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Worst questions to ask at your interview


Interviews can be tricky and preparation is often key to performing well in an interview situation. Normally at the end of the interview, you may be asked if you have any questions that you want to ask. Whilst asking the right questions can set you apart from the crowd and get you noticed by appearing enthusiastic about the job, not asking questions could make you appear lazy, uninterested and unprepared. However, there are some questions that you could ask that could almost be as bad as not asking any at all! To prepare you for any interview situation, we look at some examples of the worst questions to ask in an interview and the reasons why they are questions to avoid:

How long will this interview last?

Asking an interviewer a question like this at the beginning of the meeting implies that you have more important things to be doing with your time and won’t set a good impression for the rest of the interview.

How much does the job pay?

Interview tip:

Ask relevant questions - it shows that you're taking an active interest in the company and that you're willing to learn more about the job role you've applied for.

This question can be one of the worst questions to ask in an interview before you have been made a formal job offer. Interviewers want to hear about your enthusiasm and passion for the job and asking this straight away could give the impression that all you care about is money, as opposed to working for and learning from the company. Once you have been made an offer for the job you will have the chance to discuss pay with your employer then.

How long will it take for me to get promoted?

Again, this implies that you aren’t really interested in the job that you are being interviewed for and are just thinking of using it as a stepping stone to a bigger and better pay check! Whilst this could show ambition and desire to succeed, it could also come across that you think the job is beneath you and could be considered rude by the interviewer. Try re-wording this question to the example highlighted previously: ‘What are the promotion prospects?’

Will I be able to take time off whenever I need it?

This sounds as if you are already thinking about putting your personal interests ahead of the job responsibilities and may imply that you can’t be relied upon to turn up when needed. Once you have been offered the job then you should discuss any issues then but not during the interview. 

How did I do?

Asking how you got on at the end of the interview can make you sound worried or unprofessional. The majority of the time interviewers need time to make a decision on the candidates they have interviewed and won’t be able to make a decision or a judgement of your abilities on the spot. An effective alternative could be to re-word the question as “So what are the next steps?” or “When can I expect to hear from you?”