There is usually a space allotted at the end of an interview where you, as a candidate, can ask your interviewer some questions. Below are some questions best avoided, unless you want to get your interviewer’s back up.
- When was your organisation founded?
Generally, any informational nugget than can be quickly ascertained from a Google Search or quick view of the company website should be best avoided. Another obvious question to avoid is “can you explain to me what you company actually does?”. Lack of basic knowledge about a company is a sure and fast way to get an interviewer’s back up. Most corporate websites will arm you with the key nuggets of information required for your interview, when the company was founded, number of employees, number of offices, unique selling propositions, sectors the company operate in and even important topics related to their industry sector (check out the corporate blog posts).
- When will I get promoted?
This is a bit of a daft question as the interviewer cannot foresee how you will perform within the organisation. It also implies an over eagerness for quick career progression and if this is not achieved the interviewer may consider you as a flight risk (someone who leaves the company shortly after starting). You may also be a very demanding person who is not a proper team player as the word “I” is emphasised in the question above.
- Did I get the job?
Although this question will inevitably be running through your ahead, avoid saying it out loud as it can put your interviewer in a very awkward situation. This is especially true in a first-round interview situations where your interviewer may have several more candidates to interview for the role. It also demeans the interview process by putting your interviewer on the spot and not giving him/her time to reflect and to follow due protocol.
- Can I work from home or do I need to come into the office?
Unless the job advertisement specifies that the job on offer is a “working from home” or telecommuting role, it is assumed you will be part of a team working in an office environment. You don’t want to be perceived by your employer as being anti-social and not a team player. However, many companies now offer the option to work from home for a specified number of day(s) each month but this should be made clear in the job specification, which you should have read thoroughly.
- Can you change the job specification please to suit my requirements?
A job specification document is a carefully thought out document detailing the tasks and responsibilities of the position on offer. If you are unhappy with the job specification, perhaps you should have not applied for the position which resulted in you being called for interview. The interview will probably view you as extremely “cheeky” and even as a person with “delusions of grandeur” by making this request.
Above are just some questions best avoided in an interview. Remember that your objective should be to leave your interview on a positive note and not by getting your interviewer’s back up by asking an annoying, inappropriate or what could be considered a silly question.