Questions You Must Avoid on a Job Interview
The impression you make during a job interview is based mostly on your professional experiences, skills and your personality. Yet, the questions you ask at the end of the interview can help you to secure your dream job or ruin all your chances altogether. So take your time to come up with good questions for each review separately and read this article to find out what should be definitely out of the question.
What does your company do?
Never ask what the company does. You are supposed to want this job based on facts you know about this job and the hiring company. But this question implies that you are not really interested in getting this job or at least that you went to the interview unprepared. Not the best image to create. Actually, you should avoid all questions that you could have answered yourself after making a little bit of research.
Am I hired? When do I start?
Be patient. Don't push your luck by demanding a decision from the interviewer on the spot. They will let you know what is the next step. Perhaps a few of the possible candidates will be asked to come back for another interview or they plan to notify the one they want to hire by phone.
How much will I get paid?
Money is as vital in life as diplomacy is to success. So don't ask this question on the first interview. Wait until you get the job offer and even then let the recruitment manager make the first step. Jumping too quickly to the salary talk will make you seem more interested in the financial aspects of the job, rather than in the job itself. The same rule applies to the benefits as well. However, if you wish to know roughly what salary to expect, check out what is the salary range for that position using an online salary wizard.
When will I get promoted?
This question implies that you would not be satisfied with this job and you might look for some other position if you don't get a promotion soon enough. But even if you are hired, the company will have to see you in action before they consider promoting you. So this question is definitely premature during a job interview.
Will I need to work overtime or in the weekends?
When you ask whether you are expected to work overtime you actually say I want only a job and I want to work as little as possible for my salary. I don't think anyone will be interested in hiring you after such a confession. But it doesn't mean you cannot find out the number of hours you will be expected to work, just use a bit of diplomacy. Ask how a typical work week/day look like and you are on the safe side.
When can I take time off for a vacation?
The problem with this question is the same as with the previous one. You haven't even got a job offer. If you are asking when you can take time off work it implies you wouldn't be a very hardworking employee. With this question risk to never find out how it is to work for them.
Besides these common mistakes, there are also some general rules to follow, if you wish to avoid all the pitfalls of the interview questions:
- Ask questions. Always prepare some questions ahead. Saying you have no questions implies that you haven't researched the company or you are not really interested or even worse, that you are not qualified for the job and have no idea what to ask.
- Don't ask only yes-no questions. If the answer to your questions is always only yes or no, it will be a very short conversation and you will have less chance to connect with your interviewer.
- Never start a question with 'Why'. It can sound as if you were questioning their judgments or decisions. To prompt the conversation start your question rather with 'How'.
- Don't ask several questions at once. Give time to your interviewer to answer your question before you ask something else.
- Don't take over the control. Ask questions by all means, but don't be bossy and don't try to control the whole interview.
- Don't ask leading questions. Don't suggest what is the desired answer to your question. It can make the recruiter think that you are manipulative.
- Don't ask for favours. It is not recommended to ask for favours before you are hired. For example, if it is not mentioned in the job description that you can work from home, then don't even mention telecommuting.
- Don't ask too personal questions. I know it is essential to connect and be liked by your interviewer, but being too familiar and asking irrelevant questions like 'Are you allergic to something?' does more harm than good.