Questions Not to Ask During an Interview

Questions Not to Ask During an Interview


An interview is a very integral part of the hiring process. Perhaps even more important than the resume, a successful interview can almost guarantee you the job. As significant as it is, not everyone is aware of the do’s and don’ts of an interview. There are questions that are acceptable and others that are not.

An interview should be conducted like a professional meeting between new acquaintances. It should be pleasant and without time constrictions. When you leave the interview, the person or persons you met with should be left with a good impression. Either they’ve already made the decision to hire you, or at the very least, strongly consider you for the role.

Recently, coined the following question as the worst one to ask during an interview: Based on what we’ve discussed today, is there any reason you wouldn’t consider me for this position? Even typing this question makes me cringe. A question like this is bound to leave an unsavory impression on your interviewer because you’re putting that individual on the spot and creating an atmosphere of discomfort. A quick tip for getting noticed is to send a personalized email to your interviewer afterward.

This question is only one of the many interview question faux-pas.  Here are a few more no-no’s, courtesy of Job-Hunt:

  • I prefer working from my home. How often would you expect me to be here?
  • How quickly can I get promoted?
  • What does the person in this job do?
  • What are the requirements of the job?
  • What does this company do?
  • How old is this company?
  • Do you check references?
  • Do you conduct background checks before hiring someone?
  • Is passing a drug test required to be hired?

While most of these questions are essential to the overall hiring process, there are better ways to phrase them. For example, asking things like “what does this company do” or “how old is this company,” is an immediate indicator that you neglected to research the company before your interview. Conducting some pre-interview research is a must. It shows that you care about your prospective employer and are willing to dedicate the time to understanding their culture and goals.

Don’t focus on questions involving background checks or drug tests. Companies reserve the right to conduct background and/or drug tests and will always advise if they plan on doing so.  Reference checks are also a common practice among employers. If you think that these procedures will hurt your chances of being hired, I suggest trying to rectify these issues prior to your job searching. Be transparent and take ownership of any prior blunders. An employer would much rather hear you explain the situation yourself, rather than finding out down the road that you lied.

Job-Hunt also put together a list of questions that are ideal to ask during an interview. Remember, it’s okay to ask questions, but they should be the right ones. It’s important to be engaged with the person who is interviewing you and showcase your interest. Make sure you ask them about their experience within the company. How long have they been in the company? How long have they held their job title? What do they enjoy most about working there? You can also ask if the job entails anything else that isn’t listed in the description. These questions make you sound interested and well informed, as well as someone who would care about the company they work for.

For some, interviewing for a new job can seem scary. It’s important not to psyche yourself out. If you can walk into an interview with friendly confidence and basic knowledge of the company, you’ll be okay. Make sure you do the research prior and that you are doing what you can to create a comfortable environment for the both of you.