4 Questions NOT to Ask During a Job Interview

Job Candidates: You Should Always Ask Questions During Interview

Last week I wrote about interview questions from the recruiter’s side and what we really mean, but what about on the candidate side? The interview process is meant to familiarize candidates with the company and the position just as much as it is about us getting to know you and ensuring it’s a fit.

The candidate should always ask questions and try to find out as much as possible before deciding if this is what they want to do and where they want to work.

Just Not These Questions

That being said, there are a few questions that shouldn’t be asked — they are either questions we recruiters cannot answer or questions that provide no value and only serve to make everyone uncomfortable.

So please, don’t ask me…

“How many candidates do you have for this opening?”

The answer to this question will not benefit you in any way. Whether there are two or 100, if you are the best person for the position, you will get the job. The question also makes the interviewer uncomfortable and is just unnecessary.

“How did I do?”

Every once in a while a candidate will ask for feedback at the end of the call. This is not the time to be asking. After a good call, this question just feels awkward. After a bad call, the question is unanswerable. The time to ask for feedback is after you are taken out of process, and even then we may not be able to answer completely.

“What is the company’s revenue?”

This is more specific to private companies, such as those in OpenView’s expansion-stage portfolio. For starters, the information is not public. Secondly, it is likely I don’t even know, so don’t ask.

“What kind of benefits do you offer?”

In the first call, this is an unnecessary question. You don’t need to have this information until you are considering an offer. Also, at OpenView we work with multiple companies within our portfolio and while we have access to that information we most likely don’t have it memorized or in front of us during the interview.

Interview Tip: Write Down Relevant Questions to Ask Beforehand

Prior to an interview you should write down a few well thought out, relevant questions to ask the interviewer. Then, as the conversation plays out, note any questions that you think of on the spot. Any question you ask should help to give you a better idea about the role, the culture and the team.

Senior Talent Manager, Engineering
You might also like ...
Predictable Pitfalls of Founders and How to Avoid Them
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in People + Strategy magazine here. We have romanticized founders having their “eureka” moments, writing their...
by Alisa Cohn
Startup Strategy
The Simple Secret to Getting Ahead in Tech
A couple of weeks ago, I read a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal about Leyla Seka’s rise through...
by George Roberts
Startup Strategy
Using Empathy to Improve the Customer Journey
Empathy is key to improving the customer journey, but to develop it we need to get as close as we...
by OpenView