What’s your reaction?
I know you’ve brushed up your skills, done your research on the company, and have a list of questions the interviewer is going to love. And in the process, you’ll extract info about the company that’s critical to decide if want to join that company. However, there are some questions you just can’t ask in an interview.
Read on below to know more on why you can’t as well as the list of 5 questions to never ask in an interview.
Questions to never ask in an interview #1: “How long are the working hours here?”
Each company has different working hours, generally between 8-12 hours. So on the surface it looks like a good idea to know about the timings in advance.
However, when you ask an interviewer that question, he may not feel the same. Why? Because if you put yourself in his shoes, you’ll see his reasons. As soon as you asked that question (in an interview!), you just became one of those employees who keep one eye on their computers but their other eye is always fixed on a clock (or a watch).
Asking this question in an interview sounds like you’re already thinking about leaving office after a workday despite the fact that you don’t actually have the job yet. Definitely one of the questions to never ask in an interview!
Questions to never ask in an interview #2: “How soon does an employee get promoted here?”
Oh, this interview question is a tricky one too. On one hand, you want to know how the company functions and the qualities they reward. Additionally, you also look for hints of a clear career progression path in that company. You think this makes you look ambitious and what company does not reward ambition right!
But you’re totally forgetting about the flip side of this coin. There’s a difference between being growth focused, ambitious in your career and coming across as a rewards oriented person. Asking this question makes the interviewer think you’re neglecting the required work by jumping straight to the promotions and salary talks.
A better interview strategy is to twist this question a bit and ask about what you need to accomplish to be eligible for promotions. With this simple deflection, you can change one of the questions to never ask in an interview into one of the most loved questions by interviewers.
Questions to never ask in an interview #3: “How soon do you guys hold reviews here?”
This question closely trails on the heels of the previous one. As soon as you ask this question in your interview, the hiring manager or interviewer will think two things about you:
- That you’re used to quick raises and you need a company that’ll reward you both in terms of compensation as well as climbing the ladder.
- That you may be overreaching and think this role (the one you’re interviewing for) is beneath you. And that’s why you want a quick promotion.
I’ll admit that it’s an ambitious question to ask in an interview, but again, think like a hiring manager for a second. They’re hiring you to accomplish tasks in this role, not the next one up the ladder. Therefore, you need to first show them you’re competent enough to accomplish tasks from day one in the office. The reviews will come in time. And that’s why this question is in the list of questions to never ask in an interview.
Tip: You can anyway ask this question of any of the company’s current employees (preferably the one who’s not going to interview you).
Questions to never ask in an interview #4: “If I can complete my hours, can I leave early or come late to the office?”
Asking this question during an interview is just a slacker move. So don’t!
I know most of you won’t ask this question in an interview. However, there are folks out there who want to manage their work-life balance. Maybe they’re completing personal projects on the side, maybe they take courses in the evenings, or they’re holding down two jobs at the same time. So, it makes sense to them if they can complete their office work in time and still pursue other goals. That’s why some people ask this question.
However, the interviewer isn’t always thinking as you. So as soon as you blurt out this question, you became the employee who cuts corners. In contrast, they want to hire someone who’s willing to go the extra mile and completes more than assigned tasks. Also, no company wants to be the second priority for their employees. And this question sure does make the interviewer feel that way.
Tip: Here’s how you can spin great stories to convince the interviewer.
Questions to never ask in an interview #5: “What are the common issues employees deal with here?”
In part, this question feels the right one to ask. Every company faces some issues and you want to know about the company culture and the challenges your future peers face. You also want to test if the company is what you expect it to be.
But, I’d ask you again to think like an interviewer. Although they’re pretty honest and wouldn’t want to set up false hopes for you, they also don’t want to scare you away. So they try to find the middle ground – just like you would avoid some personal details during an interview.
As a result, the interviewer will tell you pretty much everything but not quite. For instance, they can’t tell you about the work culture of the team you’ll join if selected. And that’s something every candidate must know before deciding to join a company.
That’s why this is one of the questions to never ask in an interview. Because it’ll only bring out half truths which aren’t useful to you anyway. A pro approach is to connect with the current employees before the interview. They’ll give you better inside scoop on the company which you can use during the interview or while deciding to join that company.
Asking irrelevant questions during an interview help no one. More clear your questions are, easier it is for the interviewer to answer them. In return, you get valuable information about the company. To help you with that, here’s a list of the exact questions you should ask in an interview to get hired.
Also: Here’s a fun interview prep guide in 12 gifs for you. Enjoy.
So what are your questions to never ask in an interview? Comment below to let us know what to avoid!