Friday, September 18, 2015

Interview Like a Pro Series - The questions you DON'T ask in an interview

"Interview Like a Pro" is an ongoing series written by Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
-Benjamin Franklin

First and foremost, do as much research as you possibly can before your interview (see part 1). The goal of an interview is to express your enthusiasm, specify your accomplishments, and explain what you would bring to the table, but you’re not able to do that without doing your research. Asking what the company specializes in is a big faux pas, and asking your interviewer what they do at the firm is just as bad. Please, please, please do NOT ask either of those questions, or the listed questions below during your interview:
  • What is the compensation?
  • How much vacation time do I get?
  • What are the hours?
  • Can I telecommute or work from home?
  • What do you like least about your role or employer?
  • What company perks do you offer?
  • When would I get promoted?
  • Do you do background checks or drug tests?
  • Do you monitor email or Internet usage?
  • What is your policy on warnings and firing?
  • What happened to the person in this role last?
  • How much longer will this interview take?
  • Did I get the job?

 In addition to asking the WRONG questing, your answers can also raise red flags:
  • Talking negatively about your current or past firms
  • Gossiping about your past or current boss
  • Referring back to your resume when asked about your experience rather than discussing it
  • Not answering the question about your weaknesses or answering with something along the lines of “I work too hard”
  • Rather than explaining how the firm and department can benefit from you, discussing the reasons how this role would benefit your own career growth
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, specify that it is your best guess, but please do not ever answer a question with “I don’t know” 
As a rule of thumb, avoid using these words and phrases throughout your interview:
  • Like (as a filler)
  • Umm
  • Kinda
  • Hate
  • Basically
  • Whatever
  • Stuff
  • Like I said
  • You know

Have more questions about interviewing? Please comment below, or contact a CFS office located near you to speak with a recruiter. 

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