In the past, we provided you with 4 questions to avoid asking during a job interview. Those are still tried and true today—employers still don’t want a potential candidate asking about drug tests and social media policies early in the interview process—but they aren’t exhaustive. There are plenty of other topics best labeled “taboo” when you embark on an interview, and for good reason.
Before your next interview, make sure to brush up on what you shouldn’t say just as much as what you should. Here are 5 more questions to avoid asking:
- “Can I work from home/is the schedule flexible?” If the position offers telecommuting or flexible hours, the description will say so. If not, don’t ask—it may make you seem like you aren’t a team player or that you aren’t willing to make the commute to work. In some cases, working from home and flexible hours are privileges granted after an employee has reached a certain level of tenure and respect with the company, but this isn’t good first (or second) interview material. If you do need to inquire about this, wait until you get further into the interviewing process or receive an offer.
- “How much vacation time do I get?” Again, employers don’t want to hire someone who’s focusing on getting out of the office by only their first or second interview. In addition to showing that you’re eager to get out of work, asking this question will make you seem presumptuous; there’s no guarantee yet that you have the job, so asking about time off and benefits isn’t the most productive use of your time with the interviewer. Focus instead on learning more about the company’s culture, but make sure not to ask anything that can easily be found through a Google search.
- “When would I be eligible for a promotion/raise?” While it’s great to show ambition during a first- or second-round interview, that ambition should be directed toward the job you’re applying for. Focusing on promotions and raises too early on not only shows you’re assuming you’ll get the position but that you’re already potentially dissatisfied with your work and pay.
- “What do you dislike about working here?” A big mistake many candidates make is focusing on the negatives. It’s important to learn more about the company, but try taking a positive approach; for example, ask the opposite of this question: “What do you like best about working here?”
- “What did you say about X earlier?” As important as it is to pay attention to your body language and your responses, your first and foremost priority on an interview is to It’s one thing if the interviewer isn’t clear about something and you need elaboration, but make sure you focus on what he or she is saying and never have to ask for repetition. Active listening skills are quickly rising to the top of employers’ most-wanted list of soft skills, and demonstrating that you don’t have them isn’t likely to bode well for your first impression.
It may seem intimidating juggling all the do’s and don’ts of interviews, but don’t worry! With enough preparation, you can ace your next one with ease. For 5 questions you should ask on your next interview, click here.