Have you ever thought you aced an interview only to never hear back from the company? It may have been something you said. Here are some questions career experts say you should avoid asking when you're trying to get hired.

"What Exactly Does Your Company Do?"
Inexperienced job seekers tend to ask this question, but they should learn everything they can about the company before the interview. "If a candidate has thoroughly researched the company before a meeting, the questions should focus not on the company, but on the specific position," says career management coach Marti Benjamin.

"As a career coach, I advise interviewees to focus their end-of-interview questions on the hiring manager's priorities for the position, the greatest challenges expected in the position and what it would take to be viewed as a superstar in the position," she says. These questions show the interviewee's interest in being a good fit for the job.

Elle Kaplan, CEO and founding partner of New York-based investment firm Lexion Capital Management, also says interviewees should always be familiar with the company. "I can tell who has read the articles about my company and who has not. It is not something you can fudge and it weighs heavily when considering new hires," she says.

"What Happened to the Last Person?"
Some career experts recommend asking this question as a way to learn more about whether you're likely to run out of the building screaming after you've been working there for a month, but just as many experts say you should steer clear of it.

"This could bring up negative feelings that can get linked to you," says Ronald Kaufman, executive coach and author of the book "Anatomy of Success."

"What if the last person got promoted over the interviewer? What if the last person was fired and there's bad blood between them or possibly a lawsuit?"

Similarly, Kaufman recommends that interviewees avoid asking how the interviewer got his or her position with the company. This question is too personal and could put the interviewer on the defensive, he says.

"When Can We Start a Salary Negotiation?"
Candidates should focus on the opportunity, not the money, during the interview process. "Bringing up the money issue could indicate to the hiring manager that this person is only interested in dollars rather than helping this business be the best it can be," says Murshed Chowdhury, CEO of specialized staffing firm Infusive Solutions in New York. Chowdhury also says if the hiring manager thinks you're focused mostly on the money, he or she might be concerned that you'll jump at the next opportunity that comes along and leave the company with another costly and time-consuming recruiting effort.

"If you get a post-interview offer you will find out exactly how much you are getting paid, so avoid putting the cart before the horse and start out by first getting an offer," says Zachary Rose, CEO and founder of Green Education Services, a green jobs training firm in New York City.

Did I Get the Job?
Finally, don't ask overly eager questions. "If the employer wants to hire you, he or she will contact you," says Amit De, CEO and co-founder of CareerLeaf, a platform that helps job seekers search for jobs. "These questions come off as pushy and impatient, which are two qualities most employers are not looking for."

The Bottom Line
The questions you ask during an interview represent more than just a chance for you to gather information about the company and the position. They're also an opportunity for the interviewer to judge whether you're the right fit for the job. Ask the wrong things and you could ruin an otherwise great interview.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Five Things To Avoid at Your Next Interview

    Do you have an interview coming up? Avoid these five mistakes and leave a lasting impression on your potential employer.
  2. Personal Finance

    How To Get That Entry-Level Financial Analyst Job

    Landing a job as a financial analyst takes study, strategy and a lot of hard work. Here's how to hone your competitive edge.
  3. Investing

    7 Sentences Successful People Never Say

    Success & wealth are not something that can be accomplished overnight. Here, we interviewed more than a thousand millionaires to find out their secrets.
  4. Investing

    12 Experts Explain The Secret To Buffett’s Success

    We interviewed some of America’s biggest money experts, and threw them a gauntlet: Tell us the secret to Warren Buffett’s success.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    First Impression Blunders To Avoid

    It's been said that people make a lasting decision about you within the first 20 seconds of meeting you. You don't want to make these first impression blunders.
  6. Professionals

    Trying On Potential Employers

    Ditch your ego, prove that you'll work hard and don't settle for the wrong company.
  7. Professionals

    Top Things To Know For An Investment Banking Interview

    Without some basic knowledge, you won't get the job. Find out what you need to know and how to prepare.
  8. Professionals

    Top Job Search Mistakes For Finance Grads

    Looking to land your dream job? Skip the entry-level position by avoiding these common errors.
  9. Professionals

    7 Tips To Help Land That Internship

    Here are some of the most important considerations to check off the proverbial list before going after that internship.
  10. Personal Finance

    4 Essential Questions To Ask At The End Of A Job Interview

    Ask these questions if you want to leave a great final impression on hiring managers and establish yourself as a top candidate.
  1. What are some common questions an interviewer may ask during an interview for a position ...

    When interviewing for a job at an investment bank, a candidate is likely to answer questions about his career and education ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What questions are commonly asked during a portfolio management job interview?

    A portfolio manager is a person who is responsible for making investment decisions using money that other investors place ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What role do interpersonal skills play in the hiring process?

    Although it is valuable to demonstrate experience in a particular industry when applying for a job, employers are more interested ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Ex Works (EXW)

    An international trade term requiring the seller to make goods ready for pickup at his or her own place of business. All ...
  2. Letter of Intent - LOI

    A document outlining the terms of an agreement before it is finalized. LOIs are usually not legally binding in their entirety. ...
  3. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  4. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  5. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  6. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!