Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially for those who have just graduated from college.
When the conversation comes to an end, the dreaded question usually comes: “So… do you have any questions for us?”
Most job seekers have been taught that you always have to ask something, even if you don’t actually have any questions or feel like they’ve already been answered.
However, it’s easy to make mistakes and asking the wrong questions could ruin the good impression you’ve built with the recruiter.
Career and education expert Robbie Bryant of Open university of studyhas revealed the six questions you should never ask at the end of an interview and some more unique phrases you should ask instead.
When the conversation comes to an end, the dreaded question usually comes: “Do you have any questions for us?” (Image from a photo agency)
1. What do you expect from a candidate? How can I impress you?
The first question you should never ask is, “What do you expect from a candidate?” or, more simply, “How can I impress you?”
Career and education expert Robbie Bryant from Open Study College reveals the six questions you should never ask at the end of an interview
He explains: “Usually you’ll find this question in the job posting or on the company’s website, and asking this question has become very common.”
Instead, you should “take something specific from the list of responsibilities and focus a question on it.”
“For example: “One of the tasks listed was building relationships with key stakeholders. Would you say that was the most important aspect of the role and something I should particularly focus on?”
“It ultimately leads to the same answer, but shows more of a high level of interest.”
2. Can I work from home?
Next, Bryant advises that you should never ask if you can work from home at the end of an interview, even though this is increasingly common practice.
He explained: “The corporate world has definitely adapted and many companies are offering flexible working policies.”
“Asking about this specific policy may give the impression that the candidate doesn’t like commuting or working in person – which could limit your chances of success if the company requires it.
“It depends on how a question is phrased.” Instead, ask more generally about the weekly schedule, work processes and everyday office life.”
3. What can your company offer me?
Although you may really want to know, the expert says “the tone of this question doesn’t go over well.”
He says: “Of course, as a potential employee, you are curious about any employee benefits.”
“To uncover this information if it’s not available online, I would say, ‘What company policies are you most proud of?’
“This will give you a good idea of the benefits on offer while also appearing genuinely interested.”
4. Is the salary negotiable?
The question of whether salary is negotiable is a perfectly valid question – but it just depends on the timing and the way you phrase it.
Bryant says, “I would recommend completing the interview first and sending a follow-up email to thank the interviewer for their time, then asking what the next steps are.”
“There can often be multiple interviews before an offer is made, and if you are a desirable candidate, it is best to wait to negotiate until the company has actually accepted you. “Timing is key.”
5. Why should I work for you?
Although you may want to know the answer, this question is quite abrupt and can create an “uncomfortable situation” between you and the employer.
The expert explains: “As an interviewee, you want to find a good match, but remember that ultimately it is you who is being interviewed, not the other way around.”
“It can also surprise people and get a little uncomfortable.”
“If you applied for the job, you should want to work there, and asking that question is almost like you’re wishing you were offered the job again.”
6. What time will I finish each day?
Finally, Bryant says that while “having a committed and determined attitude is very important, especially in the early stages, the desire to know when you will be home each day shows a lack of interest.”
He added: “I think the crux of this question is achieving a good work-life balance.”
“Instead, ask what the company’s employees would say is the best thing about working there – the answers will help paint a good picture of the work environment.”