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I had an on-site interview with a software company, which included 4 interviews, lunch and a meeting with the manager.

After the meeting with the manager, he was walking me out and I asked "so did I get the job" even though I know he could not tell me (I have no idea why I asked).

Things got awkward for a second and he said can't tell me now for legal reasons.

Did I ask something that was really taboo/inappropriate?

I don't think it'll prevent me from getting the job, but it seems like it wasn't a good look (he might've thought I was impatient or didn't understand boundaries).

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2 Answers 2

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Honestly, it depends very much on the rapport you have built with the interviewing panel. I have done this once when they asked me if I had any questions at the end of the interview. I said it with a smile, so they knew I was only joking. To my surprise, the lead interviewer answered wryly, "Yes, but I can't tell you that."

I can't say if it had or hasn't hurt your chances on this job. I suspect not, but without being present it is difficult to gauge your manager's reaction.

Whether you do or don't get this particular job, there is nothing you can do about it now. Just learn to try to read the situation more carefully in future.

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    Ok. Thanks for the advice. We had like an hour conversation about work, what I'm looking for, company culture, etc. Everything but this seemed to go well. But based on what you and the other person said, I'll never ask that again (still confused as to why I asked it to begin with). There's not much to gain and I can basically only lose. If I lose the job because of this, then oh well.
    – David Ivan
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 22:25
  • I doubt that in many cases the interviewer would already know though? Isn't it only normal that the interviewer would look over all candidates once again, possibly discuss with future teammates and then make a decision?
    – Summer
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 10:28
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Asking the question like that comes across as naïve:

  1. it makes you sound desperate;
  2. the interviewer should, in theory, wait until he/she has seen all the shortlisted candidates, even if he/she thinks you are the strongest candidate;
  3. even if the interviewer is certain that he/she wants to hire you, he/she may not be empowered to make the decision unilaterally.

These constitute "red flags", because they give the impression that you do not understand the basic realities of how the company operates.

Better to ask:

When can I expect to hear about the outcome?

This demonstrates clearly that you are interested in the job, but understand the rules of engagement. Of course, if you have other offers on the table, it may be worth hinting that you need a rapid response (NB: this can backfire, if the potential employer is not that desperate to hire you).

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  • Yes! I've read "interview tips" articles online that recommend you "Ask for the job". Also, when recruiters are prepping me for interviews they always tell me to ask for the job at the end of the interview. It's garbage! I never do it, it sounds stupid. I express interest in the job if I'm interested and ask about the next steps. Never do I ask "Can I have the job?" or "Did I get the job?".
    – CrazyPaste
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 17:04

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