Some things are simply inevitable when it comes to job interviews. While it’s nerve-wracking enough figure out what to wear and how to navigate tricky interview questions, things can be just as frightening when it’s your turn to ask the questions.
I’ve been working with my younger cousin lately on job interviewing tips as she searches for the oh-so familiar summer job. After a recent interview, she told me about all the questions the interviewer asked her. When I asked her how many she asked the person in return, she said, “Just one: When will I hear back?” Obviously during our ‘job search 101′ session I’d somehow forgotten to cover this very important topic.
Toward the end of every interview, no matter what the field or the job title up for grabs, the interviewer will present you with an opportunity to ask him or her some questions in return. Look at this as your opportunity to showcase your knowledge of the company and show that you’re serious about not only pursuing your career, but about landing this particular position as well.
I quickly schooled my cousin on a few of the important questions she should’ve asked, but knowing what not to ask is also a critical part of making the right impression. Check out a few questions to avoid below:
“So am I hired?”
Even if you think you aced the interview, it’s important not to ask this question. This is a great way to fluster a potential employer and put the company on the spot, which is unnecessary. It also causes you to look like someone who needs a lesson in patience. Instead, you can ask if the company does multiple rounds of interviews. It’s important to note, however, that if someone thinks you’re a good candidate, such information will generally be volunteered readily.
“How much does this job pay?”
If this is your first interview with a given company, then it’s bad form to ask about pay. If there is a specific salary range you will need your paycheck to fall within, it’s better to include such information in the cover letter you send with your resume. Otherwise, wait for your callback or your follow-up interview to bring up what you’ll be compensated in return for your services. The same could be said in regards to additional perks of employment, such as health benefits.
“How many hours will I be expected to work?”
Asking direct questions about what the hours are, whether or not you’ll be expected to work on weekends, and when you’ll be eligible for vacation make it look as if you’re hoping to collect a paycheck in exchange for as little actual work as possible. Avoid this at all costs. Instead, try asking your potential new employer to describe what an average workday is like. This ought to give you the information you need in order to determine what the hours are going to be like.
“Is this a job I can do from home?”
Asking a question like this about a job you’ve been given no previous reason to think is a telecommuting position makes you look like you’re not a team player. Your potential new boss may think you don’t like being around others or simply that you don’t want to be bothered coming into the office and being part of the environment. You could also give the impression that you don’t want to do your work under direct supervision or that you expect your employers to work around your schedule as opposed to the other way around. Perhaps after you’ve been working with the company for a long while, it will be OK to bring this up, but it’s generally not an appropriate question for the initial interview.
There are a slew of other questions to avoid when interviewing; share which ones you tend to stay away from below!