What Not To Do In A Job Interview: 7 Worst Questions

It’s always a great strategy to ask questions during a job interview. The right questions will telegraph your interest in the position, and can act as a subtle way of showing off your expertise. However, not all questions are good questions, and some may even leave a negative impression on the interviewer, lowering your chances of making it to the next round. To help you negotiate this, ACADZONE has compiled a list of the worst seven questions you can ask during a job interview.

1.      What is the salary for this position?/How much will I make?  

Certainly, you should discuss your salary before taking up any job! But asking this question very early in the interview process is not advisable, especially if you’ve been informed that the selection process will involve multiple meetings. Your prospective employer should feel that you appeared for the interview because you are interested in the company and the position it is offering, and not just the money that comes with it. Wait until you are invited back to discuss salary details. You can then phrase the same question as, “What’s the salary range for this role?”

2.      Can you tell me about your company?/What does this company do?

Ask this question only if you want a quick lead out of the door. Before appearing for an interview, it becomes your task to study the company that’s interviewing you. In case they ask what you know about the company, you should be able to talk about what they do, their products and competitors.

However, if you want to know more about company, asking about its unique strengths can be considered, or something like, “How would you describe the company culture here?” “How do you determine the success of someone who works here?,” would also work.

3.      Do I have to work weekends/overtime?

Asking a question like this right at the beginning gives the impression that you are planning to work as few hours as possible. Instead, asking, “What does a typical work day look like?” is better, reports CNN/Career Builder. Putting the question this way will help you learn more about your day to day responsibilities, and possibly, if people often work overtime.

4.      What are your policies about benefits and vacation time?

“It’s kind of weird when someone gets into the nitty-gritty of the benefits,” says Alison Green, from Ask a Manager. The discussion about benefits should begin after you are offered the job. If you haven’t even got the job and are asking about the benefits, it is a big turnoff for employers during an interview process. Such questions must only be asked when you get to the offer letter stage and you think there will be a scheduling conflict during your initial work days.

5.      How long does it usually take to get promoted?

Staying away from questions on growth opportunities in the company during the initial interviews is sensible according to career counsellor Jeff Neil. This question might hint to your potential employer that you are not happy with the position you are interviewing for. Instead, you might ask, “What are the typical growth opportunities for people in this role?”

6.      Why did the last person leave?

Put this question in another way as, “Am I replacing someone or is this a new position?” This way, you’ll know whether you’ll have to look at a new area or work within existing and established limits.

7.      Did I get the job?                  

Confidence is undoubtedly an important attribute to display in an interview, but you shouldn’t assume that you have got the job in the initial rounds. A better way to work this question in is to ask, “When does the hiring manager expect to make a hiring decision and have the new person start?” If they think you are the right candidate for the profile, they’ll tell you about the next step in the process.

What Not To Do During an Interview Process:

  1. Never say, “I still haven’t figured out what I want to do yet.” This makes you appear clueless. Say instead that this job is exactly what you want to work at.
  2. Don’t say that you have no questions to ask at the end of the interview. Ask at least one question. It can be something like, “What are the biggest challenges someone in this position will face?”
  3. Don’t ask questions that have a simple answer like yes or no. These may be a sign that you didn’t prepare well before appearing for the interview and that you don’t have a strong desire to work there.
  4. Try to avoid questions that start with, “Why.” Such questions sound as if you’re questioning the decision-making ability of your interviewer. Asking, “How” is rather apt.
  5. Spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes in your resume give employers an impression that you don’t pay attention to details.
  6. Including references in your resume, even if they are not asked for, won’t make an impression on anyone. Writing, “References available upon request” won’t help either.
  7. Come half an hour early and it appears as if you are under pressure to finish the interview as soon as possible. 5 minutes early is more than enough.
  8. Go out looking like you got dressed in the dark and ruin your chances of landing a job.

Good luck!


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