As most job seekers know, the interview process is not meant to be one-sided, with the interviewer asking all the questions. Rather, it should flow like a normal conversation, with the candidate asking plenty of thoughtful questions as well. However, there are a handful of questions you should refrain from asking, as they could make the wrong impression on the interviewer.
Can You Tell Me More About the Company?
If you have to ask this question, it is a red flag for the interviewer. This question communicates that you haven't bothered to research the company prior to the interview. Well before the interview, scour the company's website and social media pages, read some news articles or recent press releases about the organization, and check out the company's current stock prices. Come to the interview armed with lots of relevant information. Doing so gives you plenty to talk about and demonstrates your genuine interest in the company.
What is the Salary Range?
Never bring up salary during the interview, as it makes you appear to only care about the money the company can offer you. The interviewer is likely to bring up a salary range at some point during the interview process, so be patient. If you're curious in the meantime, check out sites such as Salary.com or Payscale.com for an idea of the average salary for similar positions at other companies in the area. This gives you some information that is useful for future negotiations, as well.
What Kinds of Benefits Do You Offer?
Avoid asking about benefits packages during the interview. Medical coverage, retirement plans and paid time off are incredibly important components of the job offer, but asking about them too soon can turn the interviewer off. Wait until the company has shown an undeniable interest in you before asking about benefits. It's better to place your focus on selling your credentials and demonstrating your understanding of the firm's specific needs during the interview.
How Flexible is the Schedule?
It's understandable that everyone wants a good work-life balance, but inquiring about telecommuting or alternative schedules might cause the interviewer to question your work ethic. Organizations generally seek candidates who can do the job and is available during the hours they need them. Once you've been on the job for a while and have proven your worth to the company, speak to a manager or someone in human resources about your options for creating a more flexible schedule.
The questions you ask during the interview are just as important as the questions you answer, so avoid asking the wrong ones. Prepare a short list of insightful, thoughtful questions that give the interviewer some insight into your goals, personality and work ethic, and practice them before the interview to perfect your delivery.
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