Interviews can be awkward, sure. You never really know all the right things to say in order to win over the hiring manager and, as much as you study up on the company, the interviewer and the role, you're worried that you'll word vomit anyway. It happens.
And, because it happens, we're here to tell you honestly what you definitely don't want to be saying.
You already know how to prepare for common interview questions and what follow-up questions you should ask in an interview. So here's what you shouldn't ask for in an interview.
You should already know what the company does. After all, you applied for the job because you respect the company and want to work for it — right? If you're confused about what the company does even after you start the interview, you can ask more specific questions about services and/or products that will sound more like you're curious to better understand the company and not just entirely unaware of its concept.
While it can be helpful to provide references to the hiring manager, you don't want to ask them about references in this way. Asking in such a manner makes it seem like you're worried about what they might dig up. If you have references you want to share with them, simply let them know that you have references available upon request, as well.
You will get a raise if you deserve a raise (and you ask for it when the time is right!). You cannot ask a hiring manager when you'll be up for a raise before you even have the job and have demonstrated your value. Put in the work, and worry about the raise later.
Likewise, you cannot ask a hiring manager how quickly you'd get promoted at the company. They will not know the answer to this question until you get started working and showing them a positive performance. While it's OK to be curious about your career trajectory and the opportunities that would be available to you if you take this job (in fact, you should be curious about that!), it's presumptuous to ask about promotions before you've even been given a job offer.
Maybe it is totally OK for you to come in late or leave the office early if all of your work is done; perhaps the company is fairly easygoing when it comes to the number of hours you put in so long as you do your job well. But you definitely don't want to ask about it in an interview. You should be trying to prove how hardworking you are to the hiring manager — not how quickly you want to leave the job behind.
Asking about other jobs that are available at the company may make you seem uninterested in the job for which you're interviewing. An interview is your time to prove that you're the best candidate for that particular job — not a time for you to basically beg for any position you can get.
The hiring manager will let you know if you got the job or not — and that may take some time. Putting the pressure on them to let you know immediately can put a bad taste in their mouth, especially if they still have other interviews to do. Express your sincere interest in the position and let them know that you're looking forward to hearing back from them, and then walk away with the confidence that they want to see in a candidate.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.