At the end of any interview, a potential employer will normally ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” While you should take this time to ask questions about the job or the company, there are certain questions you should never ask. How do you know what topics or questions to steer clear of in an interview? What should you be doing to prepare ahead of time? Here are some things to consider before going into your next interview.
- What does your company do? You can elaborate on this question, but never ask it directly. Why? Because the interviewer expects you to have some understanding of the job for which you applied before you step into the interview. Basic research on the company website or LinkedIn should give you plenty of information. But you can ask something like, “I see your company works with a variety of clients the financial industry. Can you tell me more about that?”
- Can I work from home? Sure, flexible schedules and remote working opportunities are very popular right now, and many companies allow for these arrangements. But unless the job description included working from home as a specific option, don’t assume and don’t ask. This will tell the employer you’re not serious about the job, but rather the benefits it can offer you.
- How soon can I have vacation time? Information about vacation and personal time off benefits is a good question to save for when you receive a job offer. But if you ask in an interview, the hiring manager will – for good reason – assume you’re more interested in not working than working.
- Where can I expect a promotion? The company wants to hire someone to do the job they’ve posted. While they might respect an interest in working your way up, they may take this question as dissatisfaction with the job before you even start. Instead, talk about your career goals in terms of what the company does.
- When can I start? While many job seekers think this is a cute way to show interest in the job, it can come across insincere. It puts the interviewer on the spot and makes them uncomfortable to answer the question. Instead, ask about their process and how long they expect to take to make a decision for the role. This can give you honest, workable information that can help you when following up.
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