Questions to Avoid Asking During an Interview

As one of the top staffing agencies in healthcare, government and technology industries, the recruiters at Malone Solutions understand both sides of the hiring process. We have a talent pool brimming with qualified staffing options for companies looking to hire permanent or temporary employees. This insider knowledge is incredibly helpful for our job seekers, as well. Since we know what employers want in successful workers, we can help our candidates find the right opportunity and make a good first impression.


When you sit down for an interview, the hiring team’s number one priority is to see if you’re a good fit for the job, their team and their company. You’ll be asked a variety of questions and usually as the conversation wraps up, will be given an opportunity to ask a few of your own. This is your moment to shine. By asking the right questions, you can demonstrate your talents and commitments. However, if you ask the wrong questions, you could risk watching all that great energy you just built, that amazing first impression, fall flat.

Ask This, Not That

Don’t ask: How many hours will I be working?

Instead ask: What is a typical workday like?

Asking about hours implies that you are looking for a job with minimal work. This question will make your potential employer wonder if you are as hard working as you say you are. Instead, asking about a typical workday will give you a clear understanding of routine tasks and daily responsibilities, along with typical hours and break times.


Don’t ask: Will I be working weekends?

Instead ask: What is the company policy on taking work home?

The question about weekends gives the impression that your concern for the company stops on a Friday afternoon. Rephrasing the question will open the door for your potential employer to give you an idea of the workload, as well as other responsibilities that may not be overtly stated on the posting.


Don’t ask: What does your company do?

Instead ask: What are your organization’s greatest successes?

Why would you apply for a job if you didn’t even know what the company does? Asking that question leads the hiring team to believe that you are just looking for some income until something better comes along. Instead, find out about their proudest moments. This will give you insight into the company’s mission and vision, as well as the goals you may be asked to achieve.


While there is some merit to rephrasing certain questions, there are also a few you should avoid asking altogether.


What is the salary? This awkward question makes it look like you are only interested in a paycheck. Since salary ranges are sometimes listed on the posting, this should be the first place you check for the answer to this question. If you are firm in a salary, that information is best given upfront, squarely in your cover letter. If you are flexible about pay grade, that negotiation can wait until you are offered the position.


When do I get vacation time? Unless you have a big event coming up, like a wedding, that requires you to disclose time off you may need, this is another question better left out of the interview. When the hiring team offers you the job, then, and only then, is it appropriate to ask about vacation and benefits.


Everyone’s heard the age-old adage: You can’t make a second first impression. In some ways, this piece of grandfatherly advice is true, but we also know that there is much more to a successful interview than that first impression. In many ways, what you don’t say can be just as important as what you do say. Looking for a new career? You don’t have to go at it alone. Let Malone Solutions help you prepare for your job search. Give us a call today and we’ll help you find a job you’ll love.


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