Questions You Should NEVER Ask During Your Job Interview


Last week we touched on questions you should ask in an interview. But what about those you should NEVER ask?

Ask these questions and you can probably wave good bye to any chance of getting hired or getting the salary you truly deserve:

How much paid vacation time do I get? While there’s inherently nothing wrong with this question, this one becomes a job-offer killer depending on when you ask it. Ask it during the first interview and you come across as wanting a job only to get a paid vacation. Most employers want their employees to have some R and R after working: employees come back refreshed and ready to be productive, but this questions smacks of “what can you do for me, Ms. Employer?” rather than “Here are my skills and knowledge and here’s how they will benefit your company.”

Can you see the difference? The first gives the impression that you don’t understand why employers hire people. Hint: they are not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Businesses hire people to solve problems. Show an employer how you will solve her problems! That’s truly the key to a successful job interview, one that leads to a job offer.

So save questions about vacation, benefits, etc. for the second or third interview. If the employer happens to mention in the first interview how much vacation time you may expect, thank her for the information and leave it at that.

How much does this position pay? There are two big problems with this question. First of all, it shows the employer you haven’t done any research about her company nor the position for which you’re applying. You should have a general idea as to a salary you can expect for the type of position, the industry and the area of the country where the business is located

The second reason you should never ask this question is that it puts you at a distinct disadvantage. Why? Because 1) if the employer answers with a set amount or even range, you have no wiggle room. The salary is what is, even if you are able to show the employer that your skills are more valuable. 2) The hiring manager actually is most likely to ask you what kind of salary you are looking for.  You pretty much have to answer because it was you, after all, who brought the topic of salary up. So you mention a number/range and, poof! there goes any leverage you had for negotiation.

Never bring up salary until your second or third interview. If the company will be hiring based on just one interview, wait for your interviewer to bring the salary question up.

Residents of the Washington DC area with construction, engineering, architectural and project management skills looking to work with some of the best Metro Washington companies, should contact RealStreet Staffing. We have the contacts, resources an experiences to help you take your career to the next level. Contact us today!

RealStreet has been an excellent partner in understanding our programs’ unique staffing requirements-skills, experience, clearances, seasonality—and consistently provides qualified and highly productive team members who are often recognized by our customers for their performance.

Cheryll Bissell

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