Interviewing for current job but new boss. How to make a good decision?
June 3, 2014 3:31 PM   Subscribe

The company I work for is being bought by another company and I have a phone interview this week with the new bosses, who are interested in keeping me on. This is pretty much my dream job already, so keeping it would be great ... but how?

New Parent Company is large and legit and owns a bunch of other small companies that operate independently under their corporate umbrella. (I’m being vague on purpose, but assume you don’t need to question that part.)

What do I need to ask to make sure I have all the information I need to make a good decision?

1. I am currently office-based, but under New Parent Company I will be a full-time employee working from home. Do they have to pay for my work-related Internet and phone calls and provide a computer with the relevant software?

2. The New Parent Company is Canadian; I’m in California. Are there any legal issues with work contracts that I need to know about?

3. I’ve been told my salary will remain the same, which is OK … for now. How do I ask about health benefits and other perks? Should I ask for vacation time that is comparable to what I have now?

4. Our in-house budget for freelancers and contractors has been static, which has probably negatively affected my company’s growth. I’d like to have a persuasive argument for increasing that budget.

5. My current boss is very hands-off and has been great at letting me run the ship the way I want to run it. Is there a positive way to tell New Parent Company that “Hey, you don’t need to micromanage me.”?

I need to stay employed right now, so if it’s offered to me I’ll probably take it with caveats and be prepared to polish my resume. But I’d really appreciate some input on the process.
posted by vickyverky to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't see what the "good decision" you're trying to make is. You've said you need to stay employed right now, so I think you should go into the interview as if it is an interview for a job you're interested in having. If there are other jobs you're interested in you should also be interviewing/exploring them.

So, for interview: treat this as a serious interview. The closest I'd get to any of the budget/mgmt issues is asking about the supervisor's leadership style and their goals for the company (fair questions). Try to act as if you're interviewing for a job you don't have because practically, this is true.

If/when you're offered the job: Ask the benefits questions. Negotiate about vacation time. Ask about semantics of work at home. Ask about legal issues with work contracts (if they own a bunch of other companies they are doubtless knowledgeable about this kind of stuff.

After you've accepted the new job: Deal with the budget issues and management issues after you've been offered and accepted the new job.
posted by arnicae at 4:24 PM on June 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

You ask all the HR questions AFTER you are offered the job officially.

As for the interview, bone up on the new company, ask questions about how the new manager sees you fitting into the new organization.

Do tell them that you love your job and that you want to stay on. Be upbeat and cheerful. Ask how your division will transition into the new company.

Good Luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:07 PM on June 3, 2014

Looking at the nature of many acquisitions, the only question on my mind would be how many employees of those other companies have been there since before their acquisitions. Take this as a reminder to update your resume while you have a clear head.
posted by rhizome at 5:25 PM on June 3, 2014

Many company acquisition contracts are structured that a certain number of employees are hired for X months as part of the transition. It's worth asking your current employer if such a provision was included. You could get hired for the transition employment duration, then severed. That matters especially if your current company has a lucrative severance policy.

None of the questions you've proposed are appropriate for a preliminary interview. Those are things for after you are hired. Preliminary questions might include questions about expectation to travel to the home office in Canada or how the home based workforce is supported (IT, admin).
posted by 26.2 at 6:27 PM on June 3, 2014

3. I’ve been told my salary will remain the same, which is OK … for now. How do I ask about health benefits and other perks? Should I ask for vacation time that is comparable to what I have now?

I would ask at most a single question about all of these things together, and not until after you've gone through job-oriented questions and have given the impression of being a hardworking team-player type person like you would at any other interview.

FWIW, we Canadians routinely mock Americans for how little vacation time they get, so unless your current employer is very unusually generous in that regard, I would wait to find out what they're offering rather than asking for a certain amount, because in all likelihood, their vacation packages are better than or at least equal to what you're accustomed to.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:42 PM on June 3, 2014

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