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7 Questions to Never Ask at a Job Interview

Asking questions is one of the most important parts of a job interview. Catch yourself before you ask these ones.

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Don’t ask: How much will I be paid? Are there any benefits? How much time do I get off?

Don’t bring up things such as your salary, benefits, and paid vacation time until you have been offered the position. The only time it’s appropriate to talk about these things is if your employer brings it up. (And in many cases you should have a sense of the salary range of the position from the official job posting.) This makes it sound like you think you already have the job, which can turn your employer off. Here are key words and phrases you should always say in a job interview.

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Don’t ask: Can I adjust my hours to leave early or come in late?

Asking this question—especially early in the interviewing process—makes your employer believe that you are going to put your own needs ahead of the companies. Your boss most likely understands the importance of work-life balance, but don’t outright say, “I need to leave early to pick up my kid from daycare.” Try subtly working facts about your life into your conversation with your employer instead. (Wanna laugh? Check out these dumb real-life job applicants.)

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Don’t ask: Do you do background checks?

When you’re applying for jobs you should make sure that all of your social media accounts and records are appropriate for your future employer to review. By asking this question, you could be implying that you have something to hide. It will definitely raise a red flag for your employer. Learn the best time of day to send in a job application if you want to land an interview.

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Don’t ask: How big is this company? Who is your competition?

In a job interview never ask questions that can easily be answered with a quick Google search. Your employer expects you to know about the company you are interviewing with. Prepare for your interview by researching the company, asking about one of their new products or congratulating them on a recent award will look impressive. Also: Prepare by practicing answers to these tough job interview questions.

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Don’t ask: When do employees typically get promoted?

Asking this question can make you seem entitled and turn off your potential employer. If it’s important for you to know if employees are able to move up in the company try asking, “How do you measure the success of your employees?” That will give you a reference to when employees are promoted. Making one of these job interview outfit mistakes could also cost you the job.

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Don’t ask: Do I get my own office?

Cringe!! While your workspace can be an important part of your job, asking about it is not usually relevant in the interview process. It might give the impression that having your own office is a key factor in your job search, which shows that your priorities aren’t straight. Learn more words you should never say in a job interview.

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Don’t ask: Nothing

Not asking any questions at all is one of the worst things you can do in an interview. It shows that you aren’t interested or enthusiastic about the job or company. For ideas, check out these questions you should always ask at a job interview.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.