Bad interview questionsAs one of the top staffing agencies in the country, Snelling understands both sides of the hiring process.  We work with both employers and job seekers.  We are also an employer ourselves; we are constantly recruiting, in order to build up a talent pool that our clients can leverage.

Therefore, we have the knowledge to help job seekers; we know what employers are looking for, since we are looking for the same thing.

Now, as a job seeker you need to remember that when you go in for an interview, the employer’s number one goal is to see if you would be a good fit for the job – in terms of both skills and cultural fit. You probably know the drill.  You will be asked a series of questions, and at the conclusion of the interview, you will be given the opportunity to ask a few questions of your own.

Trust us, you do want to ask some questions. However, the specific questions you ask are very important.  By asking the right questions, you will demonstrate your qualifications and your commitment to the potential new job.  If you ask the wrong questions, you will be scratched from the list almost immediately.

So let’s take a look at some of the questions you should never ask during an interview.

1. What does your company do?

Never ask for information you can easily find with a quick Google search. You should already be familiar with the company once you walk into that interview.  By asking that question, you will look as if you are only looking for some income until something better comes along. The interviewer will also wonder “why did you apply for a job when you don’t even know what we do?”

2. What is the salary? 

Before the interview, you need to conduct some research on what the company pays for similar positions. This may be available on  If not, look for industry-standard pay rates on sites such as or  Trust us, hiring managers will bring up this subject after they find out more about you.  If you ask about pay too soon, you are showing the employer that you are focused only on the paycheck and not the job.

3. What is the benefits package?

Just like the salary question, asking about benefits too soon shows that you are not focused on the right things. You are showing that you are more concerned with what the company can do for you. You should be focused on selling your skills and talents and understanding the specific needs of the job.  Again, the subject will come up with the time is right.

 4. Can I work another job part-time?

No….just no….Do not ask this question.

5. How quickly can I be promoted?

You may think you come across as a driven, hardworking candidate by asking this question, but the hiring manager is more focused on you being a good fit for this one job. In addition, you run the real risk of appearing as if you are just applying for a job to get your foot in the door.

6. What is your drug-use policy?

Do we really need to explain why this question is not a good idea?

7. Do you do background checks?

Refer to the question about drug-use policy. The only thoughts that are going to go through the interviewer’s head is “what is this person worried about” and “what have they done that is illegal”?

8. When do I get vacation time?

This is another question better left out of the interview. When the hiring team offers you the job, then, and only then, is it appropriate to ask about vacation and talk about any set-in-stone dates you might need to request.

So what would be some better questions to ask?  Here are a couple:

  • Who do you think would be the ideal candidate for this position, and how do I compare?
  • How would you describe the company’s culture?
  • Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?
  • What do you like most about working for this company?
  • What are the challenges of this position?
  • If you were to hire me, could you describe a typical day?

Remember, any question you ask needs to focus on the job and how your skills and experience are a good fit and how you would be a great addition to their organization. At Snelling we can help find employment.  Locate your local office today, and let’s get started.