Worst questions to ask in a job interview

Robertson Sumner always encourages their candidates to ask questions during an interview there is a correct way and wrong way to go about it. Asking questions is a great way of showing you enthusiasm, interest in the role and highlight your understand of the industry and the company you are interviewing at. One careless question can shatter the hard work you had done and the professional image to have taken the time to create. Whilst it is acceptable to ask questions to find out what the company can offer you relating to opportunities and remuneration there are areas that you should avoid at all costs.

Asking questions that will make the interviewer question your commitment or make you look like someone who cannot work as part of a team is an area that is very easy to slip into and fatal. Questions that you should not ask and what they can be interpreted as are:

  • How many days sick leave do you offer?
  • How much paid time off can I get away with?
  • Can you take unpaid leave?
  • Can I have even more time off?
  • Is there a possibility of working from home?
  • I don’t like working with people and want to be on my own even though I have yet to meet your colleagues
  • Do you offer paid sabbaticals?
  • I want lots of time off!
  • Will I have to work overtime?
  • I will only put in enough effort to get through the working day and I don’t want to make a real impact for this company
  • Will I have to relocate?
  • I am not interested in making an effort to be engaged with you and just want what is convenient for me
  • Is job sharing an option?
  • I don’t want to work for you full time it will have an impact on my social life
  • Can you tell me about your company?
  • I didn’t have the time and could not be bothered to research the company for myself

Whilst not a bad question it can help highlight your inadequacy’s to the interviewer and make the interview end on a negative note rather than making the hiring manager remember the positives you can bring. If you feel that you would like to ask then make it your first question so you can use your remaining questions to remind the interviewer how good you are.

  • How long has the company been going?
  • No idea what your company does or for how long
  • What do I have to do to get your job?
  • You can come across as seeming very negative about the interviewers skills and talents and dismissive of their worth to the company.

Remember to avoid asking questions that are focused about what you want from the company but rather give you the opportunity to further express what you can bring to the company. Great questions to ask could be:

  • How do you see this position supporting you or your colleagues?
  • What would you class as being successful in this position?
  • What is it about the company that made you join and stay for the length of time you have?
  • How would you describe you ideal candidate?

Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and consider what you would be looking for if you were looking for a new colleague and what you would want them to ask them. Remember the aim of the exercise is to highlight your skills, experience and passion for the role.

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