Job interviews. Internship interviews. Club interviews. Whatever you find yourself interviewing for there are some rules of the game that can seem obvious but in fact are not well known by college students.
You have likely heard that it's a good idea to come prepared to an interview with a few questions. That is true. But there are questions you shouldn't ask.
1. Don't ask a question you could have found the answer to with a Google search. For example, you wouldn't ask what a company does if it says right on the website what it does. Asking that question shows you didn't prepare for the interview and makes the interviewer concerned you don't care. That being said, if you have clarifying questions or want to learn more you can always preface your question with "I read your website, but I'm still unclear about..." That way you communicate that you prepared but want to learn more.
2. Don't ask about salary, time off, or other benefits in an interview. These are question better left to after you have an offer. Asking these questions in an interview can signal to the company that you are more interested in what you will be paid than what you can contribute.
3. Don't ask how quickly you can be promoted. Most companies hiring for a role expect that you will be in that role for a period of time. Asking about promotion out of the gates makes it seem like you are not very interested in the role and/or are not willing to pay your dues.
4. Don't ask about work/life balance. While this may be very important to you, be careful that if you ask about it directly you will give the impression that you are not ready to work hard. Instead, ask a "day-in-the-life" question. For example, ask "what does a product manager's typical day look like here?" The answer to that question should give you more information about what the work/life balance looks like for that company and doesn't give the wrong impression.
5. Don't ask too many personal questions of the interviewer. While you do want to engage the interviewer and get him or her talking, you don't want to completely turn the tables and make him or her feel interrogated. Usually it's better to go into an interview with a well-crafted story about your experience and where you want to go next. Then weave in questions naturally.
Remember that you are always telling someone who you are in an interview - from how you dress to the questions you ask or don't ask. Keep this article in mind and you'll do fine.