomfortable only makes it seem like you are dodging the question.
- Be sensitive. It is okay to admit that certain things make you uncomfortable, but you should portray yourself as open-minded and considerate of others’ situations.
- Be confident. After answering the question, confirm that being uncomfortable never interferes with your work.
- Be reasonable. There are reasonable things to be uncomfortable about, and there are unreasonable things to be uncomfortable about.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There are many pitfalls you can fall into, especially for this question. The aspects you should avoid are more important than the points you should emphasize.
- Do not get upset. If a story or example clearly affects you emotionally, the interviewer will question whether you are able to work with discomforts.
- Avoid complete denial. It is best to admit that something makes you uncomfortable, even if it is a minor annoyance.
- Do not go on too long. The interviewer will be concerned if the list of uncomfortable things is too long.
- Do not be too serious. Having a good humor about what makes you uncomfortable instills confidence that you will perform well in the workplace.
Always try to remain positive and collected. Remember, they are not looking for someone completely unaffected by their surroundings. They want someone that has a healthy relationship with their situation.
A reasonable response to the question will be similar to this:
At my previous job, several employees seemed like they worked different amounts. It was a little uncomfortable to see one person work weekends, while another coworker was leaving early most days. It never interfered with my work, but it was slightly concerning. A manager finally addressed it, so it did not have any long-term consequences.