Today, Friday September 29th, 2017 is officially known as Ask a Stupid Question Day. Celebrated annually on the last school day of September, this day provides children and adults alike with an open-door invitation to ask just about anything. After all, we all have “stupid questions” we’ve felt too embarrassed to ask. This day was created decades ago, by teachers, to target this need.
Of course, there are times when stupid questions aren’t a valuable learning tool, but a disaster in the making. For example, there are some questions you should never ask during a job interview, even if that interview is on Ask a Stupid Question Day.
1. “How long do I need to do this job before I get a promotion?”
It’s perfectly all right to show interest in what your career trajectory might look like if you take this job. But, keep in mind that you’re not guaranteed a promotion, no matter how long you spend at a given job. Usually, you must earn promotions through exceeding expectations, not just by simply meeting them. So, don’t ask about promotions before you’ve even landed the job.
2. “Can I work from home?”
This is an excellent perk to negotiate for — once it’s clear that the employer is interested in hiring you, and you’re interested in taking the job. Broach the subject of telecommuting too early, and you run the risk of looking like you’re not interested in being at the office. (If a flexible job is non-negotiable, target your job search to companies that specifically offer work-from-home or part-time jobs.)
3. “How did your conversation go with my mom?”
These days, more and more parents are involved in their children’s job search process. However, there’s no reason why your parents need to be at your job interview. Bringing them along makes it look like you can’t manage your own career. The hiring manager may even worry that they’ll show up when it’s time for your annual review.
4. “Do you mind if I answer that?”
Your phone shouldn’t ring during a job interview. Your phone should be off. Or, better still, it should be left behind in your car. Although we all bring our phones almost everywhere these days, a job interview is an exception. Leave it behind.
5. “Are we all set? May I go?”
Interviews can be long and tedious, sure. But, you don’t want to seem like you’re in a rush to finish the interview. Have some questions of your own to ask, to help you decide whether the job is a good fit for you. And be patient. You’ll be out of there soon enough.
Want more? Check out: Don’t Ask These 5 Terrible Interview Questions.
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