Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

5 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Interviewer

By Mark Wilkinson | Mar 23, 2016 | Candidate Tips

woman asking interviewer 'what holidays will I get' and then 'what about sickness?'If you read the mounds of information and advice out there about interviewing, there’s one little piece of advice that crops up time and time again…

“Always ask questions at the end of an interview.”

And it is true to a certain extent; it can help you look more passionate about the role.

However, it could have the opposite effect – depending on what you actually say.

There are some questions you should never ask your interviewer.

Here are five of the worst…

1. What holidays will I get?

I’ve genuinely been asked this in an interview situation and to be honest, it took me by surprise.

Out of all of the thought-provoking, interesting and conversation-starting questions you could have asked, you chose this one?

It will make you look dispassionate, self-centred and certainly won’t make an interviewer think you’re going to do a good job and pour your heart and soul into work!

The same goes for…

“Can you tell me more about the benefits package?”

“What’s your sickness policy like?”

“Do I have to wear a smart uniform?”

“How long is lunch?”

Are you actually interested in the role, industry and company, or just the perks?

2. Will there be a lot of overtime?

In this day-and-age, the set 9-5 job is a real rarity – so I get why you’d want to ask the question.

But it can come across really negative; as if you’re already having doubts about your potential new place of work and that you might not be willing to put in the effort.

Most workplaces require some sort of overtime these days!

You could use online resources like Glassdoor to find out things like this prior to interview, but for the most part, you’re going to have to use your initiative.

What does the office culture seem like?

3. Could you tell me a little more about your company?

Why, why, why?!

I think candidates think this question makes them appear interested and passionate about the role.

In truth, it has the opposite effect – what so you didn’t even bother to research the company?

Try to frame the question more positively: “During my research, I found out x, y and z. I was wondering if you could elaborate on z a little for me?”

This shows that you’ve done your research in the first place and are interested to find out more!

(If you’d like some advice on exactly what you need to research before the interview, click here.)

4. How much support will I receive?

Having support and guidance at work – especially in junior roles – is dead important to some (others prefer to work alone/ get on with it) so I can see where this question stems from.

But I still wouldn’t advise asking it at interview.

Flagging up your need for reassurance and support, before even getting the job can make you seem needy – employers won’t want to hire someone they think they might have to babysit.

5. How did I do in this interview?

Cringe. I’ve seen articles that actually suggest that you should ask this question – don’t!

There are two reasons why I’d stay away:

  • It’ll make things uncomfortable. People don’t like confrontation and they certainly won’t want to give you face-to-face feedback (especially if you didn’t do well).
  • You look unconfident (and needy). Are you ‘one of those’ who need constant approval, feedback and recognition?

A better question would be: ‘do you have any concerns about my fit for the role.’

This gives you an opportunity to hit any concerns about you head on and to impress your interviewer with your gumption and self-confidence.

Have you asked these questions before?

Don’t worry, sh*t happens – it’s over.

Next time, you’ll be much better prepared (and you’ll definitely know what NOT to ask).

Recruiter Pro Tip

Here are some great examples of questions you could ask your interviewer…

  • Could you give me some examples of projects I’d be working on?
  • Where would you see the successful candidate progressing to?
  • How would you describe the culture at your office?

Click here to check out some more.

If you’d like more interview tips, straight from the recruiter’s mouth, feel free to subscribe to this blog!

We’ll simply send over a short weekly update with our latest post.

Good luck!

- Mark Wilkinson
Mark Wilkinson

Mark Wilkinson

Mark is one of the founders of Coburg Banks and heads up the permanent recruitment division of the business.  Every day he helps companies with their recruitment projects, sourcing the very best individuals for their vacancies.  He understands recruitment inside-out.

> More blog posts by Mark Wilkinson

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