The kinds of questions you ask at the end of an interview often determine the job interviewer's lasting impression of you, so choose them carefully. Certain categories of questions are momentum-killers that can derail your chances of moving forward in the job application process. Take a look at some of the types of questions you should always avoid in a job interview.
1. Questions You Could Answer Through a Google Search
It used to be that a job interview was one of the primary ways you could learn information about a company. In fact, job interviewers often went out of their way to provide candidates with an overview of the company's clients, products and management style. Those days are over, however. Now, you have most of this information available to you with a few minutes of searching the Web.
In a job interview, don't ask any questions you could answer by doing your own research. That means questions about what the company does, the company's history, its main competitors, its products and the like are all off-limits. By asking these questions, you're not showing that you're interested in the job; you're showing that you couldn't be bothered to prepare for the interview.
2. Questions About Money
A first interview is far too early to talk about salary. In fact, you should avoid bringing up money at all until you've been offered the job or until the interviewer mentions it. Related questions such as when you'd get your first raise or whether you'd have an expense account also send the message that you're only interested in this job for the money. To an interviewer, this may signify that you'll likely have little company loyalty and can be expected to jump ship as soon as you sniff a better offer in the wind.
Questions about benefits send the same message that you're only in this for the money. They may also make you look a bit arrogant, since they're based on the assumption that you're getting the job. There's plenty of time for these discussions after you have a job offer on the table.
3. Questions That Make You Look Lazy
Don't ask about vacation time or how soon you can take a vacation, even if the answer has a potential impact on something important like a wedding or a family reunion. Avoid questions about the hours. If you're applying for a salaried position, you're not going to be punching a time clock and should assume that you may work long hours from time to time.
While many people work well telecommuting, your job interview is not the place to bring it up. If the company you're interviewing with encourages people working from home, the job interviewer is likely to mention it. If you bring it up instead, your interviewer may wonder why you're so eager to avoid coming in to the office.
Don't sabotage what might otherwise be a great job interview by asking questions at the end that send the wrong message to your interviewer. Stay focused on what you can contribute to the company, and do your research ahead of time to make a great impression in your next interview.
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