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The Five Worst Questions You Can Ask an Employer

Friday, 15 December 2017

Although most job interviews are different, they often end in a similar way:

“Do you have any questions?”

Last month, we explained that there were several excellent interview questions you can ask employers to help improve your chances of securing that dream role. However, what happens if you ask the wrong question?

The short answer is that it could undo all your hard work and, ultimately, cost you that coveted job offer. Of course, this is a worst case scenario but there are several questions that may appear seemingly innocent, but could actually end up hurting your chances. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, read on for the five worst questions you can ask in a job interview. 

How Much Does This Job Pay?

Although people are increasingly prioritising work-life balance and non-monetary benefits over salary, remuneration is still the number one priority for many professionals. As such, most people will want to find out how much a potential role is paying quite early into the process, but directly asking an employer too early can be one of the worst things you can do.

Expressing interest in the salary during the interview process can often send the message that you’re not that interested in the job, employer, or the work you would be doing, even if you genuinely are. Waiting for the employer to approach this subject is often the best way to circumvent this potential issue. You can also approach your Recruitment Consultant who can negotiate your salary expectations for you before stepping into the interview.

What Does This Company Do?

During an interview, a prospective employer is evaluating not just your skills and potential fit, but also how prepared you are. Asking what the company does at any stage of an interview can tell the employer that you didn’t come prepared. Most companies have ample information on their website and social media, so make sure you look them up before applying for a role. Furthermore, if you’re working with Parker Bridge, your Recruitment Consultant will provide plenty of inside knowledge of the employer so that you are properly prepared prior to your interview.

What Hours Would I Work and Would You Expect me to Work Weekends?

Once again, the drive for a better work-life balance may lead some people to ask this question at the end of a job interview, unaware of the damage it can cause. Asking about working hours can imply that you’re unwilling to be flexible. Of course, it is important to find out how a role you’re interested in would fit around your personal life and commitments, but it’s best leaving this question until both parties are ready to negotiate.

How Did I Do?

Whilst it’s only natural to be inquisitive around how you performed in a job interview, this question is best left until after a hiring decision has been made, or you can ask your Recruitment Consultant after the interview has finished. Receiving feedback is crucial to your development, which is why our Consultants will always try and provide it as soon as possible, but directly asking an employer in an interview setting can put them on the spot. In this scenario, employers are rarely in a position to answer honestly, so their feedback is scarcely helpful.

Would You Like My References?

This is another question that can be asked at the wrong time. If you ask this before you know the employer is interested in proceeding with your application, it can come across as desperate. If an employer wants your references, they will ask for them. However, you can remove this issue from the equation altogether as we will take care of the reference process on your behalf. 

Closing Thoughts

Choosing the right questions to ask at end of the job interview can promote your interest in the role and employer, but asking the wrong questions can quickly lead to losing out to another strong candidate. Of course, as stated in our earlier blog, choosing to not ask any questions at all can be just as damaging, so remember to check out our five great questions to ask at every job interview if you haven’t already. 

If you’ve recently secured an interview through Parker Bridge, don’t hesitate to contact your Consultant for some interview advice before attending. If you’re struggling to secure a job interview, get in touch with us to find out how we can help your career today.

Stay tuned for more job searching advice and follow us on LinkedIn for the latest industry news and featured roles. You can also be the first to know when we have great career advice and jobs by signing up for our newsletter.

The Five Worst Questions You Can Ask an Employer


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