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Research says these are the 5 worst questions to ask in a job interview

Charlie Benson
Content Marketing Executive

Asking some questions of your own at interview is crucial, but there are some things you should never ask about. 

New CV-Library research has revealed the questions you definitely shouldn't ask if you want to land the job. 

They asked professionals in the UK about their approach to interview preparation, looking into what was successful, and what didn't work out for them. 

Of the 1,200 people they spoke to, 87.4% agreed there are certain questions that don't go down well at interview. Not only that, but they could stop you getting the job altogether. 




Here are the top 5 questions that jeopardised candidates getting the job

1. What does your company do? 

The highest number of those surveyed, 53%, said asking this question at interview is a big no-no. 


2. How often do you give your employees a pay-rise? 

52.9% said this question would jeopardise your chances of getting the job. 


3. Will I have to work long hours? 

Over 50% of those surveyed said they regretted asking this question at interview. 


4. How much will I get paid? 

49.8% of respondents said asking this question had likely stopped them getting a job offer.


5. Do you offer sick pay? 

45.4% said they thought asking this question had resulted in them being turned down for a job. 


Why you shouldn't ask them

You should never go into a job interview not knowing anything about the company you're interviewing with, hence why question one: "What does your company do?" will raise an immediate red flag. 

Doing your research on the company, from its social media presence to its main competitors, is essential. You want to show the interviewer you're excited about the role you're applying for specifically, even if you've applied for lots of jobs.

Plus, if you're having to ask this, you're definitely not going to be prepared when the interviewer asks you basic questions like "Why do you want to work here?" or even more tricky ones that could come up, such as "What do you think we, as a company, should be doing differently?" 


The remaining four questions are likely to cause you problems, because they suggest you have the wrong attitude towards the hiring process: you're more focused on what you can get out of the company, in terms of monetary benefits especially, than you are passionate for the role itself. 

If you're keen to find out whether you'll be working long hours, it's all in how you phrase it. Steer away from implying you're afraid of hardwork or long hours, and ask broader questions. "What's the culture like within the office?" is likely to naturally lead onto a discussion about hours and whether the company offers flexible or remote working, for example. 

When it comes to salary and benefits, it's completely understandable to want to find out as soon as possible how much the job pays - you need to know whether you're going to be able to support yourself on the money they're offering, and not waste everyone's time interviewing for a role only to find out the pay isn't viable for you. 

However, asking about salary too early has been known to ruin people's chances of landing a job - as it did for this woman whose second job interview was cancelled because she asked about pay

Though it's really not ideal, generally, it's best to leave negotiating pay until the interviewer brings it up, at the end of the final interview stage, or once an offer has been extended. 


So, now you know what you shouldn't ask. Check out this article of 16 questions you should ask the interviewer, and why they work so well.