By this time in our careers, we’ve all read plenty of articles about the questions we absolutely have to ask in a job interview, lest we wind up accidentally taking a job as a corporate psychic when we thought we were going to be planning “strategic vision.” But what about the questions we really want to ask, but can’t possibly?
For this, we turn once again to turn to the amazing Alison Green of Ask a Manager, who gives us seven questions we can’t ask — plus, ways to find out the answer without embarrassing ourselves. The full list is US News, but these were a few that stuck out to us:
Can I Really Use Those Benefits?
Early on in our careers, we learned that a company with an “open” vacation policy — i.e. no set allotment, just prior approval from your manager — is a company with no vacation policy. Ditto for places that offer three weeks but discourage employees from taking even a long weekend without their Blackberries. Ms. Green suggests talking to current employees to see what their work days are like, when they leave work, and how much time they take off.
Do People Get Along?
Nothing can torpedo your happiness at work like colleagues who can’t stand each other. To avoid reenacting your worst family reunion ever, pay attention to the vibe of the office when you interview. Do people seem happy there? Are they arguing openly in front of everyone, or sitting glumly at their desks? Take note.
How Secure Is This Job?
First on the list, and first in our recession-plagued hearts, this question is definitely not easy to ask during an interview. However, you can do a little digging on your own if the company is large enough, or has gone public.
“[I]t’s also not taboo to ask an interviewer outright about the company’s finances and how safe the position is in case of cutbacks or strategic changes,” Green writes.
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