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Job Interview Questions You Should Never Ask An Employer

Updated on September 3, 2020
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I have a BA in history and creative writing and an MA in history. I enjoy politics, movies, television, poker, video games, and trivia.

Be Prepared For the Job Interview

We've all been there. The job interview has just ended. The interviewer puts his pen down, looks you in the eye and asks: "Do you have any questions for us?" If you want to get the job, you've prepared some job questions before you ever arrived at the interview. If you don't want to get the job, then try a few of these questions.

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Don't ask these questions. You'll never get a job if you ask these.

What does this company do?

Let's see, you've just gone through an entire interview in order to get a job, but you actually don't know what the company does. Unless it's some sort of top secret espionage and/or development firm, you've just essentially told the interviewer that you've done absolutely no preparation because usually a candidate will at least know a little bit about the company he's asking to hire him. That tells them you don't really care about the job or your role and after you walk out, the interviewer will put a giant red line through your name or just toss his notes in the garbage or maybe even burn your resume.

Can I put my feet up?

The interview room isn't your own personal living room. Your chair isn't your couch. And putting your feet up on the interviewer's table is going to make that person wonder whether you're a joker or just an idiot. It's one thing to be casual. It's another thing to be unprofessional. Keep your feet on the floor. And wear shoes and socks.

What's your vacation policy?

You haven't even received a job offer and already you're planning on taking a vacation. Even if you've previously scheduled a vacation, you shouldn't ask that question. You shouldn't ask anything about time off or sick time or anything like that because the interviewer is going to assume that you're more interested in taking vacations and being sick than working. That is not the impression you want to give, in case you were wondering.

How long do I need to work before I'm eligible for a raise?

Not unlike the last point, you haven't been offered the job or even worked a second and you already want to know when you can get a raise, indicating that whatever salary you might be offered, you're not satisfied with it. A company wants to hire employees that are going to be appreciative for having a job and paying them for doing it. If you're already complaining about your salary and they haven't even hired you yet, they're not going to hire you. There's no sense in having whiners around.

Why is there a dress code?

Asking this question indicates that you don't like the dress code. Sure, maybe their dress code is the most repressive, repulsive thing you've ever heard of. Maybe you have to wear an Armani suit every day. Maybe you have to spend two thousand dollars on new clothes. Maybe they require you to wear two pairs of pantyhose. Whatever it is - you don't have the job yet. Furthermore, why are you even applying and interviewing if the dress code is that big of a deal to you?

Can I eat at my desk?

There's nothing more awesome that a lazy person who eats at their desk and attracts mice and cockroaches. I mean, maybe you can spin this in a positive direction by saying that you always work through lunch to get extra stuff done and prefer to eat at your desk. However, the spin most interviewers will put on this is that you're somebody who's more concerned with shoveling food in his or her mouth than with working. Eat at home. Work at work.

Can I bring my dog to work?

The office isn't a farm nor a kennel. Even if you happen to see somebody else with a dog in the office as you walk in for your interview, save that question for after you've been offered the job and do it discreetly. Interviews are about professional questions, not dog and cat related questions and where you can park the various animals you own.

What are the rules on interoffice relationships?

So, as you were walking into the office you saw some hottie and thought to yourself you'd like a hook-up? You might want to reconsider this line of questioning. First of all, you're not even working there yet and already you're trying to bed your co-workers. You may actually have a problem. The interviewer is going to think you're crazy or hitting on him/her, so you may want to be careful. If you try to clarify your question, it's just going to get worse.

Can I take my pants off?

Unless you're auditioning to be an underwear model or it's a porn audition, taking off your pants during a regular job interview is a definite no-no. In fact, if you're actually thinking about asking if you can take your pants off, you might as well just take them off and see what happens because asking if you can take your pants off makes about as much sense as actually taking them off. It's generally a good idea during an interview to keep on all essential clothing.

Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Job interviews are not the time for sexual innuendo even if you're feeling nervous and just want to break the ice. This isn't a date. It's a job interview. And even during a date this is probably a bad thing to say regardless of whether you're a woman and the interviewer is a man or if you're a man and the interviewer is a man. It's just silly. And if you're a man and the interviewer is a woman, you need a course in human anatomy.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Allen Donald


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