10 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview
Job interviews are awkward. There’s no way around it. But if you research the company, feign enough enthusiasm, and over-sell your skills, you just might find yourself on the receiving end of an offer…as long as you don’t put your foot in your mouth. Sometimes, what you don’t say is the deciding factor in landing a gig. Before you offend your next interviewer, review the 10 things you should never say in a job interview below. A failure to plan is a plan to fail, after all. Happy job hunting!
Cover Photo: Paul Bradbury (Getty Images)
'Can I work from home?'
This is not an unreasonable question given the digital age we live in, but employers might have a negative reaction if you ask about this perk too soon. They don’t yet know how you work and will probably want you to prove yourself worthy (under their intimidating gaze) before they allow you to work from home. A better question you can ask is: “How does your company support work-life balance?” That puts the responsibility on them to share how they ensure their employees don’t turn into soulless zombies.
'How many vacation days would I get?'
You don’t even have the job yet and you already want a day off? You’ll be lucky if they hire you after hearing this.
'Can coworkers date?'
You should come to work to work, not to date. And in the #metoo era, you’d be wise to date anywhere and everywhere other than work. That old saying, “Don’t mix business with pleasure”? They were onto something there.
'Can I bring my dog to work?'
Did you see any fur babies when you walked in? If not, then assume the answer is no. Find a doggy daycare or another job.
'Do you monitor employees' social media accounts?'
Even if the interviewer tells you they don't, do you really trust them (and everyone they work with) not to do some off-hours exploratory Googling of you? Your best bet is to pretend everyone is always watching, and post nothing that you’d feel embarrassed to discuss face to face, especially with potential bosses.
'What is your policy on naps?'
You can sleep when you’re dead. Seriously though, sleep is your responsibility and you should get it at home. However, if once you’re employed, you want to start a nap-pods-for-employee-health committee, go right ahead.
'Which office would be mine?'
With open offices all the rage these days, you’ll be lucky to even snag a cubicle, much less your own desk or office. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
'How soon will I be eligible for a raise?'
You shouldn’t ask about salary, much less how soon it will increase, during a job interview. Once the offer’s on the table, negotiate away, but don’t accept a subpar salary in the hopes it will go up anytime soon. Wait until the employer hits the magic number (or piles on the benefits) before you sign on the dotted line.
'I only have to disclose felonies, right?'
If they didn’t suspect you have a criminal past before, they do now. With this simple question, you’ve now made your interviewer wonder what else they need to know about you. Don’t offer up details on your speeding ticket history or any other dumb (and potentially illegal) thing you did unless asked directly – and in that case, answer honestly and succinctly and move on to the next question.
'Do you want to see my references?'
If they want them, they’ll ask. And if they don't ask, they probably don't want you.