5 Questions You Should Never Ask in a Job Interview

Asking some questions of your own in a job interview is an excellent way to demonstrate your enthusiasm and desire to join the company. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to assess whether the role is right for you. However, while asking questions is good, asking the wrong questions could jeopardise your chances of getting a job offer.

When attending a job interview, you should definitely avoid these 5 questions if you don’t want to rub the employer up the wrong way.

1. How many other people are interviewing for the role?

While you may be interested to know how much competition you have, asking this question isn’t really any of your business. It also suggests that you’re not confident in your own abilities as you are concerned about other people in the running.

You should always assume that you have some competition when interviewing for a role, but it’s more important to focus on your own performance and what you can bring.

2. What does the company do/what are the role requirements?

If you’re in an interview situation and don’t know the answer to these questions, then you haven’t done enough research. Asking something along these lines can be offensive as it demonstrates that you no real desire to work for the company and haven’t put any effort into your interview preparation.

When attending any interview, you’ll need to show employers that you are passionate about the role on offer. This question suggests the exact opposite.

3. What’s the salary

Your salary will be an important factor for you and could help you choose between roles. However, you should stay clear of salary discussions during first interviews. Asking about the salary so early on can suggest that you are more interested in the paycheck than the opportunity.

While being money-motivated is by no means a bad thing, employers want to know that you are motivated by other things too as they won’t want you leaving at the first chance to earn more elsewhere.

If you’re unsure about what the salary is, re-visit the job description and see if it is mentioned there. If you are working with a recruitment company, you can ask them what the salary bracket is. If asking an employer directly, you should carefully ask about what salary range is on offer, so you’ll be in a better position to negotiate further down the line.

4. Do you check references?

Asking this question is likely to get a few alarm bells ringing and will cause the employer to question why you care about this. You may put doubt in their mind about how trustworthy you are, so steer clear of mentioning references.

5. When do I start?

While you may think asking a question like this will lighten the mood and show you are keen, it can come across as arrogant. You may have aced the rest of the interview and be feeling really good about the opportunity, but this question could leave a lasting impression in a bad way even if you’re only joking.

Confidence is really important in an interview, however, if you tip the balance to arrogant the employer may be concerned that you will ruffle a few feathers in their team.

Bringing it all together

If you have an interview coming up, be sure to prepare some strong questions to ask that will show how passionate you are about the company and industry. Steer clear of the ones above and use your preparation and research to build your knowledge instead. Good luck!

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