What Not To Ask In An Interview

Odds are you’ve put some thought into what questions you should ask at your job interview, but have you taken the time to think about questions you should avoid asking? Asking the wrong questions can cause a hiring manager to lose interest in you in various ways. The wrong question might convey a lack of interest on your part, persuade the interviewer that you’re lazy or have the wrong approach, or that you didn’t fully read up on the job or the company.

Avoid general questions which are easy to answer on the company’s site.

For example, don’t ask, “What does your company do?” You should know that before you come in for an interview. Asking this shows a lack of initiative. An example of a better question might be something like, “What’s the most rewarding work you’ve done with this company?”

Don’t ask if you got the job.

Most hiring managers don’t make a decision on who to hire until after you leave, particularly if there are still more candidates on the list left to talk to. It’s an unintelligent question since the hiring manager can’t possibly know the answer except in rare cases, and it’s also an impatient question that makes a hiring manager uncomfortable.

Show further interest in the hiring process before you leave your interview however; you might do this by asking whether there are additional interviews before the hiring process is complete, or even just by saying that you hope to hear good news soon.

Be careful when discussing hours.

You should ask about hours, but do so in a way that doesn’t make you sound lazy. Instead of asking “How many hours a week am I expected to work?”, try, “What is the schedule for this position?” Just try to keep things as neutral as possible. Similarly, don’t ask questions pertaining to break rooms, lunch breaks and so on. If you want to get a better look at the premises, request a tour.

Another thing you should ask about is benefits, but once again, be careful how you do it.

This question may be better saved for after you are offered a position. Definitely do not ask about health insurance in your interview, since it conveys an impression that you may be sick or injured, and while employers aren’t supposed to discriminate, the reality is that they do all the time.

One more difficult issue that will come up during your interview is salary expectations.

It is suggested that you do not bring this up yourself, so don’t ask about the job salary. If the hiring manager asks you what kind of pay you expect, just iterate the range you saw on the job posting, and if there wasn’t one listed, ask for a range and then name your figure if the hiring manager doesn’t withdraw the question. There are a lot of ways to get the information you need during your interview; just make sure you find the most neutral and intelligent ways to ask!

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