An interviewer who asks you about the problems working in your career field is trying to get a feel for how you view your line of work and how you react to challenges. It’s a probing question designed to get a feel for your general mindset and approach to your career. The wording, which asks you to base your answer on your collective observations, asks you to reflect on your own specific experiences, which an interviewer might use to gauge how much passion and energy you have for the work you perform.
Points to Emphasize
Remember, questions which ask you to delve into problems or negatives are usually designed to find out how you operate in spite of those circumstances.
- Keep a positive tone and mindset when forming your response.
- Stay focused on big-picture ideas when discussing the problems or challenges in your field.
- Focus on the qualities or skills you possess which help you overcome these problems.
- Illustrate that although problems exist in your career field, they exist everywhere—show you can work through challenges and take them in stride.
When forming your response, it’s a good idea to reflect on your own experiences in order to provide insightful, specific ideas.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Although the question does ask you to consider negative aspects of a career field, make sure you don’t get carried away:
- Maintain a mature and professional tone and avoid venting about problems on a casual level.
- Don’t brush off the question by suggesting that your career field is without its share of problems.
- Avoid overly simplistic ideas or problems which relate more to your own career specifically than the industry in general.
- Keep your response focused and don’t rattle off a laundry list of negative qualities.
This question doesn’t necessarily require a fully comprehensive response, but rather a few tangible ideas that show your experience and insight into your field of work.
If you’re having difficulty forming a response to this inquiry, use the following example as a starting point:
Every field has its own challenges, but I think the biggest problems in this industry are the difficulty attracting and retaining young talent and sourcing raw goods at consistent prices. From my experience, it can be difficult to keep sales strong when market prices creep upward. I believe a lot of potential workers see that and it discourages them from pursuing jobs in the field, unfortunately.
This response is measured and mature, reflecting on challenges in the industry overall which suggest focus on the big picture.