If you’re looking for a new job, you’ve probably been brushing up on your interview skills. When you’re interviewing for a new job, it’s just as important for you to interview them as it is for them to interview you. You don’t want to end up with just “a job,” you want to find a company that you’ll be happy working with for years to come.

During the interview process, there may be some questions you really want to ask but shouldn’t. You want to maintain your professionalism throughout the interview process and not make the employer wonder if you’re a good candidate for the position.

Questions Not To Ask

Questions Not to Ask During the First Interview

Here are a few questions to avoid asking during your initial interview.

“Who is your company’s competition?”

While this can make you appear to be interested in the company, it will also show that you haven’t thoroughly researched the company you’re interviewing with.  A simple Google search could most likely answer this question for you. Coming prepared for the interview will make you a better candidate.

Any question that starts with “why?”

Questions that start with “why” put people on the defensive and may make them feel like they’re under attack.  Instead of saying, “Why did your company reduce its workforce last year?” try “I read about your company reducing its workforce. How do you think this positions you for the future?”

Anything related to benefits and salary

These questions will be answered in your second and third interviews.   Asking about them beforehand can make it sound like you don’t know the flow of an interview or lack “interview manners”, are too eager, or assume you already have the job. Avoid questions related to vacation and sick leave until they bring it up, usually during later interviews.

Any reference to a flexible schedule

Asking questions about working a swing schedule (arriving early or staying late as long as you work your required number of hours) in the first interview can be perceived as not being serious about going to work. This kind of question should be asked in your second or third interview.

Many companies still have regular business hours that all employees must work. Asking for special favors before you’ve even been hired will not reflect positively on you. You can make it known that you’d like a flexible schedule in order to accommodate a need, like picking your child up after school but don’t dwell on the topic.

“Do you monitor my social networking profiles?”

This is a big red flag for employers. It gives them the impression that you have something to hide or might not be an upstanding and loyal employee. While some companies don’t review social networking profiles, it’s best to assume they do and don’t post anything that could be seen as disparaging against your company or coworkers.

While it’s essential to ask about job responsibilities, how the company values its employees, and how the company works, there are some questions that are inappropriate during an interview…and this is one of them. Do Not Ask This Question!

“Can I work remotely?”

This question is the exception…In this day and age, it is appropriate to ask if the position you are applying for is in-office, remote, or a mix of both.

If You Need Help With Your Career

If you need career advice or interviewing tips, reach out to Rachel Schneider with CareerFind for a free intro call.