While a job interview gives the company doing the hiring a chance to learn about you, it also gives you a chance to learn about the company.

In fact, it's important to go into an interview with questions prepared that show insight. That means you should not ask something that can easily be answered on the internet. You will also want to be careful about asking a question that the interviewer has already answered.

Interviews are a two-way street, but consider the interviewer's street being a four-lane highway while yours is two lanes at best. You should ask questions, but there are topics to avoid because bringing them up could scuttle your chances at getting the job.

None of these are absolutes. There are exceptions to every rule and sometimes the interviewer opens a door that allows you to go down an otherwise forbidden path. For the most part though, these are questions you should stay away from if you actually want to get the job.

A person shakes hands with someone at a job interview.

Go into an interview prepared with questions to ask. Image source: Getty Images.

1. Don't get personal

An interviewer can't ask you if you have kids are married or what your sexual preference or religion is. You will want to abide by the same rules. Of course, if an interviewer mentions having a child, it's OK to ask a polite followup or to volunteer information about your child or lack of one, but personal topics should otherwise be avoided.

2. Don't ask about the job you really want

When I served as a newspaper editor I got the chance to hire a lot of younger folks right out of college. During the interview many of them made the mistake of telling me that journalism wasn't the field they really wanted to be and asked me about becoming a novelist, a poet, or something else entirely,

It's fine to express that an entry level job or even a mid-level one is not your final goal. It's not good however to make it clear that your heart lies in another profession entirely.

3. Don't ask about politics

Politics are a lot like religion or sexual proclivity. They should not be discussed in a job interview, especially with the current charged political times.

Whether you are a liberal, a conservative, or something else entirely, that should not impact whether you get hired. That does not mean you can't look into how the company or its owners lean. If it supports causes you don't, then you may not want to work there.

4. Don't raise any red flags

You would be surprised at how many people ask interview questions that cause the interviewer to become concerned. For example, you don't want to ask about what the penalty is for repeatedly being late. Doing that would suggest you have that problem and could, even if you get the job, start your employment with a mark against you.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.