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How to avoid sabotaging your job interview

Posted: 2 Jul 2019

How to avoid sabotaging your job interview

Asking the wrong questions at your interview could ruin your chance of being hired. Don’t scupper your chances of getting that job!

A complaint we often hear from employers when hiring for tech roles is that “nobody wants to do a day’s work anymore”. Usually, the employer gets this impression when a candidate appears more interested in salary, benefits and conditions than in the company or role that they are applying for.

While there are many excellent opportunities for tech workers in the market at present, employers will be slow to hire candidates whose primary focus is on personal needs. Yes—it’s natural to want to know about the salary and benefits on offer, but your interview is not the place to bring this up. Your prospective employer’s primary focus will be on choosing the candidate best qualified to achieve the company’s objectives. So, unless you are directly asked about your salary expectations, it is better to hold back your questions on this subject until you receive a job offer.

Other questions to avoid asking at your interview include:

  • What does this company do? You should know this before attending for interview. By failing to research the company, you will come across as unprofessional and not genuinely interested in the role you are applying for.
  • Will I be able to work from home? Asking this question can suggest that you expect the company to adapt to your needs.
  • What type of health insurance does this company offer? Again, asking this question at interview suggests you are more interested in perks than in the role you are applying for.
  • What are the hours and is the schedule flexible? Asking about hours and flexibility at interview suggests that your focus in on your own needs rather than on the requirements of the role. No employer wants to hire a person who expects the company to fit in with their personal schedule.
  • How long before I will be promoted? While it is good to be ambitious, asking this question at interview can suggest that you are not sufficiently interested in the role you are applying for. Worse still, it can make you sound lazy. A better question to ask is what would you hope that the person appointed will achieve in their first year in this role?
  • What is your policy on being late for work? How many warnings do you give employees before firing them? Questions like this will make an employer will suspect you have been fired from a previous role.
  • What is your gender policy and/or attitude to diversity? While large organisations may have policies in these areas, smaller companies may not.

Salary negotiations

If the interview goes well, the employer may ask you about your salary expectations. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are about to offer you the role. They may be checking if they can afford you or they may want to benchmark your expectations against those of another potential candidate. It is important to be realistic when discussing salary and benefits. Factors to take into account include your current salary and what other companies are offering for roles similar to the one you are applying for. A good strategy is to have a salary range in mind as that will give both you and the employer some room to manoeuvre if and when negotiating terms and conditions.

How Eolas Recruitment can help

When applying for roles through Eolas Recruitment, our advisors will help you prepare for interview and negotiate salary and benefits. We can also keep you posted on upcoming opportunities, many of which may not be advertised online. We take pride in developing long-term relationships with our candidates, many of whom return to us time and again as their careers progress. Check out our online reviews and contact us if you are interested in finding out more about current opportunities and how we can help you make the right move.

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