September 8, 2017
We’ve already shared with you a list of strong questions that will certainly leave your interviewer impressed. There are many good questions that you can ask at the end of an interview, but there are also a few you’ll want to avoid:
You certainly can (and should!) ask questions about the company, but make sure you are not asking for extremely basic information that an interviewer would expect you to know before the interview. This could lead them to think you are unprepared or do not have much interest in the position. A good rule of thumb is that if the question could be answered by a simple internet search, avoid it! Additionally, make sure you are not asking any questions that were already addressed in the interview, which could make you look like you weren’t paying attention or engaged.
Steve, a hiring expert from Caterpillar, gives his advice on asking questions about the organization. “It is critical for you to do your homework on the company before the interview and what you find out should be the basis for any questions that you ask.” 1
Logistics of the Job
While you may have many questions about the nitty-gritty details, the interview is not an appropriate place to ask them. Stephanie, a hiring expert from AT&T, cautions against inquiring about the typical salary, amount of vacation time, or breaks. These conversations are best saved for once the position is actually offered to you. Asking about money or time off may give the interviewer the impression that you are only there for the money or not going to be fully invested, which will be a red flag for them.
What the interviewer thinks about you
It may be tempting to ask the interviewer if you got the job or how well you did, but this puts them on the spot and can be very uncomfortable for both parties. There is much more that goes into a hiring decision than an interview and the company may be interviewing other candidates for the same position. It is alright to ask for feedback, but this should happen after the company has contacted you with their decision.
An interview is a valuable time for both you and the company to learn more about each other and determine if you’re a good fit. Don’t waste this time by asking questions unrelated to the job or the organization. Not only will these not help you in the job hunt, but there is also the possibility that they may make the interviewer uncomfortable. Betsy, a campus recruiter from Accenture, sums it up nicely: “Your best bet is to stick to questions about the company and the position in which you are applying for, and using the answers as an opportunity to showcase how you will be able to use your skills to add value to that position.” 2
By avoiding questions such as these, you’ll make sure you don’t end an otherwise great interview on a bad note. This opportunity to ask questions is much more than a chance for you to gather some information; the interviewer is evaluating what you choose to ask. Finally, remember that possibly the worst thing you can ask is nothing at all!