Questions you shouldn’t ask in an interview
Job interviews can be hard and sometimes stressful. The best advice I can give anyone going for an interview is to prepare for it. There is one thing I have found people tend to forget about that can have a massive impact on the outcome of your interview; the questions at the end! An interview can be going brilliantly but its these questions that will be the interviewer’s last memory of you and if that is a negative impression, all the hard work you have put into the interview will be for nothing.
There are a number of pointers to deal effectively with the “have you got any questions?” question.
The first point is, you don’t have to ask a question for the sake of it. If you don’t have anything worth asking, then just say something along the lines of, “at this point I think I have all the information I need but if we proceed I am sure I will have more questions down the track”. Asking about the process from here is fine, unless you have already been told how they plan to proceed.
If you are getting the sense that the interviewers are getting restless, wrap it up, even if you have more questions. If they are checking their watches or phones, if you are going over your allotted time or anyone in the room has obviously lost interest, thank them for their time and say good bye, even if you have not gotten all the answers you wanted. If you move to the next stage if there is anything vital you need to know, you can ask it before taking the next step.
Be flexible about the questions you want to ask. You might have prepared a list but make sure you don’t ask the interviewers anything that has already been spoken about during the interview. Don’t ask them for information that is publicly available. You should have done enough research to know what information is publicly available so asking for that will leave an impression you have not done your research. With that said they won’t expect you to have read everything ever written about the organisation, but anything in the position description, recent annual reports and website should be taken as read. At the same time, don’t ask them for information they are not in a position to give you. You are not an employee, so they will not share privileged information with you, so don’t ask.
Don’t ask about salary at an interview. The interview is not an opportunity to negotiate the salary. If they make you an offer subsequently you can talk about that then. Better still make enquiries about the package before applying, if the salary they are offering isn’t acceptable to you then don’t apply. Going through a process only to refuse an offer based on salary will leave a bad taste in the employers mouth and may risk any future opportunities.
Don’t ask what they are looking for in the new appointee, I’ve heard this one time and time again and every time the employer repeated a couple of points from the position description and then rolled their eyes. They are clearly looking for someone with the same sort of background as yours otherwise they wouldn’t be interviewing you. The interview is about getting to know you better and deciding if you are the sort of person they want to work with.
Only ask questions relevant to the role you are applying for. Don’t ask about roles or responsibilities beyond the role in question. Being ambitious is fine but the employers are unlikely to choose you if they think you are only interested this role as a stepping stone.
If you want to ask a question, things around strategic direction, organisational structure or culture will likely give you some additional information and show some genuine interest in joining the organisation.
If you have an interview coming up and want help preparing, then check out our services and we will make sure you are ready to wow them.