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Career Talk: 7 Interview Questions You Should Never Ask

Shenandoah University | Career Services

“Career Talk” is a weekly series presented by the student employees of Shenandoah University’s Career Services that provides advice and keeps the SU community up-to-date about upcoming events and opportunities.

When preparing for an interview, you need to practice every scenario, including what NOT to ask. Asking questions of potential employers demonstrates your value as a potential employee. Make sure your questions are well-thought out and utilize a positive tone.

For the sake of knowing what not to ask, here are seven types of questions that you should never ask in an interview.

Questions beginning with “I heard…”

Questions that begin with this are symbolic of gossip. Gossip is not based in truth and participating in it shows that you have not done your research on the company. Instead, ask what the future of the company looks like.

Questions about a promotion

If you are trying to get a job, you should not be asking about a promotion. It makes you sound presumptuous and is too forward. Instead, ask about advancement opportunities within the organization.

“Are happy hours a part of your company culture?”

This question is inappropriate because it implies that you are more interested in the social aspect of the job than the professional environment. As an alternative, ask if there are team bonding activities as a chance to allow the interviewer to tell you about company outings and social gatherings.

Any question that shows you did not do your research

Always do research on the company before going into an interview. If you ask a question that makes the interviewer think you have not done your research, it may seem that you are not determined to get the job. Research the company culture and look at feedback from other employees.

Asking for your own office

Asking for your own office or place away from other employees shows that you are not a team player. You should prove that you have worked hard to attain such a benefit, rather than demanding it during the interview.  

Asking the interviewer about their position at the company

You usually know who will be interviewing you before going in, and just like with the company, research that person, their position, and even their past experience. Knowing what they do allows you to put their view of the company in context. Instead, ask what that person most enjoys about their job or the company.

Career Services is located in Cooley Hall 314.
For questions or job search assistance, contact
Career Services at or (540)665-5412.
Walk-ins welcome!

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