Top Culture Fit Questions

How to Answer: What Makes You Uncomfortable?

Whether it’s a conversation with a friend or a question in a job interview, no one likes talking about what makes them uncomfortable. However, putting a positive spin on discomfort is a great way of showing hiring managers that you’re able to tackle tough situations effectively and to overcome challenges successfully. When interviewers ask this question, they’re trying to determine how you handle difficult moments and whether these moments affect your overall job performance. By demonstrating an ability to remain cool under pressure and address the problem, you’ll impress them and get one step closer to landing the entry-level job of your dreams.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your answer.

Focus on one thing and give a real-life example.

Similar to answering questions like, “What’s your greatest weakness?”, your answer to “What makes you uncomfortable?” should focus on one thing that makes you uncomfortable. Because the interviewer is most interested in how you overcome difficulties, talking about one main discomfort will give you a chance to show how you identified the problem and the steps you took to resolve it.

For example, if you’re very organized and like to have a systematic way of working, you can say that disorganization makes you feel uncomfortable. However, you should mention that you can easily overcome this type of situation because you’re level-headed and are often seen as a problem-solver. Don’t be afraid to be honest. Everyone has things that make them uncomfortable and trying to gloss over your own discomforts will make you seem insincere. Instead, focus on how you can put a positive spin on challenges and use them as growing experiences.

Show how you’ve successfully overcome being uncomfortable.

Whether you’ve encountered something uncomfortable in class, at an internship, or within your personal life, chances are you’ve successfully navigated a tough moment and come out on top. In order to demonstrate your ability to get past this type of challenge, outline the steps you’ve taken to address these sorts of problems when they crop up.

Say something like: “I’m very organized and do my best work in environments where things are structured. On the flip side, I’m uncomfortable in situations where things are disorganized and I always try to fix disorganization when I come across it. I recently encountered this type of situation during a group project and I was able to put a process in place that outlined everyone’s responsibilities and streamlined our workflow. We went from not being sure of our roles to getting everything done very efficiently, and we were able to actually finish the project early as a result!”

Answering “What makes you uncomfortable?” might seem challenging at first, but it can be a great opportunity to prove to potential employers that you’re self-aware, adaptable when pushed out of your comfort zone and able to solve problems effectively.

Next, be prepared to answer other common interview questions such as How to Answer: Tell Me About a Time You Failed and learn more about the interview process such as What is a Panel Interview.