So you scored an interview with the company you’ve been dying to work for next summer! You showed up on time, dressed to impress, and your answers to every question the interviewer asked you were flawless. Now the end of the interview is drawing near, and the interviewer is about to ask you his last question: “Do you have any questions for me?” Before you open your mouth to answer, make sure that you’re not asking one of the following “illegal” interview questions.
“What does your company do, exactly?”
One of the most important things you need to arrive armed with is knowledge of the company you’re applying to intern or work for. Employers assume that you know important information about them, like their mission statement and the head of their company. Asking this question indicates that you didn’t take the time to research those things, which sends a message to the employer that you don’t care.
“How much does this position pay?”
You should never, ever, ever ask this question in your first interview. This just signifies to employers that you are more interested in reaping the benefits from the position that you’re applying for than in actually doing your job. It’s best not to discuss compensation. If you nail the interview, you’ll find out your salary eventually. Until then, it is best not to discuss compensation.
“When can I take time off for vacation?”
You aren’t even in the office yet, and this question makes it seem like you’re already trying to figure out how you can get out of it. Asking about getting time off before you even get a job offer just implies that you aren’t going to be fully committed to your position, and makes you a less desirable candidate.
“How many hours a week will I be expected to work each week? Will I need to work weekends?”
When you ask questions about hours and extra work, it sounds to the employer like you are hoping to work as little as possible. If you really want an answer to this question so that you can gauge how hectic your life will be if your score the job, ask something like ‘What is a typical workday like within this position?’ instead.
“How long would it be before I could get promoted?”
This makes it sound as though you are only applying for this position so that you can climb the company ladder. It implies that you aren’t interested in the position that you’re applying for, and you’re waiting to move on to something better. While it’s good to appear ambitious, this question makes you sound power-hungry, which is an unappealing trait to potential employers.
“Did I get the job?”
Asking this question puts employers on the spot and makes you sound impatient. If you are impatient, you could ask something like “Do you usually hold multiple rounds of interviews with candidates for this position?” instead, although if they are interested in you, employers will usually provide this information before the end of the interview on their own.
Other Questions You (Obviously!) Should Not Ask:
“Can I see the break room?” “How long is lunch?” “What are the policies on tardiness?” “Will I have to take a drug test?” “Does this company monitor internet usage?” “How many warnings do you get before you are fired?”
As long as you ask a question off of this list instead of blurting out one of the aforementioned awful options, you will be sure to impress your prospective employer!