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Integrated Solutions Lead
San Antonio, TX

Advanced knowledge of programming language(s), software development tools and environment(s) and systems analysis and functional design

What NOT to: Ask in an Interview (Part IV)

September 11, 2012
What NOT to: Ask in an Interview (Part IV)

Last time, you learned what not to put on your resume, now we want to make you aware of what not to ask in the interview. The three areas below reveal some of the top interview questions and topics that could affect your chances of landing a job.


1.) Position and Company Details


Before heading into an interview, it is essential to research the opportunity thoroughly. It is important to not only know the company’s general background, but specific details listed on the job description. Know whether the position is temporary, contract or a permanent placement position. Temporary opportunities may turn into permanent roles; however, the interview is not the appropriate place to discuss this potential. This could send the message that you may not be the right fit.


You may laugh, but I’ve seen it all. Do NOT Ask:


  • What does your company do?
  • What was the position title again?
  • How do I get your job?
  • I'm not really interested in temporary positions, how soon before this position can go permanent?


2.) Demographics


While it is important to ask questions about the position, it is risky to raise questions concerning demographics such as age, gender, marital status or ethnicity. You never want to put the employer in an uncomfortable position, and more than likely, their human resources department may not allow them to answer these types of questions due to discrimination issues. 


  • Are you single?
  • How old are you and/or your staff members?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Do you have a family?
  • Are you a U.S Citizen?
  • What religious holidays do you observe?


3.) Detailed Compensation and Benefits


It is likely a key factor for you, and your family, to be aware of the compensation and benefits before accepting a potential job. However, the questions below are not appropriate to ask during the initial interview.


  • How much does your company pay?
  • What kind of vacation will I get if offered the job?
  • What kind of benefits will I get?
  • Do you offer bonuses?
  • What is your policy in coming in late?
  • Do you have a microwave?
  • Can I change my schedule or hours if I get the job?



Knowing what not to ask in the interview is just part of presenting yourself as a top candidate. Consider putting together a list of safe and knowledgeable questions before your interview and even working with a recruiter to prepare ahead of time. Instead of asking some of the questions above, consider asking more advanced questions, such as:


  • What are you looking for in an ideal candidate?
  • What other details should I know about this role?
  • What are the next steps in the process?


Remember, don’t assume that you already have the job during your interview and avoid sounding too confident. Go in with your best foot forward, present yourself and your skills appropriately and an employer will likely consider you as a top candidate.


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About the author

Rachel GrannanRachel Grannan is a client development manager at Kforce Inc. in Tampa, FL. She assists hiring managers in identifying and placing top talent for contract, contract-to-hire and permanent roles in Technology and Finance & Accounting. Rachel is a graduate of the University of South Florida, with a B.A. in Communications. Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn.

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Kforce is a professional staffing and solutions firm providing flexible and permanent placement solutions in the skill areas of technology, finance & accounting and healthcare. Kforce operates in more than 60 offices located throughout the United States and one office in the Philippines.
About this blog
Knowledge Employed is a career advice blog and job tips resource center, created and managed by Kforce’s staffing specialists. Whether you are a professional needing career advice or a hiring authority seeking business guidance, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and tools.