10 Questions to Avoid Asking During a Job Interview

Maddie Lloyd
by Maddie Lloyd
Get The Job, Guides - 3 years ago

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Oh, the job interview. It’s a time for showing off our skills and why we’re the best person for the job, and trying to convince someone to give us a job. We even spend hours, maybe even days, pulling our hair out and stressing to prepare to answer the most common interview questions.

But then you get to the interview, and after answering questions like “What’s your greatest professional strength?” or “What motivates you?” the interviewer flips the script and asks, “Do you have any questions for me?”

Here’s the deal:

The questions you ask can either make or break your interview. You want to make sure that you ask thoughtful questions that show your excitement for the position, and that you know which ones to avoid.

Here are the 10 questions you should never ask during a job interview:

1. Can I do this job from home?

This could be a good question to ask once you’ve gotten a job offer, but until that time comes, it’s best not to bring it up to employers.

Yes, working from home in your jammies snuggled up with your cat is an amazing experience unparalleled by any other, but asking to work from home implies that you don’t work well under supervision, you don’t like to work with other people, or that you have a complicated schedule to work around.

If this is a telecommuting or remote position, it would probably be stated in the job description. Occasionally, employees who have been with a company for a long period of time are given the option to telecommute, but it’s not something you should ask for during your interview.

2. How many hours will I be expected to work each week? Will I need to work weekends?

Asking questions like these will make employers think that you’re hoping to work as little as possible, or that you’re just straight up lazy.

A better question you could ask would be “What does a typical day working in this position look like?” The answer will go into your general responsibilities, and, yes, your expected work hours.

3. How long would I have to wait to get promoted?

You probably think that this makes you come off as eager and ready to succeed, but in reality, it just makes you look like you’re not excited for the position at hand, and that you’re just waiting to move onto something better. Jeez, you’re such a jerk.

Instead, you should ask questions like “What are some of the opportunities for growth with this position?” or “What do I need to do to be considered successful in this position?”

Questions like these show that you’re ready to work hard in the position you’re interviewing for, instead of making it seem like you’re just waiting for a better opportunity to roll around.

4. What exactly would I be doing everyday?

Come on, did you even read the job description? If you bring up this question in job interview, the employer is certainly going to think that you didn’t. That’s a fast and easy way to get yourself removed from the hiring process. So if you really don’t want this job, go ahead and ask!

Instead, you should ask questions about the nature of the job. If you’re still unsure after discussing the position with your interviewer, you can ask something along the lines of “What kinds of projects would I be actively engaged in, and what are the most important goals for this position?”

5. What does your company, like, do?

Jeez Louise, did you even try to do any research before the interview? Asking a question like this will show the interviewer that you haven’t done anything to learn about the company, which will imply that you have no genuine interest in the position.

If you make it through the interview unscathed, go home and look up the company website as soon as possible and learn about their history, their mission, and their services. But while you’re there, don’t ask any questions about the company that you could have easily found on their website.

6. When can I take time off for vacation?

You haven’t even been hired and you’re already trying to plan for your vacation? Well, that’s one way to show employers that you don’t really care about actually working for them.

Seriously though, asking about time off before getting a job offer only shows employers that you’re not going to be a fully committed employee. Save the questions about leave and benefits for after you get the job offer and decide to accept it.

7. What is the salary for this position?

This isn’t a question you should bring up to an employer during your first interview. In, fact, many interviewers will probably ask about your salary requirements if they’re thinking of hiring you. Plus, you have the option of stating a salary range in your cover letter. But to be on the safe side, don’t bring up this question during an initial interview.

8. What type of health insurance does this company offer?

The kind that provides medical services to tomatoes, apparently.

Again, wait until you receive a job offer before you start asking questions about salary and benefits. On the other hand, if there’s a specific benefit that you require from a job, like a particular type of healthcare or childcare services, bring it up with human resources rather than the interviewer.

9. Do you check references?

Asking this question will probably make your interviewer think that you don’t have a solid list of references, which could also make them think that maybe you’ve been fired, or maybe you’re just a sketchy dude.

Do everything you can to secure a solid list of references. But if for some reason you have a problem doing so, wait for the interviewer to bring it up before sharing any information about your reference situation.

10. So, did I get the job?

This is just a rookie move. Asking if you’re going to get the job during an interview puts employers on the spot and makes you seem like you lack patience. Plus, it also just makes you look like you have no understanding of how to act in professional situations.

If you really want to know when you’ll learn your fate with the company, you can ask them questions like, “Do you typically do multiple rounds of interviews with candidates?” Otherwise, just learn to be patient.

Other questions to avoid asking, for obvious reasons

  • Do y’all drug test?
  • What’s your sign?
  • Are you going to monitor my internet usage?
  • How late can I come in without getting fired?

Now you know how to not make yourself look like an idiot during an interview! Yay!

When an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” it’s not an invitation for you to ask about all the time you’re going to get off or how much money you’re going to make.

Instead, use this opportunity to learn about the specifics of the job and show the interviewer that you have a strong work ethic and you’re excited about the possibility of working for their company.

Remember that an interview is also a time for you to determine if the position would be a good fit for you, so make your questions work to your advantage and figure if it’s going to be your dream job.

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