What Not to Ask at an Interview

Question: I have a job interview coming up. Now that I know what to ask at a job interview, what are some questions to avoid?

Answer: A job interview can be a mutually beneficial experience. As much as the recruiter wants to find the ideal candidate, it is also an opportunity for you to see if the job and company would be a great fit for you.

An effective way to determine if the job matches your goals and objectives is by asking the right questions. After all, you want to impress the employer and leave a strong, lasting impression. However, there are also destructive questions that can undo all your good work. So what are some things that you should not ask at an interview?

Information you could have easily found with a quick Google search

Coming to an interview unprepared can make you look sloppy, careless, or disinterested in the job offer. Before an interview, be sure to conduct ample research on the employer to gain a better understanding on the company’s mission, corporate profile and variety of services offered. This way, you can give sound and thoughtful answers when asked, “What do you know about our company?” To impress the employer further, you may also utilise information from media releases, industry trends or annual reports to highlight any interesting facts or news about the company.

Salary, time off and benefits

While salary could be one of the determining factors in your decision to work at a company, it is advisable to wait until later in the process for such enquiries. Besides, the interviewer will outline the salary and benefits that come with the job sooner or later. If the employer sees you as someone who is just here for the money and does not necessarily care about the job, it will hurt your chances of getting a callback.

How quickly you can be promoted

Asking how quickly you can be promoted is like putting the cart before the horse – you are doing things in the wrong order. It could also imply that you are not interested in the position you have applied for, and that you are merely using it as a stepping stone to something better. A more tactful and appropriate way to approach this matter is by asking, "What are the opportunities for growth in this company?"

Other questions or topics to avoid:

• Gossip you’ve heard about the company.

• Changing job details, schedule or salary.

• “If I’m hired, when can I start applying for other positions in the company?”

• “Do you conduct background checks?”

• “Does the management monitor e-mail or Internet usage?”

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