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7/27/14 - The #1 wrong question to ask the interviewer


Lavie Margolin

During an interview, we are peppered with question after question. As the interview is coming to a close, we will often be asked if we have any questions for the interviewer. This is often a wasted moment by the interviewee as they see this as their time to ask whatever they want and don't use it as an opportunity to continue to sell their fit for the job.

The #1 wrong question to ask the interviewer:

How many other candidates are interviewing for the position?

It doesn't matter how many other candidates are interviewing for the position. This shouldn't concern you at all. Are you hoping that you happen to be the most qualified person that interviews or do you want to demonstrate that you are the most qualified? Asking this question shows a lack of confidence to the interviewer. It doesn't matter if it is 3 people interviewing for the job or 110. You just have to put yourself in the best position to get the job.

Here are some other bad questions:

2. What is the salary?

Now is not the time. If you wait until you receive an offer, you will be in the best position to negotiate.

3. What are the hours for the position?

It makes you seem too "clock focused" and not dedicated to the job. Certainly ask before you accept an offer but not during an early interview.

4. Why is this position vacant?

Why does that matter? The interviewer might not want to discuss why someone was hired or quit the job. If the last person in this role got promoted, the interviewer will often bring that up at some point.

5. Can you tell me more about the company?

You should have done your research already. Don't ask for general information on the company unless you are meeting with an (outside) recruiter or headhunter.

What should you ask the interviewer instead?

1. What type of person has succeeded in this role in the past?

2. If I am given the opportunity, what milestones would I be expected to achieve within 30, 60 and 90 days?

3. As I'd like to remain in this industry and grow within an organization, what opportunities are there to continue to learn and take on more responsibility within the organization?

4. What are the most pressing needs for the organization that a person can assist with in this role?

5. How do you see this role changing with the rapid change in technology for the industry?

Use your time wisely. Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, the company and your prospective role for greater success.