Questions Not to Ask in First Interview

John Krautzel
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"Do you have any questions for us?" It's common to hear this at the end of a job interview, and it's not always easy to know what to say. Asking questions can work in your favor, as it shows you're interested in learning about the company and the position. The right questions can also help you determine if the job is right for you. Here are five questions to avoid during the first job interview.

1. "What Is the Salary?"

Of course you're going to want to know what you can expect to be paid. However, asking outright during the first job interview can come off as rude. Your first goal is to prove you care about the position and the company, not just a paycheck. Wait for the hiring manager to bring up compensation. If the topic doesn't arise, discuss it during the second interview. If you're offered the job outright during the first interview, you may then want to inquire about pay before you accept.

2. "How Many Vacation Days Can I Expect?"

Again, perks and benefits are certainly going to be on your mind during and after the job interview, but now is not the time. Prove you sincerely want to work for the company, and then discuss benefits at a later date.

3. "Do You Require References?"

Always come to the first job interview fully prepared. This means you should have physical copies of your job application, resume and cover letter, as well as solid references ready to go. Asking if references are required gives the impression you lack them, which automatically casts a shadow on you as a potential employee.

4. "When Can I Start?"

This is a common tongue-in-cheek question asked by countless applicants applying for employment over the years, and at this point, it's trite. It also sounds a bit presumptuous, as if you already know the position is yours. Keep it professional, and only ask questions that you really want answered.

5. "Why Is the Position Available?"

When applying for employment, it's critical that you keep the dynamic between yourself and the hiring manager relaxed yet professional. It's possible a previous employee violated a rule or wasn't happy with the job, and that can create an awkward conversation. It's also possible the hiring manager isn't allowed to discuss what happened, which can, again, create tension.

Before your job interview, think about questions that you genuinely want answered. Ask about the company culture and opportunities for growth. Ask what the hiring manager enjoys about working at the company. Keep your questions uplifting and enthusiastic. If you don't have any questions in mind at the end of the job interview, it's better to simply state you don't have any at the moment, rather than forcing an unnecessary or uncomfortable question.

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