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Old 05-06-2010, 01:06 AM
 
Location: East Valley, AZ
3,852 posts, read 8,284,319 times
Reputation: 3997

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My main reason for being on the job hunt is the insecurity that is plaguing my current workplace.

One of my main concerns is the state of this new company I'm interviewing with. Is it appropriate to ask the financial state of their company and how the economy has affected them? I expect layoffs have occurred, but the farther back they were, the more comfortable I would feel being an employee there.

My current employer is laying off 2-3 people a WEEK and I have a feeling my days are numbered. They had a big round of layoffs a few months ago, but the fact that they did them at the END of the recession worries me. I don't like the fact that they waited until the last minute to trim the fat, I would be more comfortable if they had done it earlier and restructured when it was needed--not before it was too late.

Also, is it OK to ask if they have any concerns about any of the questions I've answered? I tend to freak out during interviews (who doesn't!) and not give the answers I've studies for hours previously. I'd like to get the chance to clarify anything if they think something I said posed a problem.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:32 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,607,588 times
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In this day and age I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask if the company has had lay offs in the past year or so, and if they expect any more. I wouldn't specifically ask about the companies "financial health." If they are publicly held, that information is on the SEC web site.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:40 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 39,782,292 times
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Try and do as much of your own research as possible. It will make you look much better if you can phrase your question based off of information you have already found. For example, if you can find out if this company recently made an aquisition, you can phrase you question along the lines of "I see you bought company XYZ recently, that looks pretty good considering most companies are hurting right now". That can then lead to a discussion of how the company is doing.

But at the end of the day no company is going to "gaurantee" you won't be hired tomorrow and fired the next day. It is also very possible that depending on what department you are being hired for that the people interviewing you don't have the best knowlege of exactly how the company is doing. A lot of companies will also have a hiring freeze during times of layoffs. So the fact that they are hiring is a pretty good sign in itself.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 9,241,924 times
Reputation: 7363
I wouldn't ask about the company's financial status, but I would ask about the company's future plans: are they planning to open more offices? Expand? I'd also ask about the career path of the position I'm applying for. How did the position I'm applying for open up? Is it because business has increased? Was the person who was holding this position promoted? Things like that. I've found interviewers to be quite forthcoming.

I was thisclose to accepting a position with a company. When I mentioned how nice the office was and how fortunate to be working in such a prime location (read expensive), the interviewer came right out and said that the office was incredibly expensive and was going to be shut down in a year to 18 months when the lease was up. Employees had the option of moving to HQ 1000 miles away.

In another case, the interviewer told me that my job had been created b/c of a contract with a new client. He went on to say that the contract was for 2 years and, while it was renewable, if the client didn't renew they weren't sure where they'd put me.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:42 AM
 
551 posts, read 1,194,726 times
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I've been interviewed by a lot of engineering companies that do a lot of work in the public sector, so I usually ask if they get funded by the government (i.e. stimulus money). It usually leads into good conversation.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:26 PM
 
Location: East Valley, AZ
3,852 posts, read 8,284,319 times
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Thanks for your advice, everyone

I think the interview went well. After learning more about the company and the recent merge, I am definitely interested in working there. There seems to be much, much more stability.

I did ask about the stability, and that's when I was told they were recently merged with another, smaller company, and the position was created out of need due to that merger.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:48 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 39,782,292 times
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Glad to hear it went well.

I don't know if the merger you mentioned would be public knowledge, but that is exactly the type of thing interviewers love for people to bring up. It shows they were dedicated enough to do some research.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:27 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,607,588 times
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Sounds like it went really well--good luck!
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:49 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,615 posts, read 50,320,986 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAtheBanker View Post
Thanks for your advice, everyone

I think the interview went well. After learning more about the company and the recent merge, I am definitely interested in working there. There seems to be much, much more stability.

I did ask about the stability, and that's when I was told they were recently merged with another, smaller company, and the position was created out of need due to that merger.

Try to tone the excitement until you get the job.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:51 PM
 
Location: East Valley, AZ
3,852 posts, read 8,284,319 times
Reputation: 3997
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVandSportsGuy View Post
Try to tone the excitement until you get the job.
Um...what the hell does that have to do with anything? Like I'm really going to take advice from a 7 year old.
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