One of the secrets to a successful job interview is to arrive prepared. You know the interviewer is going to ask you certain questions, so you practice your answers until you sound smooth and confident when giving them. Hiring managers are impressed when they realize you cared enough to research and plan, so you sound professional and thoughtful.
What doesn’t impress them are candidates who ask inappropriate questions when it’s their turn to ask near the end of the interview. A lot of good can be undone if you don’t put as much thought into the questions you ask as you do into those you’ll be answering.
Certain questions are appropriate
Here are examples of questions you have every right to ask:
- Could you describe the responsibilities of the position?
- How much travel can I expect?
- To whom does this position report?
- Is relocation a possibility?
Your interviewer will expect you to ask questions similar to these. They indicate that you’re taking the position and the interview seriously.
And there are others you need to avoid
Here are a few cringe-worthy questions that are not acceptable:
What does your company do?
Really? Thirty seconds of research would have answered this.
How long must I wait to get a promotion?
You might as well just tell the hiring manager you’re using this job as a stepping stone!
Can I work from home?
Unless it was advertised as a telecommuting job, don’t bring this up at the first interview. Assume you’re required to be at the shop or office, and discuss remote work at some point in the future.
How much does this position pay?
Once again, this is not a question for the first interview. Wait until you are offered the job, then you can broach the subject of pay.
When can I have a vacation?
Don’t discuss scheduled vacations before the job offer. Stick to questions and conversation that show you’re committed to the position.
How many hours will I be expected to work each week?
This question implies you’re worried about having to work too many hours. That’s not the attitude you want to convey to a hiring manager.
And here are some questions no one should have to tell you not to ask:
- Does the company monitor internet usage?
- How many days may I miss before I get a warning?
- Must I take a drug test?
- May I see the break room?
- Will you be doing a background check?
- Do I need a doctor’s note when I take a sick day?
There are no comments needed on these questions. They speak quite clearly for themselves!
We’re here to help you get started
At United Personnel, we’ll use our 30-plus years of experience to guide you toward a job that’s the right fit for you. Whether it’s a short-term placement or a direct hire position you’re looking for, we can help you find it.
Whenever you’re ready to make a move, make us your first contact!