4. What training will be provided?
A lot of employers want self-starters and don't want to do a lot of hand-holding with new employees. "My experience is that workers who are 50-plus tend to want a very structured training program. They want to be walked through the process every step of the way," Morgan says. This can be a real turnoff to some hiring managers. "They think 'Oh my gosh, we don't have the resources or time to bring someone up to speed,' " Morgan says.
Instead, ask the interviewer how new employees get acclimated and learn the ropes.
5. Can I telecommute? Do you offer any flextime options?
This can be a red flag. Even if you know the company offers this option, don't ask about it in the initial interview. "This kind of question can make it sound like you're interested in getting out of the office as much as possible," says hiring manager Darnell Clarke of the Clarke Group, and author of Employmentology. "Asking about it in the first interview is not appropriate."
When you're up front about wanting to work from home so early in the game, it suggests that you're uber-independent and might not work cheerfully with direct supervision or that you have other demands that could interfere with giving the job your undivided attention.
Moreover, you risk triggering an alarm for the potential employer that you're not really committed to the job, says Morgan. He or she wants you to be captivated by the opportunity and eager to travel that extra bit and put in the effort necessary to appear in the office every day. Team players are often more appealing than lone rangers, no matter how dedicated and disciplined your work ethic is.
"The question is not so bad, but wait until you have an offer in hand and do your homework to find out if other employees do it and how it works," she says.
6. How long will it take to get promoted?
This is one of the most common questions that applicants blurt out, and it should be avoided, says Clarke. "It's inappropriate mostly because it suggests you already have the job."
It's good to show you're eager to get ahead, but you don't want to dismiss the job in front of you. This question makes it sound like you're more interested in being promoted or are just biding your time until something better comes along, Collamer says. "A better way to phrase this question is to ask about potential career paths and growth potential, rather than specifically about promotions."
7. Can I bring my dog to work?
Sure there are pet-friendly workplaces, but it's probably not worth bringing up unless you see other pooches roaming the hallways.
"Many 50-plus job seekers have a loyal pet that's their best friend and companion, and they really do bring this up in interviews," says Craig with a laugh. "Would you ask if you could bring your spouse or best friend to work with you? This falls in the same category."
Kerry Hannon, AARP jobs expert, is a career transition expert and an award-winning author. Her latest book is Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy … and Pays the Bills.