One of the most common minefields in an interview situation is the innocuous sounding question at the end of an interview enquiring if you have any questions to ask of the interviewer. You may feel that you have got across the line, breathe a sigh of relief and feel that the questions you ask at the end of the interview are merely a formality and as the interview is effectively over, a few stock questions will suffice. This is a fatal mistake as the quality of questions you ask at the end of the interview demonstrate your passion for the position and an eagerness to find out how you will fit in with the culture of the organisation. To ask a stock question or think of a question on the spot sends a signal to the interviewer that you are not truly interested in the position. Even worse is to ask the wrong questions at the end of the interview which could annoy or make the interviewer feel very uncomfortable. Below are five examples of questions not to ask in an interview;
Question 1: When were you established?
One of the most common pitfalls is to ask a question just for the sake of it, especially one that can be easily found out from a Google Search. This tells the interviewer that you haven’t bothered to do your homework
Question 2: Would it be possible to change the working hours?
You are still at the interview stage and a job offer has yet to be made, so this question is very premature. This type of question which attempts to renegotiate terms and conditions can really annoy an interviewer at this stage in the process.
Question 3: What are your annual holiday entitlements and what is your policy in regards sick leave?
For many interviewers, to ask these questions at such an early stage not only indicates to them where your priorities lie but is alarming as it could spell trouble ahead.
Question 4: How quickly can I get promoted?
In a candidates mind these questions might represent enthusiasm and positive go-getter attitude. However, in an interviewers mind this may come across as a bit of a daft question as you have yet to prove your competencies and capabilities to the hiring firm, not to mention the fact that you haven’t yet received a job offer.
Question 5: Do you do background checks?
This is an unusual question to ask and indicates to the interviewer that you have something to hide and as a result you may be unsuccessful in making it to the next round, never mind not receiving a background check.
There is an argument that you may be better off asking no questions at all rather than filling the vacuum with wrong questions, which could prove to be very detrimental to your career prospects.