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Submitted by pucciot on


Hi, M-T :

My head just exploded during your guidance of "Questions Not To Ask In An Interview - Chapter 2 - Working Conditions"

Just a couple of examples of where.

A : There is a point where you indicate that if the unasked questions about working conditions end up being very negative in a new job, that one should just restart the job search.

--- What ?!?  Leaving one job for a new job is a major life upheaval, of significant risk.  How could you be so cavalier about that ?

If a few simple questions could have prevented a disaster, at the risk of appearing a little selfish, that certainly seems worth it to me.

B : As a hiring manager, I am disappointed when candidate doesn't ask one or two questions like this.  I recognize that they are human beings and are allowed to be a little selfish.  I view a candidate who doesn't ask a few of these questions, either too needy/desperate or insincere.  In fact, I usually make it a point that during the interview I preemptively answer the working condition questions.  I describe the anticipated hours, physical environment, amenities, give them a tour, meet the team, etc.... 

As a job seeker, if a hiring manager didn't address these issues himself during the interview I would have a low opinion about them as an interviewer and a manager.  And if he gets the bad impression of me because I asked ...

It would be a "red flag" for me ... Then I'm sure 'toot'n glad I don't have to work with for that manager.

C : I love that example about the guy who likes taking a walk at 10:30am every morning.

If that morning walk is so important to him he is willing to ask about it, and the hiring manager is willing to say clearly - "Then I don't think we are the right company for you to work for" --- Then I say "success" !  That was the point of the question !  I have no problem with this example - It works great for me.

OK - OK - I get the point about waiting for the offer in hand.

D : Question --  Once an offer is made ... is it appropriate to ask for another visit ?

After the offer is made can the candidate ask to take a tour of the facility, meet the team, see where his desk will be, ask about the culture of hours and days - in person ?

Asking these questions over the phone, to one person who just wanted to make the offer is not going to get a very good answer.  They will tell you whatever you want to hear just to get you to say yes.

If they rescind the offer because you ask these questions, then fine, great, I wouldn't want to work for them anyway.


I've been on some pretty crappy interviews in the past.  And I called them back the next day to rescind my application.

They were unpleasant working conditions; Unprofessional managers; Openly hostile direct reports; difficult commutes; etc.

I'm glad I stayed in my current job, the jumps in salary would have never made up for the loss of goodwill in my current position and the miserable working conditions and life upheaval. 

Yes - I agree with the guidance that only the most important of these should be asked - only at the right time - and in the right way.