Being prepared with the right questions at the end of an interview can really help seal the deal in your favour.
However, ask any of the following questions and you could be staring at your phone for weeks wondering where it all went wrong.
1. How much will I make at this gig?
You should know how much you would like to be paid compared to industry standards and for someone with your experience. The interviewer may ask you about the salary range you are expecting to earn. You, however, should never ask them how much you are going to earn, especially during a first interview.
It’s a double standard, but asking makes you look like you care more about the money than the job at hand. Put your passion for the work before your empty bank account.
2. Do I have to work over time or on weekends or holidays?
The details of vacation time and pay should be left for a later interview or after receiving a job offer. Ask instead what a typical day or work week is like at the office for someone in this position to figure out what’s been done in the past and the time commitment required.
3. How long until I get promoted?
Try not to make it sound like you are only using this job as a stepping stone to your next one. Focusing on how passionate you are about this job, its projects, and the company’s goals is a better tactic.
Learn about advancement in a more roundabout way, such as by asking about possible training and development opportunities, performance reviews, or asking the interviewer where they started with the company to get to where they are now.
4. I heard about ______ company news on your website. Can you tell me more?
If you found something interesting on the company’s website and just want to prove you did your homework, don’t ask this question. The interviewer may not be able to answer the question if they don’t work in that department.
Also, they’ll expect that you will have already read up on their latest news and may wonder why you’re asking about it. If you find a piece of news related to the job and have an interesting and precise question to ask that you think can be answered by the interviewer, go for it.
You want to seem perceptive and knowledgeable, and not that you simply know how to use Google.
5. When is the baby due?
Keep all personal questions out of the equation and don’t refer to the interviewer casually unless instructed to do so. Build rapport in other ways by asking them about their management style or their involvement with the position being interviewed for. Company culture is another safe bet. Don’t broach the topic of drinks after work just yet. Unless they do. In which case, keep your enthusiasm for alcohol to a minimum.