I am often asked “What questions should I ask during an interview?” and “How do I answer____ question?” Fill in the blank with any of the Top 10 Toughest Interview Questions from “Tell me a little about yourself” to “What are your weaknesses?”
What surprises me is that candidates rarely ask me what questions they should avoid asking during an interview. This was exactly what Maria Hanson, contributing writer for Monster HotJobs (formerly Yahoo! HotJobs), asked me and other career industry experts, for her article “14 Questions You Should Never Ask At An Interview”.
In a conversation this morning this very topic came up and a senior manager for The City of Chicago looked at me and said “I know exactly what to ask in an interview. There’s only two questions and they are completely appropriate. How much are you going to pay me and When do I start?”
I grinned and replied to him, “That first question was the number one question to avoid asking in an interview; based on asking it the answer to your second question is likely never.” Given that he and I are friends, we had a good chuckle. He has had the luxury of not interviewing in….44 years. Realizing that the 55+ age group is one of the most impacted in today’s market, and many have not interviewed in 20+ years, I share this story because it’s important to learn from others.
Today’s Confession of a Career Coach: Use a padfolio to write down interview questions (to ask) in advance of your interview. This keeps you from asking “dangerous” questions and shows the hiring manager you’re interested, smart and motivated.