It's important that you remember to ask questions during your interview—but what's more important is having SMART questions to ask. There's nothing worse than asking meaningless, (or worse) insulting questions that will waste your interviewer's time or seriously just annoy them…
We know the saying goes that 'there's no such thing as a dumb question' but, seriously, don't ask these.
Interview questions to avoid asking:
“When can I expect to receive a promotion or pay rise?”
Don't walk in thinking you'll own the place within a matter of months—thoughts like that have never done anyone any good. So, don't start planning your CEO acceptance speech just yet.
If you ask about a raise or promotion before showing what you're worth, they'll likely start laughing at you before shooing you right out the door. Don’t go embarrassing yourself with a question like this… nothing screams 'this employee won't last long' if you start hinting at a promotion during the first initial meeting.
There's plenty of time to work your way up in the company.
“What’s the worst thing about working here?”
By asking this one, you might get a reaction, but it won't be the one you're hoping for. It's not an interviewees equivalent to the classic interview question, ‘Tell us what your weaknesses are'. They'll simply take it like you're insinuating that their workplace—which they've taken years to build—is toxic. Slap in the face.
There’s no doubt that asking this will rub off the wrong way and you can consider the bridge well and truly burned for the future.
So, if you want to know the answer to this question, think about phrasing it less bluntly, like “If you could change something specific about this company, what would it be?”.
“Is there someone in a higher position than you that I need to meet with?”
Another way to get kicked to the curb is with these 15 simple words. Asking if there’s someone more important to meet with will instantly kill any shot you’ve got at landing the job—the more you throw insults their way, the more you can kiss that job goodbye. Don’t go anywhere near this question (don’t even think it).
It's almost like saying, "Are you wasting my time? Is there someone more worthwhile in this company?” because they’ll definitely hear it this way.
Trust us; if there was someone in a higher position to meet, they'd let you know.
“Will I have long hours?”
Working overtime can happen depending on your role and company, and whether you’re for or against it, asking this question will only make you seem like you're not willing to put in the hard yards. Sure, you can think it (but we wouldn't recommend saying it out loud). There are other ways around it if you really want to know the answer—use that brain of yours.
“Do you perform background checks? Just asking for a friend…”
If there are any interview questions to avoid asking, it's this one because, more than likely, it'll set warning bells off in your interviewer’s head, and you’ll sound super shady. Don’t be surprised if they take a few steps back and call security to cut your interview short and escort you out…
“Can I work from home every single day? *Cough* "I'm allergic to office chairs.”
Working from home and hybrid working is the norm lately. Still, if you've applied for a job that hasn't explicitly stated 'full-time remote position', it’s probably best not to push your luck on this question right off the bat. Don’t go asking your potential future boss (the first time you meet) to work from home every single day.
On a serious note, do you have a question for us? If you're a job seeker on the lookout for your next role, a hiring manager looking to fill a position, or want to discuss some more interview questions to avoid asking, contact us at Just Digital People! We're here to help you succeed.