It’s happened to all job seekers at some point or another. The potential employer asks at the end of the interview if the candidate has any questions, and the candidate immediately puts his foot in his mouth with a bad question. This can occur for a couple of reasons. One, the candidate is not prepared for the interview therefore lacks confidence. Two, the candidate is extremely nervous and this causes him to mess things up.
The good news is that you don’t have to be like the unprepared candidate. Instead you will walk into that interview with poise and the ability to ask great questions.
Here are some examples of interview questions you want to avoid at all costs when in the hot seat.
"What does this position pay?" This is the number one interview question that all candidates are dying to ask. However, it’s always best for the employer to bring this up. At some point, if you are being strongly considered compensation will be discussed. It does not always happen on the first conversation. Asking this question before the employer brings it up gives the impression you are just focused on the money, not the career opportunity.
"I heard /read some negative things about the company recently, can we discuss?" This is a definite no-no when it comes to interviews. You never want to bring up any negatives about a company, even if they have to do with recent layoffs or controversy. If they do broach the subject, certainly you can discuss and decide how much detail you want to go into. But proceed with caution. Typically, you want to do your research outside of the interview setting and decide for yourself if the company is worth a chance, or not.
" Can you tell me about your health care plan, vacation policy or is there bonus potential?" Again, this goes back to the issue of money. Any question regarding compensation or benefits or bonus potential is best left until the interviewer addresses it. To do so before mutual interest is established can send the wrong message.
"How often can I expect performance reviews/raises?" We all want to make as much money as possible and be rewarded for our accomplishments. But again, be patient. If the company is close to making you an offer, many times they will cover this and all other benefits info during the middle or end stages of the interview process. If they do extend an offer then, at that point, you can feel comfortable in asking more in depth questions on benefits, vacation policy, schedule, etc.
Rule of thumb during an interview, if you think a question is awkward or potentially harmful – just don’t ask it!
If you are looking for more tips to help you "ace" your interview, contact one of our recruiting experts at Beacon Search,Inc.