Asking questions is important. It shows you have interest in the company. It shows that you have intelligent thoughts. It shows that you are not simply looking for “any” job, but rather the right job for you.
Yet not all questions are beneficial questions. There are a variety of questions that will make you look like a bad candidate, and will make it difficult for you to get the job. Below are five examples of questions you should not ask at your job interview.
Bad Questions to Ask:
- What are the hours for the position?
With the exception of retail jobs, this is a terrible question. Your job is not going to be based on hours, even if you are an hourly employee. Your job is going to be based on getting your work completed. Salary employees don’t work on “hours.” They work on projects. Sometimes you will need to stay late and sometimes you will need to come in early. You should be available for any of those, and not ask it at the interview.
- How does your company feel about changing departments/roles?
Companies like to see that you are committed to sticking with the company and moving up in its ranks. They do not want to hear that you either want to do it soon or that you are already tired of working in a position you do not have. Asking about “growth opportunities” is a plus. Asking about leaving your current role to do a completely different one is not.
- Does your company offer maternity leave?
“Dear interviewer: There is a pretty good chance that within a year of hiring me I will need to take paid time off for about 6 months or more, and afterward I am probably going to come into work extremely tired and grumpy. Hope that’s okay. Hire me soon!” Obviously, don’t ask about any benefits, let alone maternity leave.
- Is there a designated smoking area?
No interviewer wants to hear that you may need to go outside for a smoke every five minutes. There are numerous stats that show that heavy smokers often do less work than their non-smoking counterparts. While this may not be true of you, or perhaps you are not a heavy smoker, this question will cause the interviewer to worry.
- Does your company drug test its employees?
There is literally no way that the employer can answer this that you will like, and there is no way they are going to take a risk on you once you ask this question. If you do drugs, you should probably avoid this question. If you don’t, then it’s weird of you to ask it.
In a nutshell, simply don’t ask questions that have negative implications.