15 Stupid Questions Not to Ask During a Job Interview

Job Interview

Photo: Pulpolux!!!

It’s easy to commit a faux pas at a job interview. You’re nervous and tense, so you make mistakes. But the more prepared you are when you go in, the less likely you are to do something stupid – like ask a question that will shoot down your chances of being hired.

Wondering what questions you should avoid? Here are 15 questions best asked, if at all, after you get the offer:

1. Do you run drug tests?

Obviously, you shouldn’t be asking about drug tests. You should be clean so you don’t have to worry about this possibility.

2. Will you check my credit report?

Many employers check credit reports for potential employees, but you’ll have to sign a release first. If you’re concerned about negative information on your report, talk to the hiring manager only after you’ve been given this form to sign.

3. Can I date co-workers here?

This is another no-brainer. You can learn about company policies after you’re offered a job. Until then, don’t seek a relationship with a current company employee.

4. How long do I have to wait before I can use sick days?

This question will leave the employer wondering how quickly you plan to get sick, and how often you plan to use sick days.

5. How much time off do I get?

If you’re more concerned during an interview about what a company will do for you than what you can do for a company, you’re not going to get hired.

6. What about telecommuting?

This can sometimes be a legitimate option, especially if telecommuting is listed in the job description. But unless the job description or interviewer says something about telecommuting, leave that negotiation for after you have an offer in hand.

7. How often can I expect a raise?

It’s great to show an interviewer that you’re interested in advancing in the company, but putting it this way will only make you look self-centered and shallow.

8. Would I have to relocate for the job?

If you’re absolutely not willing to relocate, you might feel around for this possibility. But otherwise, leave this question off the table.

9. Is there a possibility of job sharing?

When you want part-time work, you should be applying only for part-time jobs. Asking about job-sharing at an interview for a full-time job will likely ensure that you aren’t hired.

10. What’s your disciplinary process like?

Asking about this may indicate that you’re familiar with disciplinary processes at other businesses, and that you plan to test the system at this one.

11. Can I see the break room?

The break room definitely shouldn’t be your main concern. Ask about any other area of the company that would have to do with your actual work, but not about the break room.

12. Do you offer bonuses?

You may want to ask how a company rewards employees for excellent performance, but not in such a direct manner.

13. What’s your health care plan like?

This is one of those details better left until after you have a job offer.

14. Who are your main clients?

You should do enough research into a potential employer that you understand its products, services and clients. Asking basic questions like this show an interviewer that you haven’t taken time to do your homework.

15. No questions at all

While there are lots of stupid questions you shouldn’t ask during a job interview, you shouldn’t clam up, either. Prepare a few relevant, helpful and intelligent questions you’d like to ask an interviewer, and ask when you’re given a chance.

As you can see, this list includes some questions that it would be stupid to ask at all, while others are things you might legitimately be concerned about. But remember: your main focus during a job interview is showing an interviewer what you can bring to a company.

After you have a job offer in hand, you can get to the nitty-gritty of what the job and company will add to your life.

Published or Updated: May 13, 2013
About Abby Hayes

Abby is a freelance copywriter and blogger who writes on everything from personal finance to health and wellness. She spends her spare time bargain hunting and meal planning for her family of three.

Comments

  1. I think it is funny that people will often neglect asking their potential employer how much salary he/she will be earning. I have had county and city jobs where people get hired and then quit afterwards because the money wasn’t good enough. People just need to ask the right questions during the interview.

  2. I think some of these can be legit questions in an interview, especially if they haven’t explained what exactly the job or company is like. I would certainly want to know about healthcare, leave situations, and telecommuting opportunities before I would accept any job. But don’t just blurt that stuff out, try to naturally get it into the conversation. Definitely don’t ask about drugs and dating, would certainly be a huge red flag.

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