11 Questions NOT to Ask at an Interview

by Heat Recruitment

So many candidates with the right skill set, behaviours and cultural fit fall down when the Interviewer asks “Do you have any questions for me?”

Over the years I have heard them all, whether this be when directly interviewing recruiters for an opportunity at Heat Recruitment, or when taking feedback from my clients – and being left gobsmacked at how the candidate has managed to so spectacularly fall the at the last hurdle.  At a time where we have access to instant knowledge at our fingertips, it’s inexcusable that people are still asking such terrible questions at interview.

This is my top 11 (or fantasy team if you will) of questions you should always avoid asking at interview.

1. What does this Company do?

(I actually got asked this. Really?? Do your research ahead of time!)

2. How soon before I could get promoted?

(You are not interested in the current role and you just see it as a stepping stone)

3. How many weeks holiday do I get?

(More interested in holiday rather than the role and making an impact on the business)

4. When would I get a pay-rise?

(Only interest in monetary gain, rather than job satisfaction of doing a good job)

5. What are the lunch times?

(This will be provided when you are offered the job and has no relevance to selling yourself)

6. What other perks are there?

(Interested in Monetary gain at the expense of the employer – what can take rather than what can I give)

7. Do you have a grievance procedure?

(Demonstrates that you’ve had issues in the past and can leave the Interviewer with a negative view)

8. When does the working day finish?

(A lack of commitment to getting tasks done / doesn’t show you will go the extra mile)

9. When am I entitled to paid sick leave?

(Show’s that you are only interested in yourself and are planning to take time off)

10. Can I change my schedule if I get the job?

(If you need to figure out the logistics of getting to work don’t mention it now…)

11. Did I get the job?

(Don’t be impatient. They’ll let you know. Although you could ask:  Is there any area of the interview that you would like me to expand upon or give further detail to, to enhance my chance of being successful)

These questions are warning signs to most Interviewers. An Interview is the opportunity to sell yourself and demonstrate to the organisation you are the perfect fit for their specific requirements.

To me these questions merely demonstrate that you are interested in what the Company can provide you with and not what you can bring to the Company.

The reason why Interviewers such as myself, and my clients ask a candidate whether they have any questions is, to hopefully;

  • Demonstrate that you have listened carefully and understood what has been discussed
  • Show you have researched the Company and the industry
  • Express to the Interviewer a genuine interest in the opportunity available
  • To build rapport with the Interviewer (Decision Maker)
  • Provide you the opportunities to further explain why they would be suitable for the vacancy

Therefore, plan your questions beforehand, and construct good questions that clearly demonstrate to the interviewer you are genuinely interested in the opportunity.  Lastly remember, never stop selling yourself.

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