Interview Questions to Avoid Asking

red flag on beach symbolizes what interview questions  to avoid

Every week, I overhear our recruiters talking to candidates, preparing them for their next interview. Along with giving advice on how to dress properly, ways to research the prospective employer, and what time to show up, our recruiters try to prepare candidates for what kind of questions to expect to be asked, and what topics to avoid. They invest a lot of time and care in helping our candidates to project a sincere, marketable image.

I just ran across this great article with advice so closely aligned with our own thinking, it could’ve been written by one of us here at Amtec. It’s well worth your time, especially if you’ve got an upcoming interview any time soon. The article covers 10 questions you should never ask in an interview, plus 5 questions you definitely want to ask in an interview. In summary, avoid questions:

  • about salary or benefits
  • that start with “why?”
  • that show you didn’t research the company first
  • about performance review policies
  • about flexible hours or working from home
  • offering your references
  • about promotional opportunities
  • about your own office
  • about whether they monitor your social networking profiles

And do ask:

  • about company culture
  • for past examples of employee recognition
  • what your interviewer likes about the company
  • to hear specific examples of internal teamwork
  • for the new hire’s expected achievements in the first 30, 60, and 90 days

It may seem irksome that, as a candidate in a first interview, you’re not allowed to ask a crucial question such as how much the job pays. But realize that employers will be taking a risk on whomever they choose to hire. They must consider many factors such as your level of skills, experience, and fit with their company culture before the question of pay gets thrown into the mix. There are good reasons for the interview dos and don’ts that can make or break your next career opportunity. So why not pay attention to the wisdom that’s being offered?


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