Questions NOT To Ask In An Interview

You’ve scored an interview for a dream job. Things seem to be going well. Don’t blow your chances by thoughtless or inappropriate questions.

Here are some questions NOT to ask in an interview.

  1. When are you looking to fill this position?

If you really want to irritate the hiring manager, ask him that right up front. Why? Because you already know the answer and he gets asked that question multiple times a day.

Think about it. Would he be interviewing you for a job that will open up in a year from now? Two months from now? Or is it more likely that the job is open now and he wants to fill it yesterday?

So the answer is he is looking to fill the position as soon as he finds a qualified applicant who is a good fit for the job. A typical position will take between 2-4 weeks if you count all of the reference and background checking that needs to be done. As well as checking all of your social media accounts. Which brings us to the next question.

  1. Are you going to check out my Facebook page?

Well, if they weren’t going to before, they definitely will now. All of your social media will now be scrutinized. Most companies check anyway, but if you ask that particular question, the hiring manager is probably anxious to get the interview over with just so he can go have a look at what it is you don’t want him to see.

If you haven’t learned it yet with all of the news stories about critical and ugly posts gone awry, learn it here and now. Do not post anything that could come back to haunt you. No unflattering comments about your boss or your sleazy sister-in-law or your lazy colleagues. No posting pictures of alcohol or drug use.

That being said, don’t ask the following question, either.

  1. What is your policy on drug and alcohol use?

Really? What do you think the interviewer will say? Oh we love it when our employees indulge a little on the side. Just be careful not to come to work drunk or stoned.

Don’t be the person that asks such an idiotic question.

  1. What are the hours? Can I come in late or leave early, as long as I get my hours in?

Of course you need to know the hours you are expected to be there, and you may have legitimate concerns about something like picking up a child from daycare. But you haven’t been offered the job yet; you’re still in the interview phase. Questions regarding flex time can come after you’ve been offered the job.

In that same vein, avoid the next question as well.

  1. Can I work from home?

That question, along with will I be expected to work on weekends or evenings? sounds as if you are already asking for an exception to the rule, when you don’t even know what the rule is yet.

These questions raise the antennae of the hiring manager. Yes, he understands about work/life balance, but his immediate goal is to help the company succeed, not make sure your personal life is maximized to the fullest.

  1. What will I be doing in this position OR what exactly does your company do?

Ask either of those and the hiring manager will think you didn’t read the job description or bother to look at the company website. These types of questions are often automatic disqualifiers because it tells the interviewer that you didn’t do your homework. It feels to them that you are just looking for any job and you don’t really care where you work. They are looking for employees who do care and who are interested in getting hired for this job at this particular company.

  1. How long is this interview going to be?

You got an interview. You are there, being interviewed for a job you probably would really like to get considering all you had to do to get this far. What could be more important than being present and in the moment? This should be the highlight of your day! Who cares how long it takes? If you ask that question the interviewer might think to himself, If you have someplace more important to be, I can wrap this up in 15 minutes.

You should not have any place to go at all on this day that is more important than where you are now.

  1. How soon before I could get promoted?

The answer is First you have to get the job. And then you have to prove yourself. While companies are looking to hire a self-starting go-getter, asking this at an interview can give the impression that you are entitled, conceited and/or arrogant.

  1. What are the company perks offered?

If there are valuable perks the hiring manager will tell you about them sooner rather than later because he wants to impress potential hires. Asking, rather than waiting, for the information to be offered tells him that you are more concerned with what you will get rather than what you have to offer the company.

So there you have it. You will need to come up with questions to ask, as most interviews end with the hiring manager asking if you have any questions for him. And you should. But steer clear of these questions and you’ll be one step closer to landing the job.