9 Interview Questions You’re Too Afraid to Ask

When it comes to interviews, there are many frequently asked questions, like: “What should I research ahead of time?” or “What should I wear?”

However, there are also several questions around interviews that may seem like oddball or embarrassing topics. For instance, what should you order if your interview is being held at a restaurant or café? Or, what should you do if you’re running late?

You might be afraid to ask these questions but rest assured – these are legitimate concerns. Below is a list of questions about job interviews that you just might be afraid to ask.

What should I do if I’m going to be late?

Being late isn’t a good look, but it often isn’t a deal breaker. If you’re driving, use your phone to make a hands-free call to the receptionist. Ask if she or he has recommendations for a different route. Doing this allows you to say you’re running late without calling to make excuses. If you’re on public transit, get out and call a Lyft or Uber.

Once you do arrive, apologize once and move ahead with the interview as you would normally.

What if I’m truly sick?

If your very ill, don’t bother trying to tough it out. You’ll only make a bad impression.

If you wake up and your throat feels a bit scratchy, you should ask yourself what you would do if you had to give a major speech. If you think you can push through with some cold medicine, go ahead and do it.

How should I sit?

Sit up straight and slightly lean forward, to show you’re interested in what’s being said. Don’t put your hands in your lap, it makes you look small and nervous.

Should I accept coffee or water?

There’s nothing wrong with accepting water or coffee. In fact, a cup or mug can serve as a neat little prop you can use to buy time. Just don’t fidget nervously with your drink.

Should I order food if where at a café or restaurant?

The best move in most interview situations is to follow the lead of your interviewers. If they order only coffee, just get coffee. If they order a full-meal, go ahead and do the same. If your interviewer orders alcohol, get a non-alcoholic beer or cocktail.

Should I be casual or professional?

This is another situation where you should follow the lead of your interviewer. That being said, the last thing you want to be is too relaxed. Don’t follow your interviewer into profane and unprofessional territory.

What if I get stumped by a question?

Memorize a short filler paragraph you can use to after a tricky question. For instance, you could slowly say, “That’s a really good question. Bear with me for a moment…”

How do I handle a question that sounds illegal?

Interviewers aren’t supposed to ask you questions about your race, religion, marital status, nationality or another other quality that could be to charges of discrimination. If you do get one of these questions, it’s best to change the topic as soon as possible.

How do I address getting fired from a past job?

You don’t have to address leaving a past job unless you’re asked directly about it. If you are asked about a specific job you were fired from, don’t get defensive. Just say “things didn’t work out” and talk about how you’ve grown as a professional since then.

At LTI, we help job seekers with everything from interview prep to resume writing. Check out our job board today to find your next job!