During an interview, it can be extremely advantageous to ask questions about the company and its culture to determine if the position is really a good fit for you. Just as the interviewer has prepared a set of questions for you, it is always a good idea to do the same for them. This shows that you have done your homework and have a serious interest in the company. With that being said, the saying “there is no such thing as a stupid question,” is completely and utterly wrong. Below is a list of questions to avoid during an interview, because asking the wrong questions can do more harm than good.
- Never ask a question that can be easily answered by going to the company’s website or by searching the company on the internet. By asking a question like this it shows that you didn’t do any research on the company and therefore are not serious about the position. Do your homework!
- Along the same vein, never ask what the company does. EVER. You might as well not show up to the interview at all if you’re going to ask a question like that.
- Don’t ask if the company does background checks. By asking this it appears that you have something to hide. If it hasn’t been clearly stated on the application or by the interviewer, which it more than likely will be, just assume that they do. If you do have something unsavory in your past you should be honest and open about it, lying is not a way to impress a potential employer.
- Last but not least, don’t ask if the company monitors company email and internet usage. First, they likely do. Second, if you’re doing something online that you don’t want to be seen by your employer then work is not the place to be doing it.
Steer clear of questions that make you seem uninterested, unprepared, and aloof. Stick to questions that show that you’ve been paying attention to the company; ask about a recent departmental or leadership change, or ask about company culture. Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer, what questions would you be impressed by?