What NOT to Ask During an Initial Interview

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The old saying is that “there is no such thing as a dumb question”. While that may or may not be true, there are definitely some questions job seekers should NEVER ASK in a first interview. recently conducted a survey of fashion industry recruiters (direct employers and agencies) to get an understanding of WHAT NOT to ask in a job interview. We feel that knowing these questions in advance will help fashion industry job seekers in their job search.

We found that there are (basically) 2 types of questions that fashion industry recruiters hate to hear in an initial interview. The first deal with job seeker needs and the second reveal job seeker preparedness for the interview


The first set of questions that annoy recruiters deal with benefits and salary; basically, all of the “me” questions. Examples include:

What are the benefits?
How much vacation do I get?
How much does the job pay?
What are the hours?
What is your maternity/paternity leave policy?
How many days off?
What kind of work/life balance is provided?

The person conducting the interview is likely to touch on benefits, time off, compensation, etc… during the natural course of the interview. We highly recommend that job seekers stay away from these types of questions. Keep in mind, the goal of the first interview is to get a second interview.


Questions that pertain to the core business of the hiring company OR the responsibilities of the job annoy recruiters too. Why? Mainly because it shows that the candidate did not care enough about the interview to research the company or study the job description. Examples include:

What are the company’s main brands?
Where are your products sold?
Would I have to do that part of the job?
What other positions are available?
How long will this interview last?

Keep in mind that NOT asking questions of the interviewer point to a lack of preparedness too. Prior to the interview, we recommend to all job seekers that they research the company and put together a list of informational takeaways (questions) that they want to get from the meeting.


Ultimately, recruiters and hiring managers look for people who WANT to work for their organization and not people who just want a job (any job). Prior to any interview, we recommend that job seekers research the company and to prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer; questions that demonstrate an interest in the company and position.

We also recommend that job seekers prepare an elevator pitch and rehearse answers to common interview questions.

This article was originally posted on

Chris Kidd is the owner of,,, and

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