Oh, job hunting! Something that every generation can relate to. Granted, job hunting has changed significantly over the years, but the idea as a whole has remained unchanged. A hopeful individual sits down with an interviewer for a nice conversation with an employer about the job, their skills, requirements, and more.
On paper, it doesn’t sound too bad. In reality, it could be a highly stressful process that could make you say or do things that will immediately disqualify you from the race.
The first step comes way before the actual interview. You need to do some research on the company so that you won’t look like a fish out of water. Check out their website and their products or clients. Visit Glassdoor for more insights on what working there would be like. Plenty of people post reviews and information about the interview process that could help you out.
Next on the list is showing up and making a great first impression. In order to do that you have to also ask questions in return. After all, this is a two-way process. But watch out, some questions could be seen as unprofessional and could make an interviewer internally cringe.
Today, let’s look at 12 questions you should and shouldn’t ask during interviews! Ready? Click NEXT!
Do Ask: What Is the Company’s Culture Like?
This potential job could be the environment you spend most of your day in. It’s therefore important to ask about the company’s culture. Two companies in the same sector could be vastly different.
One could value professionalism above all else, and there might be little in the way of social pressure to hang out after hours. The other could look for ways to constantly strengthen the bonds between workers by organizing outings and events.
Which one of these would you rather work at? Asking this question could separate a job you’d enjoy going to every day from the rest and the interviewer will be happy to answer you. They typically like candidates that show an interest with questions a lot more.
Don’t Ask: How Soon Do People Get Promoted?
Employers don’t typically like entitled candidates, which is why you should avoid asking how soon you’d get promoted. Depending on the interviewer, this could completely change their perception of you.
Instead, ask about expectations along the way, particularly 30, 60, and 90-day expectations. By asking in this format it’ll show your interviewer that you’re willing to evolve and learn without sounding entitled.
Plus, by having this information, after you get the job, you can use this information as benchmarks for your performance. When it’s time for evaluations, you can use this information to gauge where you are and where you’re headed within the company.
Do Ask: Do Certain Personalities Succeed at the Company Over Others?
In most work environments you can find very different people. There may be outliers, like an extrovert surrounded by introverts or vice versa. You know your personality type. Are you active and social or do you prefer to keep your head down and focus on work?
You have to make sure you fit in the office before starting a new job. Otherwise, you may end up miserable. Imagine going to work all bubbly and ready to make new friends only to find out that most people are quiet and mind their own business. You have to manage your expectations, at the very least.
Ask your interviewer about what kind of people succeed in the company. By doing so you’ll know if you’re likely to get promoted in the future too. If you’re more introverted and the company frequently promotes social butterflies, this job may not be the right fit for you.
Don’t Ask: What Will My Salary Be?
Naturally, everyone wants to know what their salary will be when they start working at a new company. But this is not an appropriate question for an interviewer. They’re here to make sure you meet the requirements for the position you applied to so they may not even know the answer to this question.
Don’t jump the gun. You’ll get a chance to talk about your wages later in the hiring process. Wait for an offer to be made and get ready to negotiate. But there are stills some hurdles you’d have to jump before that.
If you do ask this question, you might make the interviewer feel extremely awkward.
Do Ask: What Is Your Favorite Part About Working at the Company?
Much like when talking about company culture, you should ask your interviewer about their favorite part about working at the company. This could reveal details that may not align with your needs and wants.
If they say they like the social events and you’d prefer working with social people, great! If they mention the openness with which they can communicate with their bosses, great! But what if they say they love, for example, the coffee?
Really? That’s all they could think of? Out of the myriad of things that could have been praised about a company, they chose something so mundane? Not a good sign.
Don’t Ask: How Did the Company Start?
At the very beginning of the article, we mentioned how a crucial part of looking for a new job is researching the company you’re applying to. Perhaps you’re not clear on some details, but asking your interviewer about how the company started is a huge no-go.
Instead of proving that you’re curious and interested, you’ll do the exact opposite by showing them that you haven’t even had the insight to look all these details up yourself.
What’s worse, preparing yourself to ask this question means you’re leaving yourself open to potentially embarrassing situations, since you clearly haven’t read up on the company. You could be blindsided by questions or topics about the company that you haven’t prepared for.
Do Ask: What skills and experiences would make an ideal candidate?
Not only will you know if you’ll fit into the company well by asking this, but you’ll also help the interview move forward by opening up a list of topics. Your interviewer could bring up certain qualities they’re looking for that may have slipped your mind.
Now’s a good chance to find out exactly what they’re interested in, and if they mention something you haven’t touched before but that you know you can do well, address it immediately.
Ideally, the more qualities they share with you, the more you should be able to prove that you’d be great for that position.
Don’t Ask: How many hours will I have to work and do you expect me to work weekends?
During this stage in the hiring process, you want to highlight your strengths. By asking how many hours you will be expected to work and whether or not you would work weekends you’re basically telling your interviewer that you’d like to work as little as possible.
Don’t worry, you’ll get to talk about this later in the process, so there’s no reason to bring it up now. There’s no point in you risking it, even though you might feel anxious and curious about the topic.
Trust us, everyone is. On top of looking like you might want to work as little as possible, your interviewer might also think you’re impatient, so don’t do it!
Do Ask: What are the biggest challenges facing your staff?
No company is without problems or faults. There is no such thing as a perfect company, so keep an open mind! It’s important to ask about the challenges they’re facing for three reasons.
First, it’ll force the interviewer to picture you working there already by thinking of the challenges and how you, personally, would be able to solve them. Secondly, you’ll prove to them that you are a problem solver and that you’re interested in helping them out before even getting an offer.
This will also help you gauge how valuable you seem to the company. If the interviewer is giving you superficial answers then they may not trust that you’d be able to handle any company issues. You can flip this into a positive by exemplifying issues you solved at your previous job.
Not asking questions at all.
The worst thing you can do during an interview process is not asking any questions at all. This will prove to your interviewer that you’ve checked out already and have no interest in the company. Worse, you could make it seem like you’re too smug and entitled, a know-it-all that doesn’t have any questions.
On the other hand, it could prove that you’re desperate and willing to take any job. That signals to an interviewer that there’s something wrong with you, that you’ve failed many interviews before this one, and that you’d do anything to get hired.
Companies want people that will be happy to work for them, not desperation!
Do Ask: What is the next step in the process?
This is a great way to end the interview. By asking an interviewer what the next step is you’ll prove that you’re prepared to move forward. In so many words you’ll basically let them know you’re ready to continue with the negotiation side of things.
The person in charge of the interview could disclose when you should expect an answer or any new information. It should also help ease any anxiety- oh, we all know that feeling, waiting not-so-patiently for the good news while trying to not get our hopes up too high.
Again, this should be reserved for the end of the interview.
Don’t Ask: How did I do?
Interviewers shouldn’t tell you any information about other candidates. They can’t disclose how others have performed, so asking them could put them in a very awkward position. You’ll also lose any confidence you may have build up until that point.
Sadly, a lot of people make this mistake. It also won’t help any nervousness you might be feeling since you’re basically comparing yourself to people you don’t even know.
Instead of asking right then and there, go home, relax for a bit, and formally request feedback via email during the follow-up phase. It’s essentially the same thing, but you won’t put your interviewer on the spot if you ask via e-mail.
So, have you made any of these mistakes during an interview? Tell us about your experience by commenting down below!