AUGUST 24, 2015 – We all have our thoughts about what a candidate should and shouldn’t say during a first interview, and the list often includes salary, when raises are expected, flex-time options and when to expect a promotion. At Signature Source our job is to dig deeper, so candidates understand the best way to present themselves, putting them on the short list of candidates that return for a second interview.
The Muse recently published an article on questions you should never ask – and some you should – that we feel has great merit for any candidate. Of course, if the interviewer brings up any of these topics, that opens the door for discussion. But in most cases, asking the following questions can often make it seem as if you already assume the position is yours.
And of course once an offer is made, any of these questions should be asked and answered if they are important to you.
- Any question related to salary, benefits, sick time and vacation/personal days is better left for discussion once a job offer has been made.
- Avoid questions beginning with the word “why,” because it can seem confrontational and put the interviewer on the defensive, exactly where you do not want him or her to be.
- “Who is your competition?” makes you sound as if you have done zero research on the company. In fact, searching the Internet before the interview to find out all you can about the company is compulsory today.
- Asking how often reviews occur could make the interviewer think you are focused on the negative.
- Questions about work hours, flex time, and whether you can adjust your hours to arrive early or work late usually revolve around personal situations and could make the interviewer think you will be more concerned about your own needs than that of the company’s.
- If the job description did not specify you can work from home, do not ask if you can.
- If an interviewer asks for references provide them, but not until asked.
- Promotion policies are another no-no, leaving the impression that the candidate is arrogant or entitled.
- Working conditions – office or cubicle? – are another topic to avoid.
- And finally, asking if the interviewer will be monitoring your social media profiles gives the impression that you have something to hide. Now is the time to clean up all your profiles and never post anything disparaging about work, co-workers or employers.
- Questions about company culture, and examples on how the company upholds it, offer an insider’s glimpse into the company. And when asked this way, it might answer some of the questions you should never ask.
- How employees are recognized provides an awareness into the value the company places on its employees.
- People love to talk about themselves, and asking the interviewer what he or she likes most about the company can key in on the inner workings of the firm.
- Companies value team players, so asking about collaboration between employees is valid.
- “What are the most important things you would like to see me accomplish in the first 30, 60 and 90 days of employment?” shows the interviewer that you will be invested in the job and the company and that you are a goal-oriented person.