The worst questions to ask your interviewer

The worst questions to ask your interviewer

You want your interviewer to remember you, but not in a negative way. Your goal of an interview is to show that you are the best candidate for the open position and that you’ll fit in well with the company. Even if you demonstrate that perfectly, the interviewer still might not consider you because of one thing: what you ask at the end of the interview. The questions you ask have more impact than you may realize, so you need to be sure you don’t ask the wrong ones that leave a bad impression with the interviewer.

Some of our expert recruiters have put together the WORST questions you can ask in an interview that could cost you the job. You may have asked some of these before, but make sure to keep these of your list of questions!

Want to know what questions you should ask? Check out that post here!

Mary Gerber

Branch Manager, CFS Portland

I think you can ask any question as the process moves forward but the first interview is like a first date- you don’t want to ask any negative questions. Ask questions that allow the interviewer to reflect on positive events or experiences with their company. The most important part of a first meeting is that it leads to another meeting!

  • “Is there work/life balance?”

In the first interview don’t ask about work/life balance. You might be working 80 hours per week and be hoping to work only 60 hours per week, but the perception could be that you are looking for less than full time. You don’t want the interviewer thinking you’re not willing to put in the time to do the job.

  • “Why is this position open?”

Don’t ask why the position is vacant (at least not yet). This may cause the person leading the interview to reflect on a less than positive experience with the person who left the job, which could create a link between your interview and that negative memory.

  • “What would my salary and benefits package be?”

You should avoid bringing up money and benefits in the first interview. The more the employer knows about your skills and experiences and how those match up with the open opportunity the better the potential package will be at the offer stage. Sometimes this conversation can’t be avoided. If the interviewer asks, you can respond with something along the lines of, “Based on what I know so far, this is a great opportunity for me and I am excited to look at your best offer.”
Kristina Camacho
Executive Recruiter, CFS Orlando

  • “Do you have any suggestions on what I should do with my resume?”

This question won’t get you the job. You’ve been selected to interview already based off your resume, so there is never a valid reason to ask this. You don’t want the interviewer to think you don’t care enough about the role to send them a finalized resume. If you’re unsure about your resume, talk with a recruiter. It’s our job to help you cater your resume to a particular job, and we’ll scrutinize it more than any hiring manager will.

  • “When would I be promoted?”

They haven’t even seen your work yet! This question can make the interviewer wonder how long you’ll stay if they don’t promote you soon enough, potentially ruining your chances of ever being hired. No matter how good the conversation went, you should never let the interviewer know that you’re interested in the next role and not the one you’re there to interview for.

Joanna Cheng

Director, Branch Manager, CFS Atlanta

  • “Can I work from home?”

Unless the job posting explicitly talks about this as an option, you shouldn’t bring it up in an interview. You don’t want the interviewer to think you’re the type that avoids work or won’t get the job done.

  • “Do I get an office?”

You don’t want the interviewer to think you only want the job for the perks. Yes, it would be nice to have but it shouldn’t be a priority. This isn’t something that should matter enough to bring up in an interview.

  • “What kind of company is this?”

If you ask this, the interviewer will think you didn’t care enough about getting this job to do your research beforehand. You can almost guarantee your competition knows as much as they can about the company, and so should you. Instead, ask more specific questions that show you have done your research and are interested in the company’s future.

What other questions are bad to ask your interviewer? We’d love to hear them in your comments below! You can also reach out to one of our expert recruiters to discuss interviewing advice. You can find the closest CFS location to you here.

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