How to reword questions you’re afraid to ask at the interview

The general consensus is that you should definitely ask your interviewer questions at the end of your interview. But what questions should you refrain from asking? The obvious ones are “how much will my salary be?” and “how many vacation days will I get?” Of course, no one wants to spend time interviewing for a company that low-balls their candidates, but there are definitely some recruiters who see this to mean you care more about the money than the job. Not to mention, you can give off the impression that you assume you already have the job when you start off salary negotiations at the interview.

Instead of asking “How many vacations days will I get?” try asking “What is the work-life balance like at this company?”
This more open-ended question might not fully answer what you really want to know, but will give you insight on how the company sees its employees.

Lets say you read that the company in question had huge layoffs the previous year. Instead of asking “Why were so many people laid off?” try asking “How did this position opening come about?”
This is allows your interviewer to think more about the needs they have for that specific position, and less about your fears about the stability of the company.

Instead of asking “Is the company laid back or really professional?” try asking “How would you describe the office culture?”
People often end up expressing their bias in the first question through their voice, and if the recruiter’s answer is opposite to what you wanted, it can be obvious. Instead, ask a more open question that will give you a more balanced perspective as they describe everything about the office they can think of.

Other questions you can reword:

Instead of asking “How frequently will I have performance reviews?” try asking “Will there be opportunities for me to get feedback on how I’m doing?”

Instead of asking “How flexible are the hours?” try asking “What does an average work week look like?”

Instead of asking “When would the next promotion be?” try asking “What does the typical career track look like at this company?”

Instead of asking “How much travel will I have to do for work?” try asking “Can you tell me more about how people here collaborate, either within the same office or other locations?”

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