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11 Questions to avoid asking in 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 we have heard a range of terrible questions asked by candidates during the interview process. All the hard work in creating a killer CV, writing a relevant cover letter and traveling in to be interviewed all ruined by asking the wrong questions. A crucial part of preparing for a job interview is to think about what questions you will ask the interviewer. These questions can help you show genuinely interested in the job, and highlight that you have done your research.

Equally they can give the interviewer red flags and seriously hamper your chance of getting the role. In this article we cover 11 questions to avoid asking in an interview.

1. What does this Company do?

Believe it or not people do actually ask this, and we have even had it when recruiting internally. In our case it’s actually in the name…

2. How soon before I could get promoted?

While showing your potential employer that you are keen to grow and develop in the company, you need to be careful with how you word this questions. Maybe talk about your aspirations and drive to always be learning and improving. Ask about the opportunities you will have to grow within the organisation, rather than an off the cuff remark about promotions.

3. How many weeks holiday do I get?

Of course you are entitled to your time off and everyone needs a holiday, but is this really the last thing you want to say to a potential employer in an interview? This will be covered in the contract if you get the job.

4. When would I get a pay-rise?

Just like the promotion role, there is no problem with being driven and aspirational, but there is a fine line between being professional and coming across as greedy.

5. What are the lunch times?

Just like the holiday question, this will be covered in the contract. You could ask about what a standard day in the role looks like to get an indication, but at this stage its not important.

Interview Preparation Guide

6. What other perks are there?

These will have been covered in the job description, and if not they will be in the contract. Remember at this stage you are selling yourself, nit asking them to sell to you.

7. Do you have a grievance procedure?

Have you had previous issues within a job? This could raise some red flags.

8. When does the working day finish?

Another question which many ask, without thinking how they come across.

9. When am I entitled to paid sick leave?

Like holiday this is a legal requirement from your employer but not a suitable interview question.

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

You can be looking to change a job you don’t even have yet.

11. Did I get the job?

We have known people to ask this in a joking manner, but we would recommend to avoid this question. Instead 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.

If you would like some more interview tips, including examples on good questions to ask an interviewer then check out our recent article below.

Interview Tips and Questions