Employers will often ask candidates to reflect upon the aspects of the job that will be most and least challenging for them. You should be prepared for a question like, "What part of this job will be the easiest for you to master?" or "What part of the job will be the least challenging?"
What the Interviewer Wants to Know
This line of questioning is a way for the interviewer to appraise your strengths and weaknesses without asking directly about them. By going at the question in this way, the interviewer is able to get further insight into your talents, comparing this with how you answered previous questions on your skills and abilities.
How to Answer the Question
You should think of a question about the simplest aspect of a job much in the same way as you would a question about your greatest strength. Start by reviewing the job description and breaking the position down into its components.
Then, focus special attention on the parts of the job that appear to add the most value to the organization and look for a connection with your skill set. It won't mean as much if you say you'll be able to easily handle the parts of the job that they don't value as highly.
You can, however, make favorable points if you match your skills with what they value the most. For example, if you’re interviewing for a customer service job, you might want to emphasize your ability to deal with difficult customers or to reach resolutions to tricky problems quickly. On the other hand, if you’re interviewing for a sales job in which the employer places a high value on the ability to generate new leads, you might stress your cold-calling skills (with data to back up your wins).
Be prepared to share multiple examples of similar tasks that you have successfully completed in past jobs.
You should be able to describe the situation, actions which you took, skills you drew upon, and the results which you generated. Having multiple examples gives you a better chance of striking gold by matching your skills to the ones they consider key to the position and to the success of their company.
You should also practice telling your story effectively. You don’t want your anecdotes to seem rehearsed, but you do want to be able to show quickly and efficiently that you can do what they require.
Best Answers for What Part of the Job Will be the Least Challenging
Example Answer #1
I know a lot of people dread the end-of-the-month reporting process, but I've found that it's possible to really get myself into a good flow state and complete all the tasks.
Why It Works: This candidate is highlighting a task that most people dislike, and showing they've created a strategy that helps them complete the task.
Example Answer #2
When I first started out in customer service, the idea of answering the phone and having an unhappy customer on the other end was honestly very scary. But with practice—and a lot of exposure—it's gotten easier to the point that I relish it. That's because I'm able to use all the tools in my toolbox to transform the situation, so that the customer is no longer unhappy at the end.
Why It Works: This answer is really honest and shows that at their core, the candidate relishes the responsibilities that come with the role.
Example Answer #3
I've made cold-calling customers into a bit of a game with myself. With every quarter, I increase my personal metric for successful cold calls. And it's really had results: Last quarter, XYZ had its highest end-of-quarter numbers yet.
Why It Works: For a sales job, a competitive personality is a win. Not only does this candidate reveal something about their personality, but they also show they're comfortable with an important task and get results.
Tips for Giving the Best Answer
- Focus on your strengths.Remember, this question is using another angle to get at your greatest strengths. Highlight your skills, rather than just noting something easy you can handle.
- And focus on the needs of the role. As well as your strengths, think in terms of the company's needs. The job description will offer valuable clues.
- Give examples.While you're talking about the role at hand in your response, giving examples from previous roles can be very helpful.
- Be enthusiastic.Make sure that your response to this question shows that you’re enthused about the job, including the parts that won’t be as challenging. You might focus on the fact that this part of the role involves skills that you enjoy using, even though you’re experienced at using them.
What Not to Say
- Don't focus on boring tasks.“Least challenging” doesn’t mean “boring,” and you should take care to ensure that your answer makes that clear. Don’t make it sound as if you’ll perform this part of your job by rote, grow bored, and begin looking for the next big thing. Hiring managers want candidates who will stick around and bring energy and focus to their jobs.
- Don't compare too much to previous roles.Employers want to feel special. Reminding them that you’d be doing the same kind of work at Company A, B, and C won’t make them feel like you’re enthused about the role.
Possible Follow-Up Questions
The employer might start out asking you to name one part of the job that will be relatively easy for you to carry out, but follow up by asking for further examples. You don’t want to be left hemming and hawing once you’ve shared your one story.
TIP: As with all interview questions, it pays to prepare more than one answer.
Here are some other follow-up questions you can expect:
- What part of the job do you think would be most challenging?
- What are your biggest strengths?
- How do you usually structure your day?
KNOW YOURSELF. Having a good sense of your strengths and weaknesses, and what you do (and do not) enjoy doing will help you give thoughtful answers.
KNOW THE COMPANY AND ROLE. But of course, you'll want to frame your answer to highlight something you'd be skilled at, and that the company values.
DON'T FOCUS ON EASY. Go beyond the appearance of what this question is asking, and talk about tasks that are a bit more challenging but still an area where you excel.