Questions That You Should Avoid Asking a Potential Employer in a Job Interview
Students, Don’t Get Caught Making These Rookie Mistakes in Your Next Interview!
Everyone has had a moment where nerves might get the best of them during an interview. This can often lead to scrounging for questions – because you are supposed to ask the interviewer questions right?
I am sure that every interview tip you have come across states that you should ask questions. Ensure that when the time comes for you to ask the interviewer questions, you follow proper interview etiquette. You wouldn’t be the first person to ask these questions and they may seem harmless. However, what seem like reasonable questions, may lead you to be unsuccessful in getting the job.
Don’t make the rookie mistake by asking the questions below. To supplement the questions you should not ask, I have provided you with questions that will help step up your game!
Did I get the job?
So you have gotten to the end of your interview and you are asked if you have any questions, it can be daunting to know whether you will hear back from the company. When you ask “did I get the job”, it can put the interviewer in an awkward position. Unless they definitely know that you are not a fit for the role, they may need time to consider your interview for various reasons. And let’s face it, if they said “NO” to you right away, what would happen next? Crickets? Would you try to resell yourself? Awkward, right?
It is likely that they still have other candidates to meet or they may need to discuss your interview with other key decision makers. There is a good chance that they may not know if you are “the one”. You may have shined bright like a diamond, but the interviewer could be on the fence between you and another great candidate and may need time to mull it over.
If you have made it to an in-person interview, it is likely written in a company’s recruitment process to notify both successful and unsuccessful candidates of their application status. So be patient. If you do not hear back within a reasonable timeframe, it would be okay to follow-up.
Instead ask – Is there a timeframe that has been determined to let candidates know if they are successful or not? Should I be a successful candidate, what are the next steps of the recruitment process?
Using this question will then provide you with a timeframe to which you can follow-up if you have not heard from the company regarding your application status. It will also leave you with some information as to what you can expect for any remaining steps in the recruitment process.
How did I do?
This question can be understood two ways (a) it can have the same underlying meaning as “did I get the job?”; or (b) it may be that you are looking for feedback on your interview. Since we already looked at (a), we will assume that this question is a request for feedback.
Giving feedback to candidates is a sensitive topic to which an interviewer will tread lightly. Better yet, there may be company processes or policies in place whereby feedback can only be given by Recruiters or an HR Department. If you phrase the question as “how did I do?” the answer you will likely get is “good”. You won’t be told that you were amazing, even if your interview was fantastic. On the flip side, if you blew the interview, they likely won’t expose why.
If we take a step back and look at the underlying “request for feedback” by asking how you did, there is a time and place just not in such words as “how did I do”. And not during the interview.
Being able to accept and apply feedback is a trait that companies and managers strive for with all of their employees. Someone who asks for feedback shows they care about how they are perceived and likely want to do better – for the company. So you are off to a good start if you are looking for constructive feedback. You just need to work on the proper way to ask for it in an interview.
Instead ask – Regardless of whether I am selected for this position, at a later date would you be able to provide me with feedback of my interview?
This will give them the time to prepare constructive feedback and time to consult with their HR team should they be required to do so. Additionally it will demonstrate that you are accepting of feedback and are looking to better your interviewing skills.
Be prepared so you don’t get caught up in the moment and have no questions for the interviewer. If you need prompts, feel free to jot them in a notepad and bring it with you this will show them that you were prepared.