What a lot of people tend to forget is that a job interview is a two way street. Yes, you’re there hoping to secure your next opportunity and you need to make the right impression, but the employer is also keen to find the right person. They have a vacancy and they want it filled! Recruiting takes up time, finances and resource so they’re just as invested in finding the ideal candidate as you are in presenting yourself as said candidate.
An interview is a great chance to ask questions and find out more about the employer as well – the last thing you want is to not ask the right questions and end up in a job you don’t enjoy a month down the line.
That said there are some definite No-No questions you should avoid in an initial interview. Below are the Top Five I suggest you steer away from:
1. How long is this interview likely to take?
Somewhere else to be? This is a terrible question to ask (And I have been asked it!). It not only shows that you have not prepared properly and allowed enough time to attend the interview, but it also demonstrates a lack of interest.
You will usually be informed when the interview is booked as to how long it will last and how long you should allow for. If you aren’t informed and need to know so you can make arrangements, make sure you ask prior to attending the interview itself.
2. How much will I get paid?
Most companies will advertise the salary along with the job role or HR will discuss this with you when arranging the interview. It’s good to have an idea of the salary being offered with the role before you interview to make sure it matches your expectations but if this information isn’t available or offered, then wait to see the outcome of the interview before raising this question.
The interview is also not the place to try and negotiate the salary if you’re hoping to try and secure a little more. Make sure you sell yourself at the interview first and secure the role. Once you know the employer wants you, then you can have this conversation (professionally of course!)
3. How much Annual Leave/Benefits will I be entitled to?
Another question that needs to wait until after the interview. Again, some job descriptions will include a brief outline of these details or it can be provided prior to agreeing to the interview if you’re really trying to make a decision if this is the right role for you.
Any questions around holiday or employee benefits tells the employer you’re not really interested in the job at hand or what you can bring to role but rather what you would get out of it. While these things are important as an employee, it’s best to wait and make sure you’ve actually secured the job you’re (hopefully very) interested in before asking about these things.
4. What other jobs have you got available?
If you’ve applied for and accepted the interview for one particular job – asking the employer what else is on offer will not go down well! If you’re seeing the job you’ve applied for as a way in but have no actual interest in the role itself, this will come out in your interview or certainly at some point once you’ve started the job itself!
Employers prefer staff who are honest about working with them. If you’re not interested in the job at hand, don’t accept the interview and don’t waste your own – and the employers – time.
5. What can you tell me about your company?
One of THE top interview preparation tips? Research the company! By asking this question you’re demonstrating straight away to the employer that you haven’t done this – Not a good idea! I can understand why this might seem like an okay question to ask but don’t!
Make sure you’ve done your research and phrase a question around this instead. Something along the lines of ‘I researched that your secured this project/piece of work – will I be a part of this?’ or ‘I read that the company started only two years ago, what’s been the best success for you so far?’
As ever interviews can be a nerve wrecking and tricky experience to navigate but making sure you do you’re research, know why you’re there and taking a genuine interest in the role and company will put you in a good mindset to do your best!