Five questions you should never ask at a job interview… and the ones that will help you get the job

Survey quizzed 1,200 UK workers about the questions they believed had put them in a bad light with prospective employers – and the ones they thought went down will with interviewers. Tony McDonough reports

Ask the wrong question at a job interview and it could scupper your chances

 

Job interviews can be an ordeal even for those people who usually exude confidence – but preparation can make all the difference.

A survey by independent job site CV-Library has revealed the five questions you should never ask a prospective employer at the interview – and the top five that will help you get the job.

It quizzed 1,200 UK workers on interview preparation techniques and found that almost 80% will prepare questions in advance of an interview.

More than 92% said they try to ask a question in every job interview they attend.

The asked which questions had jeopardised their chances of getting a job in the past, candidates revealed the top five taboo questions:

  1. What does your company do? This reveals a basic lack of knowledge and preparation. Not knowing what your potential employer does is unforgivable in the age of the internet.
  2. How often do you give your employees a pay rise? Steady on there – you haven’t got the job yet. This question will give the impression you don’t care about the job, just the money.
  3. Will I have to work long hours? This question drips with negativity and implies a lack of commitment to the role.
  4. How much will I get paid? Similar to question 2. You don’t want to give the impression you are just there for the money. Asking about the package can be ok as long as its phrased carefully and is probably best raised right at the end.
  5. Do you offer sick pay? Again, you risk creating the negative impression that you are not motivated by the job.
Job interviews can be stressful – but can go well if you ask the right questions

In a separate survey, the questions recruiters also thought candidates shouldn’t ask included what happens if they’re late or call in sick and how soon they can expect a promotion.

Which brings us to the questions you should ask. The top five were:

1. Is there room for development in this position?

2. How would you describe the general culture of the company and the workplace?

3. What is the team like that I will be working with?

4. When can I start?

5. How do you measure success?

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: “Rather than going straight in with questions around salaries and working hours, you can find out more about a company by posing questions about their culture, teams and how they measure success.

“Doing so will help you paint a picture of what it’s like to work there, and will also show to the interviewer that you are passionate about working in a company where the fit is right on both sides.”

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