Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 31st 2017 Contents B18
guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Questions You Should
NOT Ask in a Job Interview
When an interviewer asks you if you have any
questions during a job interview, this is your op-
portunity to do three important things:
• 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).
• e research about them -- that you are actually
interested in the job, not just wasting time.
• Demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job and
for the organization and would be an asset, if they can
convince you to accept a job offer.
Don't Ask These Questions
Asking these questions — or asking them too early
— in the interview process may indicate lack of inter-
est, 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 interviewer.
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 compet-
itor (a.k.a. reseller):
Do employees get discounts?
Can employee discounts be shared with family and
Is there a limit to how much I can buy with my em-
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 inappro-
priate 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 example. So be obser-
vant 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
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
Can I have the newest smartphone (or
name of model) with the maximum memory,
best camera, and unlimited usage?
Asking about telecommuting or flextime
can be appropriate if asked carefully. Af-
ter 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 “person-
nel manual” or other guide for employees
about accepted (and unacceptable) behav-
ior at work that could be shared with you if
they offer you a job (and before you accept
YOU DON’T WANT THIS JOB
These questions indicate lack of in-
terest 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 interviews. Or, wait until you
are negotiating a job offer before asking
YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THE
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
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
YOU DIDN’T READ THE JOB DESCRIP-
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 ap-
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