What NOT to ask your interviewer at the end of your interview

July 29, 2022

Preparing for an interview can often feel difficult, and it’s completely normal to feel this way. It’s not every day that you walk in and have to impress a potential employer, so it’s important to equip yourself with the right tools (and questions) to make the right impact. Interviewing isn’t part of our natural day-to-day, and coming up with compelling questions is a key part of the preparation process.

We’ve put together 3 questions not to ask as well as our alternative suggestions and why these questions are more effective.

But, before we dive in - here are our top 3 pieces of general advice for asking questions at the end of an interview:

#1 - Don’t ask questions that were already answered or outlined in the Job Description

This makes you look underprepared and also won’t add any value as you’ll already have the information available. 

The best thing to do is print or have a digital copy of the Job Description in front of you, that way you can highlight core things that are mentioned - just in case you forget and ask them out of nervousness.

#2 - Don’t ask questions that don’t apply to the person interviewing you

If you know that during your interview process you’ll be meeting with specific individuals - for example, Talent Acquisition, the hiring manager, and a potential colleague/someone from the team, try your best to tailor questions based on how much value that person can give you. 

Asking someone in Talent Acquisition about team dynamic doesn’t necessarily count as a “bad” question - but asking your hiring manager or potential colleague will yield a more accurate answer seeing as they spend the majority of the time as a part of that team dynamic.

#3 - Avoid the basics

If you can find the answer on the company website, then don’t ask the question in person. Ensuring that you are well-researched will help you to craft better questions naturally, so use the company website and Job Description as your “bread and butter”. 

Top 3 Questions NOT to ask in an interview (with alternatives)

#1 What do you like about working in your current role?

Although this question will give you a bit more insight into what the company is like, it can be considered a “leading question” and will only give you positive answers. You want to be able to get a balanced view of the organisation and the experiences within it!

What can you ask alternatively? 

“Why do people join this organisation? And, what’s the common reason that people leave?”

Not only does this question allow you to get a balanced view, but it also stops you from looking at an organisation through rose-tinted glasses.

#2 How often will I get a pay increase?

Asking about pay in an interview isn’t taboo, but there are better ways to ask this question. You want to ensure that you are motivated across more areas than just remuneration.

What can you ask alternatively?

“What progression and remuneration opportunities do you have in place, and can you please break down what that could look like for me?”

This question looks at more than just remuneration and allows you (and the interviewer) to get a holistic view of what your progression and salary package/bonuses can look like over time.

#3 What feedback do you have for me?

Immediate feedback can be useful in some interview scenarios, but it can also put your interviewer on the spot and you may not get enough actionable feedback. It isn’t a terrible question - but you can ask it in a more effective way.

What can you ask alternatively?

“When will I hear back from you your feedback on me? I’d love to know your immediate thoughts if you feel comfortable sharing them”

This is a great way to still get immediate feedback if your interviewer wants to share it, but also to allow you to find out when you’ll have a final answer by (or feedback to go to the next stage). This shows your engagement in the process, too!

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