Interviews are nerve-wracking, even when you’re actually pretty good at them. Thing is, we’ve all done weird stuff when we’re nervous. In normal life you can shrug it off and move on, during an interview it can be a little harder to come back from.
Your best bet? Plan ahead of course, but you don’t just want to have a set of GOOD questions to ask your interview, you should give yourself an idea of what to stay away from so you have a better chance of avoiding verbal diarrhea.
Here are 10 bad questions to ask an interviewer, some that people around the office have been kind enough to accidentally road test for you.
1. Don’t ask about job requirements
Mate, you should have read the job description. Surface level questions like this will just make you look lazy.
2. Never use a swear word
“I accidentally said f*** when I interviewed for my current job. My interviewer laughed but I died inside.”
“I once told my interviewer I wanted a job where I could work my balls off.”
3. Don’t ask about other jobs yet
Asking about promotion or other opportunities in the business is a pretty clear sign you don’t actually want the job you’re applying for. Even if that’s true, keep it to yourself. Although apparently fast food places won’t care.
“In my McDonalds interview I said ‘please for the love of God don’t give me this job, my mum is making me do this’ – they still gave me the job.”
4. Avoid any rants or weird tangents
“In my last interview I was so nervous because I have two unfinished uni degrees (stupid Stats), and I wasn’t sure how important it would be to the interviewer.”
“I ended up going on this massive tangent about how stupid the HSC and ATARs are for like 5 minutes – which is a long time in a sit-down interview at a cafe. I also accidentally hugged the interviewer later on. It was a really long interview process.”
5. Don’t ask any questions that sound like complaints
Absolutely take certain vibes and impressions about the environment onboard and factor them into whether you want the job, but be careful about how you phrase questions around them. For example “Is it always so noisy here?” sounds high maintenance, but “How would you describe the work environment here?” sounds legit.
6. Try to describe yourself professionally
“At the end of a really great interview I was asked to describe myself in one word. After a while, I said “cheeky” and no matter how many times I shower, I am still never clean from it.”
7. Probably don’t challenge the CEO
While questions about management style, and even asking to speak to past coworkers to understand what type of person will work best with your bosses, probably don’t phrase it like a challenge.
“In one interview I asked the CEO ‘what he brought to the table’. Possibly a bit much.”
8. Never get drunk, even if they are
“I got really drunk at a job interview (after they offered me the job on the spot) and made the MD pay for my taxi home.”
9. Never ask about ‘hot’ potential coworkers
I wish this went without saying, but I’ve had friends with IRL coworkers who complained about the lack of “attractive, available men in the office”. I kid you not.
The workplace isn’t somewhere to mention the attractiveness of current or potential coworkers – ever. Or hit on anyone for that matter, especially not in an interview.
10. Try not to name a personal hero who’s been disgraced
“I was once asked in an interview who my hero was and I panicked and said Lance Armstrong – who was literally just in the news at the time because of all the cheating stuff. Then I had to explain that it’s because we had the same kind of cancer and I found his journey inspiring – good save.”
Image: Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian/NBC