3

I am interviewing for a position that requires weekly overnight travel. How can I ask to see a copy of the company's travel policies for employees?

At my previous company we had per-diems that varied depending on the city we were in which I think makes a lot of sense. A meal in San Fran is not the same as a meal in Dayton, OH for example.

Also, I would like to know in advance what caliber of hotel is allowed while traveling on company business. To me, the security of the hotel and area it is in are very important.

2
  • 1
    Ray - You may have gotten the negative vote because of the sexist tone of the last sentence. Wasn't from me, but I did consider voting to close because of that remark. – Wesley Long Feb 13 '14 at 15:58
  • Sorry if it came across as sexist. I will edit to say "for me, as a woman who often travels alone". Thanks! – Ray Bee Feb 13 '14 at 16:00
4

You should be given a copy of, or at least a chance to review all policies you will be expected to follow before accepting an offer.

These policies are the "intangibles" that can make more difference to your workplace happiness than almost anything else. Your salary is set, you budget based on that, and you set your lifestyle. That's great, but your expectations are set.

Policies about how quickly you are eligible for vacation time, personal days, etc., and "flex-time" arrangements will make more difference in how happy you are than salary, in the long run.

As @HLGEM pointed out, that opportunity should come after they have made the offer and before you accept it. I (implicitly) believed that the policies were part of the offer. HLGEM is correct in that it needs to be explicitly stated.

1
  • 3
    The caveat I woudl put on all this, is that it is OK to ask but not until the last interview at the end. You want them to be sold on you first before you get into the nitty gritty of company policies. – HLGEM Feb 13 '14 at 16:15
1

Whether or not you should ask during an interview will depend on what kind of a feel you get for whether or not they'd be receptive to that sort of thing.

That said, if the interview turns into an offer, you should ask about anything that you think will have a bearing on your work experience.

It's far better for all concerned for you to know the answers and reject an offer than to leave your old job, start the new one and discover that things aren't going to be as you wanted or expected. By rejecting the offer when you have all the facts, you won't take the credibility hit for having a short hop on your resume and you'll still have your old job, which makes you a better candidate. The candidate company won't have to invest in bringing you aboard and then do it all again to find and hire a replacement if you leave.

0

Once an offer is made, you need all the information you can get before you make a decision to accept the job. Usually, you'll get everything at this time, but you may need to make a specific request.

Sometimes when you ask about things like travel, expenses, vacation, sick leave, etc., too early in the interview process it's almost like asking about salary. It's better to wait. The worse thing that can happen is you have another interview or two when you may decline knowing they make you travel in cattle cars and sleep in the park.

0

Of course, anything that would change your decision to accept or reject an potential offer should be obtained as soon as possible to reduce the chance of wasting your and the company's time with a hiring process that won't work out. So the real question is: when and how can you ask about the companies travel policies. Since it is kind of a benefits question, and gets a little into compensation/money, some interviewers may be put off if you bring it up "too early".

However, since travel is such a large component of this job's responsibilities, you can probably bring it up earlier in the process than someone who is applying for a job with less travel requirements. You have a few optoins:

  • The best time to bring it up will be in response to an interviewer's question about travel. Presumably, at some point an interviewer will ask to make sure you are okay with this level of travel. At that point, you can say, "yes, but I do have a few questions about travel policies regarding...". That would be a good place to verbally go over your most pressing concerns.
  • If you don't get that opportunity, you can always wait until an interviewer asks, "Do you have any questions for me?". You might want to be a little tactical in when you ask this; if there are multiple interviews, maybe try a later one or an interviewer that you seem to have built up a good rapport with.
  • Some companies also go over the benefits package during the interview process. This would be a very good time to go over the travel policy because it's usually with an HR person.

Finally, as other answers have indicated, you should definitely have the opportunity to review the full travel policy if you get an offer.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .