What NOT to Ask in a Job Interview

Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2021 by The InterviewerNo comments

You’ve been scouring job ads for jobs in London, sending off your CV, and finally, you’ve bagged the interview you’ve been waiting for. In preparing for it, you know that you need to give some thought to the questions you can ask. You know that they will make you sound interested, invested, and committed to getting the role. But as a London recruitment agency, all too often we hear candidates make a blunder by asking questions that make them sound anything but!

Here are the top three questions you should NOT ask at interview, certainly not in the first round anyway. Ask them, and the employer is going to get the wrong impression.

  1. “What’s the salary?”

    Pretty much everyone goes into the first interview with this question on the tip of their tongue. It’s so tempting to blurt it out. However, this is one that we recommend you hold back on. Yes, it’s going to feel like there’s a massive elephant in the room that’s studiously being ignored. But unless the interviewer brings it up, it’s off-limits.

    Asking what the salary is screams, “I’m not interested in the job, or you the employer, just the cash”.

    That doesn’t mean you have to go clueless. Many interviewers will bring up the topic themselves, asking you about your current salary or your expectations. When this happens, it’s useful if you’ve done a little market research first so that you can talk about “the going market rate” with confidence.

    Better still, whilst it’s tempting, hold off discussing money until an offer is looking more likely. By then, you’ll have excellent negotiating power because the employer really wants you.

  2. What’s your benefits package?

    Again, we’re heading back towards that money elephant, and he’s going to betray your motivations. Benefits are perks — what you get for doing the job well — and you don’t even have the job yet! And frankly, asking the question probably isn’t going to reveal much anyway.

    Benefits tend to be reasonably standard, and again, details are often volunteered. Instead, the employer wants to know that you’re interested in the opportunity the role presents, regardless of the tangible rewards for doing it — even though we all know they matter.

    Employers can be a little sensitive. If they think you’re only interested in asking about money or benefits, they’ll worry that you won’t be committed. They’ll be concerned that you’ll up and leave at any moment.

    A good way to learn more about the benefits indirectly is to ask questions about the workplace culture. Here you may learn that everyone gets a gym membership or can make use of flexible working.

  3. When will I be promoted?

Woah! Hold those horses! It’s great that you’ve got your eye on the prize, but the employer will be blind-sided. Yes, you can ask about development opportunities, but you need to prove your worth first.

In the first stages of the hiring process, you’ve got to sell yourself for this job and this job alone. You don’t need to remain totally in the dark though. Head to LinkedIn, and you may well be able to uncover typical career paths with this employer.

It’s so tempting to ask these questions, but the first interview is not the place. Later in the process, once you’ve shown your burgeoning loyalty, and the employer is starting to fall in love with you, you can ask these questions more comfortably. Don’t forget that your recruitment consultant is also helpful here. As a third party, they can ask these kinds of questions without sounding desperate or focused on the wrong thing. It’s just one more reason why using a recruitment agency really helps.

Register as a candidate with Love Success.


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