From college students getting their feet wet with familiarizing themselves with the interview process to working professionals that have “been there, done that,” it’s hard to not freak out about job interviews. But one area that isn’t always discussed has to do with the part near the end of the interview. This is the portion where the interviewer asks the interviewee if he/she has any questions for them.
This is a common part of the process designed to ensure the candidate walks away with a firm grasp of everything that has been discussed. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to conduct this portion of the interview–namely when it comes to the types of questions candidates ask the interviewer. Most of the questions that should be avoided are common sense but others aren’t always black and white.
Want to make sure you avoid even the common sense stuff? Then make sure you do not ask about how much the position pays (or if you can ask for more money), how much vacation time you’ll get or what the company perks are. Those are the basics. Now for the ones that should also be added to the list:
Don’t Ask: Questions About the Interviewer
It might seem creative to turn the tables and ask the interviewer questions about him/herself but this can definitely backfire, not to mention make the interviewer very uncomfortable.
The purpose of having a brief Q&A session near the end of the interview is for the candidate to get clarification on anything they didn’t understand or cover a subject not previously discussed.
Don’t Ask: Questions Easily Answered on the Website/Online
Before going into the interview, candidates should have done a thorough online search to gain more insight about the company, the job position and other related information. The job description is the first place where any questions can be answered, as well as the company’s official website. While doing this pre-interview research, jot down any questions or concerns that weren’t available online and ask those questions near the end of the interview. Doing otherwise simply makes a person look lazy.
Don’t Ask: What the Company Does
Why would anyone apply for a job at a company they know nothing about? This question is similar to the one above but deserves its own mention because–surprisingly–many candidates make this mistake. Again, do research prior to going into the interview. That’s what the “About Us” page was designed for. How can a person expect to get hired when they clearly didn’t take the initiative to learn about the company?
Don’t Ask: How Soon You Can Move Up the Corporate Ladder
In most cases, it’s obvious whether or not a particular job position has “room for growth/advancement.” But it’s not a good idea to ask this question to an interviewer because it can make the candidate come across as impatient and in a rush to move up in the business. There is a difference between being ambitious and being overbearing.