Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

What not to ask

Hello fellow followers, did you know that having sharp interviewing skills is important to you landing the job. But did you also know that asking the wrong questions can lead to your interviewer questioning your candidacy? Take a look at the top five questions to NOT to ask in your first interview…

1.) How soon do you promote employees?

“An individual asking this question may come off as arrogant and entitled,” says recruiter Josh Tolan of SparkHire.com.

2.) Questions that start with “why?”

Why? It’s a matter of psychology. These kinds of questions put people on the defensive, says Kohut. She advises repositioning a question such as, “Why did the company lay off people last year?” to a less confrontational, “I read about the layoffs you had. What’s your opinion on how the company is positioned for the future?”

3.) “Who is your competition?”

This is a great example of a question that could either make you sound thoughtful … or totally backfire and reveal that you did zero research about the company prior to the interview, says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter of CareerTrend.net. Before asking any question, determine whether it’s something you could have figured out yourself through a Google search. If it is, a) don’t ask it and b) do that Google search before your interview!

4.) “How often do reviews occur?”

Maybe you’re concerned about the company’s view of your performance, or maybe you’re just curious, but nix any questions about the company’s review or self-appraisal policies. “It makes us think you’re concerned with how often negative feedback might be delivered,” says Kohut. Keep your confidence intact, and avoid the topic altogether–or at least until you receive an offer.

5.) “May I arrive early or leave late as long as I get my hours in?”

Even if you make it clear that you’re hoping for a flexible schedule to accommodate a legitimate concern such as picking up your kids from daycare, Barrett-Poindexter advises against this question. “While work-life balance is a very popular concern right now, it’s not the most pressing consideration for a hiring decision-maker,” she says. “Insinuating early on that you’re concerned about balancing your life may indicate to your employer that you are more concerned about your needs and less concerned about the company’s.

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