As if a job interview wasn’t stressful enough, there’s always that looming question
while you’re in the hot seat where a manager asks, “Do you have any questions for
me?” This is not only an opportunity to show that you are interested in the
company, but it is also a great way to determine whether or not a company is a good
fit for you. However, this only works in your favor if you ask the right questions, and
there are a few questions you should avoid at all costs.
1. “So, what exactly do you do here?”
Don’t ask questions that demonstrate a lack of company research. We live in a
digital world, so it’s pretty essential that we research as much as possible about a
company before heading in for a big interview. After all, wouldn’t you want to know
what a company is about before you commit 40 hours a week in the office?
2. “Is John doing all right after his divorce?”
Never ask about company gossip. You may be asking yourself, does this really need to
be said? But you’d be surprised how many people think that gossiping somehow
gives them an ‘in’ with the company, or makes them appear more fun or personable.
3. “How long until I’m running the place?”
I already see the boss’ eyes rolling into the back of their head. Sure, personality and
skills can go a long way, but at the bottom of everything, employers are looking for
someone with a good work ethic, and if you’re too quick to jump the gun on a
promotion, it may come off as being entitled or unmotivated.
4. “When will I be eligible for a raise?”
Hold off talking about money. There is a time and place for negotiation, and the
initial interview is not it.
5. “What happens if I don’t get along with my boss or coworkers?”
This is a serious red flag because this will raise other questions about whether or
not you had behavioral conflicts in the past, or whether you are difficult to work
6. “Are you married? Do you have kids?”
Avoid all personal questions, even if you and the interviewer really hit it off. The
time for personal questions is during lunch or a company happy hour, but until that
happens, keep the interview professional.
7. “How did I do?”
This question immediately puts the interviewer in the hot seat. If you really need
feedback, ask this question in a follow-up email, or in response to an offer or
So now that you know which questions to avoid, focus on the right questions to ask.
Putting thought into your questions demonstrates your company knowledge, work
ethic, and level of professionalism, so it is imperative that you put just as much
thought into your questions as you do your answers during an interview. Above all,
just remain calm and avoid these question faux pas.