Questions you should never ask the interviewer

Man raising glasses

Here are 5 questions you should never ask the interviewer...


    What do you hate about your job?

Yowl! This question could make the interviewer feel very uncomfortable in front of their colleagues. He/she may also feel that the interview is not the best time to criticise the company or their position.

    Can I have your [the managers'] job?

This is a high risk question as interviewers will react to it in different ways, some people may like to see ambition while others would feel the question is inappropriate.

Once you are in the company you can discuss your professional development with your manager. At this point you can start developing the skills to take on a (higher) managerial position.

If you want to find out about progression within the company you can ask questions about the professional development policy indicate that you are keen to progress within the company.

    How much holiday will I have?

This question makes it clear that you are more interested in your time away from the job than in the job itself.

Once you have been offered the position you can discuss hours of work. You can negotiate to take some time off if you already have a holiday booked.

    How much will you pay me?

It is safer to discuss the conditions of the role after you have been offered the position. The questions you ask the employer need to demonstrate your interest in the position rather than the remuneration.

    Do you have a family?

An interviewer should not be asking you personal questions and nor should you be asking. Keeping all your questions professional is a better strategy.

    What does your company do?

At an interview you will be expected to have researched the company, role, competitors, current affairs etc. Asking something this basic will ensure you are rejected.

So what can I ask at the end of the interview?

When the employer asks of you have any questions it's your chance to clarify anything that is still unclear or ask further questions about something that hasn’t been fully explained.

Always make use of this opportunity to ask questions, it shows that you are interested in the company and in the role, asking 1-3 questions is sufficient - don’t bombard them with questions at the first interview stage.

Here are some safe topics that you can ask about:

  • Professional development
  • Career progression
  • Key Performance Indicators for the job
  • The culture or management style of the company
  • How the company differs from competitors 
  • The reason the position is vacant
  • Clients
  • Company growth, mergers, acquisitions etc

Here are some good questions to ask (only ask these questions if you haven't already already been provided with the answers in the job description or interview discussion) :

•    What are the main responsibilities of the role?
•    Can you describe a typical day for me?
•    What size team would I be joining?
•    What sort of computer systems/software would I be using?
•    Are there any special projects planned for the future that you can tell me about?
•    Are there any policies or procedures I need to be aware of?
•    How will you measure my performance?

A good question at the end of the interview can leave the employer with a good feeling about you.