Interview

Don’t Ask These Questions During An Interview

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The questions that you, the job seeker, ask in an interview can make or break your chances of getting hired. But many job seekers, new and old, make the rookie mistake of asking the questions below. Are you making that mistake?

Don’t ask these questions during an interview:

“Are You Going To Check My Facebook?”

This question is akin to asking if the employer drug tests – the fact that you’re even asking implies you’re guilty, even if you’re not. By asking this question you’ve already planted the seed in the hiring manager’s mind. Soon enough, she might find herself wondering what you have to hide. To find out, she heads over to Twitter where she reads a slew of unbecoming tweets and, before you know it, you’re out of the running for the job.

“What Are The Company Perks?”

If the company has great perks, the hiring manager will probably bring them up to impress you. If perks aren’t brought up, be patient and wait to ask about them until you’re offered the job. As much as you might want a company smartphone and laptop (40% of new grads say they’d take a lower salary in exchange for their pick of company tech devices), asking if the job comes with them tells the employer that you’re focused on the wrong things.

A much better question to ask here is “What are some of the things that make you love working here?” The answer to this question should shine some light on the benefits, both tangible and intangible, of working there. And, if the perks are awesome, the hiring manager will likely bring them up.

“Will I Have To Work Evenings Or Weekends?”

And much in the same vein: “Can I work from home some days?” “Is it okay if I come in at 10 to avoid traffic?

As with asking about perks, this is not the time. Questions like these suggest that you are inflexible and already want exceptions to be made for you. Remember, the hiring manager is filling this position to maximize the performance of the company, not to maximize the state of your personal life.

“What Exactly Does Your Company Do?”

No question bothers me more than this one. It’s an automatic disqualifier. The same goes for most questions that could be easily answered by visiting my company’s website. It goes back to 1) demonstrating effort by doing your research and 2) showing that you’re actually interested in this job at this company, not just interested in getting any job you can.

It’s unfortunate when great candidates ask the questions above. Oftentimes, they don’t even realize the hidden messages they’re sending. Equally as often, they ask these simply because they know they should ask questions, but don’t know the right questions to ask.


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7 comments

  1. I find it infuriating when in the job description the words they’re, there and their are misused. Same with pluralization. Example: ‘the companies policies are’… We know it should be: “the company’s policies.” Or, ‘responsibilitys include.’ We are told to spell check and rechek, which of corse I do, but really, will anyone at these corporations catch these spelling errors?(Misspellings just to see if you are paying attention!)

  2. Mark D. Tyszka, SPHr

    Incorrect grammar damages your credibility!

    Your sentence: And much in the same vane,

    Should read:

    And much in the same vein,

  3. Cecilia’s comment is very true. I have asked companies in interviews to describe technology, processes and systems available to perform the position I am interviewing for. They are happy to explain the resources they have and I think it shows a candidate’s interest in learning more about the organization.

  4. How about appropriate ways to get at some of this information in different ways, like…

    “How would you describe the culture of the office?”
    “What tools are available to the team to get things done and connect with clients?”

    http://www.CeciliaHarry.com

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