(Closed) Is it ok to ask this at a job interview?

posted 6 years ago in Career
  • poll: Is it ok to ask?
    No, it looks nosy or unprofessional : (34 votes)
    31 %
    Yes, there is nothing wrong with asking, and it won't make you look bad : (31 votes)
    28 %
    Yes, but why bother? They won't tell you the whole story if it was a bad situation : (24 votes)
    22 %
    Depends how you word it (suggest, please.) : (7 votes)
    6 %
    other : (2 votes)
    2 %
    I don't know, I just like voting in polls! : (6 votes)
    6 %
    Depends on the kind of job : (5 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    5428 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I wouldn’t bother, because the interviewer may not know the reason the person left. She may know the general reason, quit or fired but not know any details. On the other hand, once you’re in that position, I am sure office gossip will start sooner or later and you’ll get to know the reason why.

    Post # 4
    Member
    993 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    its your chance to interview them as well

    Post # 5
    Member
    853 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I think it depends on the position. For most jobs, I’d say no, that it’s unprofessional and that they may deflect your question or may not give you a straight answer.

    For certain professions, it could be OK, but it’s better to ask someone aside from your direct boss at a later time. I’m a teacher, and I’ve asked coworkers before why the person before me left. For me, it’s not necessarily being nosy – it’s preparing myself for the students. Were they abandoned? Mistreated? Neglected? That helps give me a better perspective about how to work with them.

    Post # 6
    Member
    9917 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I have asked that at every interview I’ve had…but teaching is a different profession than others.

     

    I also ask, “What do you like about working here?”  

    Post # 7
    Member
    2523 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    I’ve never asked because I don’t feel like it matters, I guess.

    Post # 10
    Member
    7771 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    That is information I like to know- but not something I would ever ask.  Usually they tell me, but I do not think it has ever been honest.  I would not ask though, I really wouldn’t.  Like I said, this information has always been offered, or it seems obvious in other cases.  The thing is though, are they really going to be honest anyway?  I am a teacher and I had the WORST class ever- but they told me it was open because the pervious girl was moving to Boston.  I KNOW WHY SHE WAS MOVING TO BOSTON!!!!  (But only after I worked there and found the truth out myself.)

     

    Post # 11
    Member
    241 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I voted yes, I have been in the interviewer seat and have asked before, and I have interviewed many people throughout the years as a manager, for different financial firms that I have worked at, and that question has been asked and I expect that question to come up at some point during the interview process. An interview is a two way street, both company and candidate should be getting to know the other, so a potential hire has every right to ask so they can assess the context of why they are being hired.

    Post # 12
    Member
    68 posts
    Worker bee

    If you can get away with pretending you don’t know- you can ask if this is a new position due to expanding, or if you’re replacing someone else.  Maybe the answer will be revealed then?

    I had an interview and asked this question and they mentioned it was replacing a women who moved to another state for her husband’s job.

    Post # 13
    Member
    511 posts
    Busy bee

    Of course it’s okay to ask! It will give you some insight as to how the company works, if they take the time to invest in people and train them appropriately, if there are expectations beyond what is in the job posting (such as if they expect you never to take lunch or always stay late) and if they promote from within.  You are letting them know that you think enough of yourself that you are making sure they are a good fit for you too.

    You go girl!

    Post # 14
    Member
    5405 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I would say generally no, but it probably depends on the industry. I also think it depends on the situation you’re in. If you’re 50 and looking at an executive level job and would be moving your family across the country, it’s more imperative to know what you’re getting into than if you’re 25 and looking for your first real job out of college.

    Post # 15
    Member
    9917 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @cbee:  Was the position open mid-year?  That’s always a clue to what’s going on…

    I’ve started three teaching jobs in February, actually.  I graduated from my master’s program in December, and the first job I got was a long-term substitute position.  I asked why it was open, and it was because a woman was on maternity leave — for a year!  It was helpful to know that although I loved the school and they loved me, there was no chance at my being hired full-time.  The second February job I got was after that one was up — I was hired at a charter school to teach sixth grade.  They told me up front that the class had had five teachers before me.  They hired me, and also hired someone else…because no one was lasting!  I was in there for two weeks with the other woman, and then the school “realized” I was a reading specialist and gave me that job instead.  And then my current job the woman before me moved to Pittsburgh.  And no one liked her.  =)

     

    Yeah that was super necessary for you all to know!  Ha.

    Post # 16
    Member
    568 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2014

    I think if you ask questions it shows them you are really thinking about working for them. working is like a relationship. Its not jsut them interviewing you to see if you fit in but you need to make sure this company fits into your life as well.

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