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2nd interview coming up, ok to ask about specific travel policies?

2nd interview coming up, ok to ask about specific travel policies?

Old Feb 27, 18, 12:17 am
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2nd interview coming up, ok to ask about specific travel policies?

I have a company very interested in hiring me, but in all the years I've never asked about travel policies during the interview. Is it out of line to ask what the policy is at this stage? Former multi year 1K with UA, but I don't want to be forced to fly Frontier for example, or stay at a Budget Inn.. I'm pretty easy, but my last company made my travel planning more of a job than my actual job, of which I don't want to repeat.

Thoughts?

I indirectly quizzed HR during stage 1, but she was unaware of a specific policy. Stage 2 is the person I will report to, coming up soon.

Last edited by COSPILOT; Feb 27, 18 at 12:28 am
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Old Feb 27, 18, 3:08 am
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Sure. I would open up the topic with 'how much time will I be travelling?' or 'where will I be travelling to?' That is likely to start a conversation where the opening to the policy discussion becomes more natural. I would find it off-putting if someone asked me whether travel is in business class out of context.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Sure. I would open up the topic with 'how much time will I be travelling?' or 'where will I be travelling to?' That is likely to start a conversation where the opening to the policy discussion becomes more natural. I would find it off-putting if someone asked me whether travel is in business class out of context.
The broad questions on travel expectations is good at this stage with hiring manager although I usually don't find them specific on providing policy. The info gathered now helps me formulate questions for a future interview with peers or colleagues who may have similar travel to the role I'm considering. Peers are more likely to tell you details of the policy and how accurately it is followed by the organization (i.e. flexible or what is permitted by policy is actually never approved). If the job requires a lot of travel these sorts of work balance questions are usually broached over lunch with the interviewer assigned to assess culture fit.



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Old Feb 27, 18, 3:55 am
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I do not know what field you are, but if you very much in demand companies will bend over backwards to do stuff for you.
Contrary to common advice of being easy to please I think being a little more demanding may actually work in your favor (as in playing hard to get).
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Old Feb 27, 18, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
Thoughts?
If you will decline the job offer when the company policy does not align with you, then ask.

Otherwise, no.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 8:29 am
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As a hiring manager, I would find it strange if a candidate was unusually interested in the travel policy. A basic "what type of travel is required for this job?" is normal and appropriate. The 2nd interview is a little early to ask about whether we'll reimburse a lounge membership or let you book the St. Regis. I like Segments's approach recommended above - get the deets from your future peers.

Most corp travel policies *don't* make you fly Frontier, because the whole ULCC thing is a headache for everyone and doesn't really save them money. I have, however, had friends who did hospital software installs who often stayed at Budget Inn type places - you don't get to pick when you're in Western Nebraska doing a 4-week install in a town with one motel.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 8:57 am
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Having conducted hundreds of interviews and hired dozens of staff over the year, this would certainly be a big negative mark for me.

You're going to be working directly for me and this is our first meeting. I'm trying to decide whether you have the skills to do the work that my job will depend on, in about 30 minutes. And to want to spend part of our very limited time asking what kind of hotel you need to stay in and what FF program you can use? Next.....
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Last edited by CPRich; Mar 1, 18 at 3:49 pm
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Old Feb 27, 18, 9:04 am
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I'd wait until you got a job offer. Thats when the real haggling starts......salary......hours......travel....etc.

Websites like Glassdoor.com are a great place to find out more about a corps internal polices as this is were present emoloyees, but moreso mainly former employees, make commentaries.

Snoop around the Web first.

Last edited by KDS777; Feb 27, 18 at 1:24 pm
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Old Feb 27, 18, 9:09 am
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Some employers post their official travel policies on line in an area that's visible to everyone, although the actuality can be somewhat different from the official rules....or it can depend on your unit, the client's/customer's travel policy, the funding source, etc.

You can also ask (perhaps HR) to send you a copy of the travel policy after you have an offer.

The problem is that an extendeed visit or day of interviews can be your best opportunity to get information about the reality during informal discussions. You can contact potential peers by phone or email after an offer has been extended, but this can be less satisfactory. Ideally you want to ask questions of at least several people who have similar travel patterns to those expected in the new job.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 9:18 am
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Thanks all for the input.

I do know the territory I would cover, 6 states including Colorado, with a few trips per year to headquarters back east. Actually a very nice territory IMO, and a good product that I already know well. I actually want the job, as its a company with a good history and very little turnover. HR has actually been proactive and sent me the benefits package already, and I suspect given how quick things are going, I will have an offer on the table before the end of the week, all without an in person meeting. I did ask for the travel policy to be forwarded as well, and she responded with a question mark, as they don't have one. Small Company by the way, if that factors in.

What sparked my question is a previous company that took frugal to a new level. The guidelines were developed when the economy was in the toilet and travel was cheap. Now, with a booming economy its very difficult to not exceed company limits, to the point that productivity has suffered as a result. I got fed up and left the company, as did a few others. The few that remain still complain. Hard limits of $20/person for client dinners for example, $120/night hotel, $35/day car rental. I wont even mention how low the airfare limit was, but lets just say it was low enough that sales guys couldn't chase opportunities unless you spent a few hours pleading your case to upper management, each and every time. Because of these low limits and the requirement to setup a joint conference call with management for each and every trip exceeding corporate policy, I started logging the amount of time this consumed on a weekly basis. It was in the 20 hr range/week, which takes away from actually selling. Then add in staying miles away from the client to avoid exceeding the hotel limit, etc.

I'm not young, and I've been traveling for work for the last 15 years, but I refuse to repeat this again.

Last edited by COSPILOT; Feb 27, 18 at 9:43 am
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Old Feb 27, 18, 9:55 am
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What you just described is partially why I left my former employer.

The last straw was being lied to by management about why we were flying out so early on a Sunday AM to get to the client city (430 AM wake up, 700 AM flight) and then once getting to our hotel around 1-300 PM being told we now have to go to the client site for 4-5 hours and work........unpaid.

The company lost about 5 good people in one month, just because of that. In the software business your people are your asset, but we progressively got treated like slaves.

Last edited by KDS777; Feb 27, 18 at 12:07 pm
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Old Feb 27, 18, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
What you just described is partially why I left my former employer.
Glad to here I'm not crazy, or at least not 100%.

I really do appreciate everyone's feedback. I've been a little more stubborn lately as life on the road impacts my wife and kids. I love travel and don't mind 70% time away, but asking me to take a 500K opportunity out to dinner at AppleBee's upset me. I'm paid well, and didn't realize how much of my own money I've spent to get things done each year until my CPA, and my wife raised the question recently. Turns out I spend close to 20K per year of my own money to close deals, which is great as I closed the deal, but not good for us as a family. Base salary, commissions, health benefits, all factor in, but I want to go in eyes wide open with this opportunity, and at my age, possibly retire with the company.

So this isn't a rant on my part, just trying to not rock the boat with a potentially great opportunity, but I don't interview often and have taken to heart everyone's feedback for tomorrows video call. I don't care about paid membership to the United Club, as I cover that on my own, and since I'm a coffee nut, I don't mind covering that as well.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 1:22 pm
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Good luck !!
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Old Feb 27, 18, 5:26 pm
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You could ask indirectly.

For example talk about travel requirements generally like how much time you will spend on the road and then say something like "so what's your personal favourite airline?", "do you find you do much work on the plane or take care of that in the office/hotel?" and "on a long flight do you just put the seat back and sleep, or are you mainly flying in daylight hours?" This will allow them to say things like "we always fly the cheapest" or "I personally love United, especially the new Polaris seat", which you can then interpret appropriately.

Then if you can get an offer, that is the stage to negotiate premium travel formally.

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Old Feb 27, 18, 5:42 pm
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good luck. I have worked under some ridiculous travel policies-I had a boss who i swear was happier spending the same amount making me take connecting flights instead of direct and not allowing me a rental car even if I was in a city for several days. with that being said, I think its dicey to ask during an interview, but best of luck to you!!!!!
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