You’re in the middle of a great job interview. You’ve aced the small talk, and you’re nailing the questions the interviewer is asking you. But then, you get to the end of the interview, and the interviewer asks if you have any questions. And all of a sudden, your mind goes blank.
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Or, even worse, you start asking questions that are so bad, they sabotage all the progress you’ve made up until this point.
Asking questions is an important part of any interview – it shows that you’re engaged and interested in the role. But, if you want to make a good impression, you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions. Here are a few tips on how to avoid asking bad questions in an interview.
Don’t ask questions that can be easily found on the company website
If the answer to your question is readily available on the company website, it’s probably not worth asking. Not only does it make you look like you haven’t done your research, but it also wastes everyone’s time.
Don’t ask about salary, vacation days, or benefits
These are all important things to know about a potential job, but they’re not appropriate to ask about in an interview. These topics are usually better suited for the offer stage, after you’ve been extended a job offer. Asking about them too early on gives the impression that you’re more interested in the perks of the job than the actual job itself.
Don’t ask “gotcha”Â questions
A “gotcha”Â question is a question that’s designed to trip up the person you’re asking it to. For example, you might ask a question about a controversial topic that’s not relevant to the job you’re interviewing for, in an attempt to see how the interviewer reacts. These types of questions are a waste of everyone’s time, and they’re not likely to endear you to the interviewer.
Don’t ask questions that are too personal
Some questions – like whether the company is planning on going public or who the company’s biggest competitor is – are perfectly fine to ask in an interview. But other questions – like whether the interviewer is happy with their job or how long they’ve been with the company – are too personal and should be avoided.
Don’t ask questions that are irrelevant to the job
When you’re preparing for an interview, it’s important to do your research on the company and the role you’re applying for. This will help you ask more relevant, targeted questions. Asking questions that are completely unrelated to the job shows that you haven’t done your research, and it’s not likely to make a good impression.
Don’t ask questions that have already been answered
If you’ve been paying attention during the interview, you should already have a good understanding of the job and the company. Asking questions that have already been answered – either by the interviewer or in the job description – makes it seem like you weren’t paying attention, and it’s not likely to impress the interviewer.
Don’t ask questions that are too general
Questions like “What does your company do?” or “What are your company values?” – are too general, and they’re not likely to elicit a helpful response. If you want to ask about the company, make sure you’re asking specific questions that will give you a better understanding of what it’s like to work there.
Don’t ask questions that are too difficult to answer
Asking the interviewer to predict the future -Â “Where do you see the company in five years?”Â – or to give you a specific number -Â “How many customers does your company have?”Â – is likely to result in an evasive answer. If you want to get useful information from your questions, make sure you’re asking questions that are easy to answer.