The one question you should never ask at the end of a job interview

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Protect Yourself on That Job Interview

At some point toward the end of your job interview, the hiring manager will likely turn the tables and ask: "Now do you have any questions for me?"

This may be your final chance to shine — and the perfect opportunity to determine whether the job is a good fit — so it's imperative that you ask the right questions and avoid anything that makes you seem unprepared, lazy, or greedy.

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Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of "The Humor Advantage," says there's one question in particular you should never ask during a job interview: "Did I get the job?"

"Now is simply not the time to ask this question," he explains. "Yes, it's good to demonstrate you are enthusiastic, but there is a line that can make you appear desperate, and asking this question definitely crosses that line."

Plus, it puts the interviewer on the spot. "Hiring managers may find this question rude," Kerr adds. "Almost nobody is in a position to make a firm offer until they've finished interviewing everyone and have followed up on references, and asking this question reveals a lack of empathy for the interviewers' challenges and a lack of respect and understanding for the entire interview process."

Depending on the tone you use when asking this question, it might also make you appear either under-confident and needy, or overconfident with a certain air of entitlement. "Keep in mind, more and more companies are hiring for attitude and emotional intelligence, and asking this question might raise a red flag in both of these areas," he explains.

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Kerr says similar questions some candidates are tempted to ask are: "How did I do?" "Do you have any hesitations about me?" "What do you really think of me?" and, "Could you imagine me working here?"

"Again, this in not the time and place for these types of question," he says. "The place to ask for genuine feedback is when the company has contacted you with their decision."

Instead, look for signs that might indicate whether or not you'll be getting an offer, and ask questions like: "Is there anything else I can provide to help you make your decision?" or "Can you tell me what steps need to be completed before your company can generate an offer?" or "What's your timeline for making a decision, and when can I expect to hear back from you?"

"They key is to end the interview by making a good impression," Kerr concludes, so don't leave them thinking you're impatient or immature.

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The one question you should never ask at the end of a job interview

1. Email signature.

Your email signature is possibly one of the most important branding tools you're not taking advantage of. It’s your chance to let everyone know what your expertise is, how to contact you and where to learn more about you online. Employees are often required to add the company logo, tag line and contact information to email signatures. As job seekers, an email signature is a subtle way to remind people what you do.

Quick tips: The most important information to include is your name, phone number, email address, desired occupation and link to your LinkedIn profile. An easy solution is to use an app like WiseStamp to create and insert your signature.

(Photo: Getty)

2. Active and robust LinkedIn presence. 

LinkedIn has become a go-to source for companies of all sizes to seek out talent. While your profile will be similar to your résumé, it is not exactly the same. LinkedIn is a social network where people share information. Besides having a profile rich in content and media, you should also share newsworthy articles to help build your online reputation and stay connected with your network.

Quick tips: You must have a headshot, a headline that describes what you do and a summary where you tell your story. But don’t stop there. Embed a presentation that summarizes your experience or includes testimonials. Have you downloaded the SlideShare app for LinkedIn? What about the LinkedIn Connected or Pulse apps? ​These tools give you a better mobile LinkedIn experience.

(Photo: Getty)

3. An easily accessible, on-the-go résumé

There will be occasions when someone wants you to send your résumé ASAP or when you arrive at an interview and your résumé is MIA. Save your résumés so you can easily access them and share them from your mobile device.

Quick tip: Being able to access important documents from anywhere is critical not only in your job search, but at work, too. Learn how to save and share documents using Dropbox or Google Drive, which provide free storage and are easily accessible from any device.

(Photo: Getty)

4. Business cards. 

This may seem old-fashioned, but business cards make life easier. When you meet someone new or reconnect with an old friend, just hand him or her your card at the end of the conversation.

Quick tip: Your business card need only include the information you want to share: your name, occupation (or desired occupation), phone number, email address and links to any social media profiles, like your LinkedIn URL. If you want to use something more high-tech, try one of the apps that allows you to share your card from your phone, like CardDrop. Or pick up a business card with FullContact’s Card Reader.

(Photo: Getty)

5. Your perfected pitch.

You only have one chance to make a great first impression. Don’t blow it. You’ll need it when you meet people and they ask what you do. You’ll also need one customized for every interview you take. Your pitch conveys what problem you can solve for an employer. Use words and language to ensure your unique style and personality come through. And avoid résumé-speak or jargon that isn’t universally understood.

Quick tip: Keep your pitch under a minute, and practice so it sounds natural. If you need some guidance, check out the myPitch app created by Karalyn Brown of InterviewIQ.

(Photo: Getty)

6. Target list of potential employers.

Rather than searching job boards all day, looking for the perfect job and getting lost in the black hole of applications, why not approach people inside companies you would like to work for? This route is more work up front, but it will help you stand out and rise to the top of the referral pile if you make the cut.

Quick tip: There are tons of apps for finding posted jobs, but what you really need is additional help networking. Don’t miss Alison Doyle’s new app called Career Tool Belt. It's loaded with job hunting tips, including the 30 Days to your Dream Job series to guide you day by day.

(Photo: Getty)

7. A dose of motivation.

Job searching tends to lead to frustration. Rejection is an unfortunate part of the process. Invest time doing things that rejuvenate your energy and keep you feeling hopeful, such as exercising, volunteering or learning a new skill. Keep moving forward and create to-do lists and follow-up actions every day.

Quick tip: Whether you use a calendar system or an organizational app like Any.do, mapping out your weekly activities helps maintain momentum and puts you in the driver’s seat.

(Photo: Getty)

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