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When applying for a position, what are some efficient ways to quickly know whether it will be located in open space, cubicle, shared room or private room?

My main objective is to know whether the position will have a private room: if a private room isn't possible to obtain for the position, then I do not want the position (therefore I don't want to waste too much time with a firm if the latter doesn't provide private room).

Examples of approaches:

  • Asking the question during the first formal or informal discussion
  • Maybe there exist some websites that mention the office layout?

Assume that I have no friend working there to whom I could ask the question (in which case problem solved).

I am mostly interested in the United States, California and NYC in particular. Positions are full-time positions, either as software engineers, research scientists, or quants.

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    Seems to be a rather limiting criteria for a position. Are you sure you want to limit yourself so much? – Ed Heal Sep 11 '16 at 17:29
  • Ask the interviewer? Of course, it could happen that they give you a private room when you are hired and later on they decide that they need the place to someone else more important, or that there may be someone else sharing that room with you. – SJuan76 Sep 11 '16 at 17:34
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    Do you have the profile to justify a private office? That's typically reserved for senior management level and even there, it seems to be becoming more and more rare these days. A quant may merit one since that tends to be a job where distractions kill performance but very few software engineers are going to be getting a private office. – Lilienthal Sep 11 '16 at 18:18
  • It's worth noting that some positions change between different work locations. For example, you might start in your own office but the building gets remodeled into open space. Or you start in your own office and a week later you get an officemate. (A side question is: Would you leave the job if that were to happen?) – Eilon Sep 12 '16 at 1:54
  • @EdHeal Totally depends on the location, e.g. in Germany 2 person offices are quite common and even a private office is not so rare. – Simon Sep 12 '16 at 8:26
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what are some efficient ways to quickly know whether it will be located in open space, cubicle, shared room or private room?

While you might get lucky by reading their website or job description (since the few companies who have private offices like Fog Creek Software tend to brag about it), the quickest way is usually to ask.

Ask the recruiter or agent if you have one. If not, ask during your first interview.

You must ask questions to determine if a job fits your personal needs or not.

These days, fewer and fewer companies offer private offices for most jobs. so limiting yourself this way will likely extend the duration of your job search. But since you indicate that you aren't interested in any job that doesn't come with a private office, it only makes sense to ask this of the first person who can give you an answer.

Why waste any more time (yours or theirs) than you have to?

As I wrote here: Should I mention I don't do overtime work? From the company viewpoint, interviews are designed to see if you fit the job/role/company. Similarly, from your viewpoint, you need to see if what they are offering fits your needs.

  • 1
    I never see individual private offices any more! – WorkerDrone Sep 12 '16 at 16:25

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