Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Revealed: The top five questions you should NEVER ask in an interview

Interviews can be a daunting process for many, and new research from the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library has found that a whopping 87.4% of workers think there are certain questions candidates should avoid asking in an interview if you want to get the job!

The research, which quizzed 1,200 UK workers on interview preparation techniques, found that over three quarters (79.3%) of professionals will prepare questions in advance of an interview, with 92.3% stating that they try to ask a question in every job interview they attend. When asked what questions have jeopardised their chances of bagging a job in the past, candidates revealed the following:

1. What does your company do? (53%)
2. How often do you give your employees a pay-rise? (52.9%)
3. Will I have to work long hours? (50.3%)
4. How much will I get paid? (49.8%)
5. Do you offer sick pay? (45.4%)

Other responses included asking how much holiday they will receive (25.5%) and who the company’s market competitors are (14.5%). Furthermore, the majority (54.7%) of professionals think it is appropriate to ask 3-5 questions, while 33.4% would ask 1-2 and 9.2% 6-10.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library comments:

“It’s always good to turn up to an interview armed with appropriate questions to ask and you should always note them down in case you have a mind blank half way through! Not only will this show you’re well prepared, it also demonstrates that you have a genuine interest in the company and the opportunity to work there.

“Unfortunately, questions around money and working hours can often touch a nerve with potential employers, as it could suggest that you’re not actually interested in the role itself and the work you’ll be doing. That’s not to say you can’t ask about the package the company is offering, it’s just important that you phrase it in the right way.”

Furthermore, the research also quizzed candidates on the questions that they’ve asked in an interview which have been well received and boosted their chances of getting the job. The responses included:

1. Is there room for development in this position? (74.2%)
2. How would you describe the general culture of the company and the workplace? (51.3%)
3. What are the team like that I will be working with? (36.8%)
4. When can I start? (24.2%)
5. How do you measure success? (23.3%)

Biggins continues:

“Rather than going straight in with questions around salaries and working hours, you can find out more about a company by posing questions about their culture, teams and how they measure success. Doing so will help you paint a picture of what it’s like to work there, and will also show to the interviewer that you are passionate about working in a company where the fit is right on both sides. 

“Never be afraid to follow-up with an interviewer if there are questions which you don’t feel comfortable asking about face-to-face. Remember, it’s about checking that the company is right for you, as well as if you’re right for the company.”

Interestingly, a separate piece of research conducted by the job board amongst 200 UK recruitment professionals, revealed that 58.4% of recruiters think there are candidates shouldn’t ask in an interview, including asking what the company does (24.5%), what happens if they’re late or call in sick (15.6%) and how soon they can expect a promotion (15.6%).