When I go to an interview I want to know about the company's financial solidity.

Generalizing, what I said about "Revenue by employee" is applicable to any other financial indicator of a potential employer.

The rationale behind this question is: I do not want to work at an employer that's much less financially solid than where I am working now.

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    What country are you in? In the USA, a lot of company financials are public information once a company is a "public" company. – enderland Jun 6 '17 at 14:32
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    "Revenue by employee" seems like a strange metric. It's not something I would expect the average interviewer to know. – David K Jun 6 '17 at 14:34
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    Are you looking at a sales position? If so then this question is absolutely something you could and should ask. If you are applying for a position that has nothing to do with sales or revenue generation (very few position do not) then asking this would be slightly off. Are you thinking that a business has to make so much per employee to be financially stable? There are businesses that bring in millions per employee and still can't keep their finances straight. It's less about revenue and more about the overall business operations. – Andieisme Jun 6 '17 at 15:08
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    @DavidK, I stumbled over "revenue by employee" several years ago, while jobhunting in the wake of the Nortel meltdown. It turned out to be surprisingly useful, in that it gives a VERY quick estimate of the health of the company. It takes a certain amount of money to keep an employee paid, fed, lit, warm, etc. If "revenue per employee" is above that number, the company is healthy. If it is below that number, the company is hurting. If it is FAR below that number, the company was a one-man sales office fronting for a company in India, with FAR lower costs. – John R. Strohm Jun 6 '17 at 15:50

I would prefer to make this a comment, but I don't have the rep yet.

I work in the U.S.A. in software startups; if you are working in a different industry/sector or country, my answer may not be applicable.

I also like to find out about the financial health of a company when I am interviewing. I usually preface my question with, "I know that you are private and that financial information is sensitive, but..." and then ask about burn rate, how long they can last at their current ops level, etc. Most companies are willing to share, in rough numbers, this information. I agree with David K that revenue per employee is not something most interviewers will have at their finger tips.

As far as it being a good idea to ask, I think it's entirely reasonable for an interviewee to get some idea about the state of the company with whom he or she may be working. If a company is very guarded about this info, it's a red flag to me.


I would research this on my own. If it's publicly traded, you can find that sort of information online about past performance and current trends. Find ratings by the BBB (if applicable) and if possible reviews of products and services (though take those with a grain of salt...far more dissatisfied people are found in reviews because they're not talking if they are satisfied). In short, it's more important for you to find something on your own. As was said before, the HM may not have that information right up front, and whether or not they do, it's always important to do your homework first before any interview.

  • Is BBB = Better Business Bureau ? – sergiol Jun 6 '17 at 15:25
  • Correct. Sorry, I used the abbreviation out of habit. – SliderBlackrose Jun 6 '17 at 20:56

Absolutely! Especially if your intuition is throwing hints in your direction. There are places I've been where I've walked in the front door to interview and instantly been concerned with the company's ability to send home paychecks on time. Cluttered spaces, run-down furniture, peeling paint. This is by no means a complete list of indicators. You'd never want to work for any business that's just as sloppy on internal processes.

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