Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 12th 2016 Contents B16
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Position: Sales representative for LED lights
Qualification: • Excellent communication skills
• Bachelor degree
• Must have a vehicle
Experience: 1 or 2 years experience in sales
Apply to: email@example.com
Moonlight Trading Limited
33 Boundary Road, San Juan Phone: 221-9188
When an interviewer asks you if you
have any questions during a job interview,
this is your opportunity to do two impor-
Collect information about the job and the
employer that is important to you -- the things
that will help you determine whether or not
you will accept a job offer (if one is given).
Demonstrate to the interviewer that you have
done some research about them -- that you
are actually interested in the job, not just wasting
Don't Ask These Questions
Asking these questions --- or asking them
too early --- in the interview process may indicate
lack of interest, preparation, or intelligence.
They may indicate potential problems that
might disqualify you as a candidate, like lack
of honesty or lack of integrity.
Asking these questions may also demonstrate
that you aren t very interested in the job at all,
which is a deadly impression to give an inter-
You Are More Interested in the Employee
Discount Than the Job
These questions seem to show that you are
more interested in being a customer (or reseller)
than in being an employee.
Some employers may be happy to have you
be a customer, but some will think of you as
a competitor (a.k.a. reseller):
• Do employees get discounts?
• Can employee discounts be shared with
family and friends?
with my employee discount?
If the answers to these questions may cause
you to accept or reject this job offer, consider
whether you want a different job or to start
your own business.
You Are More Interested in a Date
Than the Job
Even if the job interview is for a job with a
dating service, don t flirt. Questions like this
are inappropriate and will probably kill your
chances of getting a job (or eventually dating
someone at work):
• Want to go out for drinks or coffee later?
• Is s/he married or have a significant other?
• Are all the employees here so "hot" (or ---
much worse --- as hot as you are)?
Focus on questions about the job. These
questions may feel like they re tension breakers
or funny, but they aren t appropriate in a job
interview. Unless you are interviewing for a job
as a comedian, trying to be funny is not usually
a good idea.
You Would Be a Pain-in-the-Neck to Work
With or to Manage
Some environments may not be good for
you -- too noisy, too hot or too cold, for exam-
ple. So be observant when you are there for
your job interview. While many of these issues
may be very important to you, these questions
are probably not appropriate for the first job
interview without a good explanation of why
you are asking:
• Is it always so noisy here?
• Is it always so cold (or hot) here? Can I
turn up the heat (or air conditioning) when
I m working?
• I prefer working from my home. How often
would you expect me to be here?
• Is it OK to arrive late or leave early if my
work is done or if no one needs my help?
• Do you have a lot of rules about what you
can wear here?
• I don t like Mac s (or PC s). Can I have a
different kind of computer to use?
• I don t want a cubicle. Can I have an office
with a window?
• Can I have the newest smartphone (or
name of model) with the maximum mem-
ory, best camera, and unlimited usage?
Asking about telecommuting or flextime can
be appropriate if asked carefully. After you ve
worked for an employer for a while, you may
find that asking some of these questions are
appropriate. Or, the answers may be obvious.
Consider requesting to see the "personnel
manual" or other guide for employees about
accepted (and unacceptable) behavior at work
that could be shared with you if they offer you
a job (and before you accept their offer).
You Don't Want This Job
These questions indicate lack of interest in
the current job:
• What other jobs are available here?
• How soon could I apply for another job
• How quickly can I get promoted?
These questions are part of the "big picture"
of this job, questions that would normally be
asked in the second or third round of job inter-
views. Or, wait until you are negotiating a job
offer before asking them.
You Are Not Interested in the Work
These are important questions, but don t
really have anything to do with the content of
the job which is what the job interview is about:
• How soon can I get a raise?
• How much paid vacation time would I get?
• How soon can I take a vacation after I start
• How many paid personal and/or sick days
• Will you pay for training or an advanced
degree for me?
• What other benefits do you provide?
Save these "selfish" questions until you are
discussing the job offer. If the salary is too low,
perhaps paid vacation time can be extended,
or training or some other benefit provided.
You Didn't Read the Job Description
These questions seem to show that you didn t
read the job description, or, if you read it, you
don t remember anything about it:
• What does the person in this job do?
• What are the requirements of the job?
It s always a good idea to bring a copy of the
job description into the interview with you.
Review it before the interview, and refer to it
during the interview, as appropriate.
You Didn't Do Any Research
You should already know the answers based
on your pre-application or pre-interview
• What does this company do?
• How old is this company?
• Who s the main competition?
You Have Something to Hide
These questions are usually opportunity killers
because they seem to indicate you have some-
thing to hide:
• Do you check references?
• Do you conduct background checks before
• Is passing a drug test required to be hired?
• Will I need to pass drug tests after I m
hired? How often? How much warning
before the drug tests?
• Do you offer maternity (or paternity) leave?
Maybe someone with the same name has
caused you problems in background checks for
earlier jobs. Perhaps you are on a prescription
that causes inaccurate drug test results, or you
(or your significant other) are thinking about
having a family in the not-too-distant future.
So, the questions may be not really be red flags. However,
until the interviewer knows more about you, asking these
questions at the beginning of the job interview process
may cause concern and kill opportunities for you.
You Might Not Be Trustworthy
You may have very good reasons for wanting to know
the answers to these questions, but asking these questions
early in the interviewing process may indicate that you
cannot be trusted:
• Do you have security cameras watching everything
• Do you monitor email use and web browsing when
I m at work? (assume YES!)
• Do you keep close track of when I arrive and when
• Does anyone check my work? What will they be
looking for? When do they usually check? How
• Will anyone be looking at my social media activ-
• How long do I need to work here before taking a
paid personal or sick day?
• Do you require a doctor s note whenever a sick day
If you have a good reason for asking these questions,
explain your reason, being careful not to trash a former
employer or to share too much information. Perhaps you
concern about security cameras is based on someone
using them to do something creepy in your last job, like
monitoring the bathroom use, not because you don t
want cameras catching you stealing.
You get the idea. Don t ask the "selfish" questions too
early in the process, and don t ask other questions that
might make a bad impression. For successful job interviews,
stick to questions about the job, based on your preparation
(right?), and the discussions in the interview process.
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