What Not to Ask in a Job Interview

What Not to Ask in a Job Interview

It is key to know what to ask and what not to ask in a job interview in order to make the right impression.

During a job interview, you have the opportunity to do three important things:

  1. Collect Information: Collect specific information about the job and employer that is important to you, but wasn’t in the job description or on the company website
  2. Demonstrate Interest: Demonstrate to the interviewer that you are interested and have done some research on the company and position
  3. Illustrate you’re a good fit: Illustrate that you are a good fit for the job and the organization

In order to accomplish these during or after a job interview, it is crucial to be prepared and know what to ask when an interviewer asks if you have any questions. More importantly it is essential to know what not to ask. Especially in a first interview, you do not want to make a bad first impression by asking inappropriate questions or by asking good questions at the wrong time. Below are a few key examples of what not to ask in a job interview.

What are the requirements of the job?

Questions regarding the job requirements or what you are going to be responsible for can make you look lazy or uninterested in the position. It usually means you didn’t read the job description thoroughly, or if you did, you weren’t interested enough to remember it. It’s a good idea to bring a copy of the job description with you and review it before the interview and even refer to it during the interview when appropriate.

What does this company do?

Similar to the question above, basic questions about the company and what they do show you didn’t do any research prior to the interview. It is vital to research the company before the interview and be able to show that you are interested in not only the position but also your potential employer. If you don’t seem interested in them, they are not going to be interested in you.

How soon can I get a raise? How much paid time off do I get?

Questions related to salary and benefits are important and should definitely be answered before you accept a job offer. However, asking them too early or at an inappropriate time can make you look more interested in the money than the job. It’s best to avoid questions that make you sound greedy, entitled, or like you assume you already have the position, unless the interviewer brings it up first.

I don’t have any questions.

Most recruiters/employers will agree that this is the worst thing to say when asked if you have any questions. Not asking any questions can leave interviewers with the impression that you didn’t come prepared, you’re not engaged in the conversation, or not interested in the position or company. You should always come to an interview with a few questions ready to ask the interviewer, additionally asking questions related to the interview itself shows that you were engaged and interested in the conversation.

Know what not to ask in an interview to make the right first impression.

Again, arriving to a job interview prepared to answer the interviewer’s questions is important. However, when the tables are turned and you are asked if you have any questions it is key to know what to ask and what not to ask in order to make the right impression. For more tips on interview prep and 3 questions you should ask at the end of an interview, check out the rest of our articles!

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