The interview is not a one way conversation. An experienced interviewee should be prepared to ask the interviewer questions as they go through their time together. Prepare the questions you are going to ask the hiring manager in your next interview, as questions are expected; but, stay away from these:
- Salary: Never, as in never, ask what the position pays. Until a hiring manager determines your fit and expertise they may be flexible with salary, don’t give away your asking price or ask how much the job pays – they just might be willing to pay more than you are expecting.
- Vacation time/Benefits/sick days: Don’t expect an offer if you are already suggesting you need time off. Wait until the contract is signed before mentioning pre planned trips or personal leave.
- Time in lieu/overtime: If you are on salary, expect you will be working 40 – 44 hours without extra compensation; the higher the salary, the more overtime is expected and not compensated for. If you want to negotiate time in lieu once the offer has been made, do it then.
- Expense accounts/car expenses: Don’t think of an expense account as additional income, it is taxable. Expense remuneration is pretty standard across the board within a company and it is not usually discussed until an offer has been accepted.
- Health issues: You are under no obligation to disclose past illnesses or disabilities that do not pertain to the job responsibilities as outlined in the job description – don’t bring them up.
- Past conflicts: Don’t speak negatively of past positions or bosses. Keep the reason you left explanation as general as possible. It is perfectly fine to say your values were not congruent with that of the new manager or management or that there were personal differences. You also don’t want the interviewer to think you will ever speak ill of them.
- A higher up position: Don’t interview for any other position than the one you applied for. If you have ambitions of moving up, great, but stay focused on what you can contribute NOW. Don’t ever tell the interviewer you would eventually like their job.
- Personal stuff: The interviewer is NOT your friend; do not share any personal information no matter how well you think you are “bonding.” The answer to “tell me about yourself” is not how many children you have or your favorite holiday.