We’ve all done it: asked questions during an interview that changed the tone in the room. Either the question was simply bad form or it’s something a professional should know. Either way, it can tank the interview.

Be careful of the “do you have any questions for me” question. It’s their chance to see how you think, what’s important to you, and how well you prepared.

Here are questions to add to the “DO NOT ASK” list during an interview. They’re almost guaranteed to stop the interview cold.

  • “What’s the salary?” “What are the benefits?” You can worry about the salary when they make an offer. Otherwise, it seems like the money is your sole focus. The benefits are usually on a job ad or on their website. If it’s a large company, you can expect some basics, like health insurance. Again, you can ask more when the offer arrives.
  • “Who’s your competition?” You should know this, especially if you’re a professional in the field. It shows you didn’t prepare.
  • “Why” questions.  Why questions make it sound like you need an explanation versus wanting to know more about a subject. Reframe them to eliminate the why. “Why did the company close the XYZ division?” becomes ”I noticed the company pivoted away from XYZ division. Where do you see the company growing as a result?”
  • “Is it okay to work from home?” If it’s not stated in the job listing, assume you can’t. If it’s something you want to do, negotiate it later with your direct supervisor.
  • “Are the hours negotiable as long as I put in my hours?” This makes it sound like you can’t balance your life and work. You can discuss it when an offer is made, especially if it’s for something important like getting the kids to school or getting an elderly parent to adult care.
  • “When do you do reviews?” Let’s be honest: It shouldn’t matter if you’re doing great work. If you’re asking when raises will occur (the hidden agenda behind this question), wait until an offer is made. If it’s not spelled out in your offer, ask then.
  • “Do I have my own office?” If this is a make-or-break for you accepting the job, you’re interviewing for the wrong job. Having an office is great, but no matter where they put you, if it’s the job for you, you’ll take it.
  • “Do you look at employee social media accounts?” Why, do you have something to hide? Is there something there that’s going to come back on us later?
  • “Do you promote from within?” If they don’t quit and get your promotion someplace else, just like you’re trying to do right now.

In an interview, you want to appear as polished at interviewing as you are at your job. It can be difficult, but it can be done. Start by not asking the wrong questions.