Following on from our previous article about 5 questions you should be asking your prospective employers during an interview, in order to understand if the company is right for you, here is a list of 5 questions you should never ask your interviewer.

Can I move into other areas of the company?

This question is completely different from something like ‘is there room for progression within the company?’ Although the concept may be similar, asking about positions in other areas of business to the one you are applying for shows a complete lack of interest on your part for the current position you are applying for. Hiring managers aren’t just looking to fill empty chairs, they want to hire someone who is passionate about the role, and can bring something unique to help improve the company from this position. Asking a question like this may very well doom your chances at landing the job.

How much will I be paid?

In recent years many companies have stopped advertising the salary on offer when they post their job listings, instead opting for something like ‘Competitive salary + benefits’. One of the reasons for this is that they are looking to hire candidates who are interested in the actual work the position entails, not just the money. However, this does not mean that you should now be asking during an interview, especially a first interview, about how much you will get paid. This is something that the company will discuss with you if upon making it through to the following interview stages, they will bring it up. However, if at the later stages of the process it still has yet to be mentioned, then you are well within your rights to query this, but asking this question too early shows interest in the money, instead of the role.

What are my holiday allowances?

This is a similar situation to the question about pay, it will be brought up at a later stage in the process, and if not then that is the time to ask. Asking about holidays too early in a process will give the hiring manager the impression that, although you haven’t even got the job yet, you are already planning days off. Although every employee is entitled to a vacation, this will again show disinterest in the role, and also a lack of work ethic, something that no employer wants to see in their prospective hires.

How did I do?

Asking this question at the end of an interview will put your interviewer in a very uncomfortable position. They may not be at liberty to tell you how you did, and the interview may have to be discussed with colleagues before a decision is made. However, if you are looking for some constructive feedback, a better way to approach it would be to ask the interviewer, after you have asked all the questions you want about the company, ‘Do you have any reservations about me continuing to the next stage of the process?’ This will also give you the opportunity to put to rest any uncertainties the interviewer may have about you.

Do you want to go for a drink/meal after this?

You may laugh at the concept of this question, but rest assured there have been many times that a candidate has made this mistake. Whether as a friendly gesture, or an actual invitation for a date, this question is off limits.No matter how good you believe the rapport you built with the interviewer to be, there is a time and place for such things, and the end of an interview is not it. Wait until you get the job before you start trying to improve your social life, an interview is a business meeting not an opportunity to make new friends.

There you have it, 5 questions you should really never ask in an interview environment, add this to your list of interview do’s and don’ts and you should be well on your way to interviewing success!

Posted by Alexander Goodenough

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