Simply, I was jealous of my colleagues at work who are working on projects that I want to work on. Well, I am trying to overcome this bad trait for at least 1 year and I feel I have made progress!

Should I admit and say it clearly in a job interview that I was jealous? Or will that hurt my chances?

I just want to really be honest and genuine with the interviewer.

  • Does it mean you are not jealous now? What is your present reason to leave the job?
    – Masked Man
    Aug 21, 2017 at 1:07
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    I'm assuming you're jealous because they have more interesting/harder/more valued assignments? State it a different way. "I think I'm capable of taking on more challenging assignments" or "I think I'm ready to take on more difficult problems". Aug 21, 2017 at 1:55
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    Leaving a job because you want more challenges and/or do not feel you can live up to potential in the old position is quite common. I wouldn't call that jealousy but professional curiosity and ambition. Aug 21, 2017 at 8:54

4 Answers 4


I just want to really be honest and genuine with the interviewer

No you don't. He's not your buddy or your therapist. You want to get the job.

Simply, I was jealous of my colleagues at work who are working on projects that I want to work on

There's almost always a better way to phrase things. Being jealous is natural, and for many of us it's the driving force to our self-improvement, but it raises questions that you might not want the interviewer to ponder. One of them being why did the rest of the team get the cool stuff and Paolo got the crap stuff?

I'd say I'm looking for project diversity. You'll always have to do the crap projects - someone has to - but it's nice to do something cool once in a while. Take your colleagues out of the equation.

My advice would be, leave jealousy out of it.

Good luck with your interview


Every time, during an interview, that you admit something "bad" about yourself, it makes you appear genuine and human. Actually it is common (or at least it was to me) being asked what's some trait of yours that you'd like to improve, or to describe a situation in which one of your cons came out.

A hint, though: even if there is something that can be judged negatively, always try to present it in a positive way (e.g.: there was this project I was really jealous of, because it was a task where I could have used all my skills and represented for me a challange I was very much willing to beat)

  • always try to present it in a positive way /thread.
    – Mafii
    Aug 21, 2017 at 8:38
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    I'd replace I was really jealous of with I wanted to get involved with. Can you be jealous of a project? Do you want to hire someone who is jealous? Jealousy seems a rather petty, almost child-like emotion to me.
    – rath
    Aug 21, 2017 at 10:59
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    I think it indicates a strong emotion, which makes the OP human-like and passionate about his job . But it's really my opinion and I am neutral on using get involved with or jealous. They both look fine to me. Aug 21, 2017 at 11:11

Stating that would sound very negatively in any serious interview.

Jealousy it's a very immature feeling and probably you don't want to pass the impression that you are unstable enough, or immature enough, to leave a job just because you didn't get what you wanted.

If I was the interviewer, I would think: well, what would happen if he gets jealous again about some other project he wanted to work, but couldn't? Would he leave just like he is leaving the previous job?

Interviewers in general are looking for mature and reliable people. Don't use the word "jealous" and reinforce the skills you are good at. That should give you a better chance to work with the things and projects you like.

And if by any chance you get stuck in a project you dislike, do your best and finish it. Sometimes we work with things we enjoy and sometimes we don't, either way, we need to do our best. There is no reason to be jealous about anything.


There will surely be a reason for wanting to work on your colleagues' projects beyond them simply being better than your current work. Maybe the project involves a new practice or technology that you want to get involved in, but because you're too typecast as the expert in another field, you haven't been given the chance to broaden your horizons? This is just a hypothetical.

Think about what you like about your colleagues' projects and what it is about them that would benefit you personally and professionally (technologies, practices, more responsibilities etc.). Then, think about how these relate to the role you're being interviewed for. This is what you would mention in the interview rather than 'I'm jealous'. Even if on some level it may still come across as jealousy, it will come across more as you thinking about your future career and development.

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