Gimme the Real Deal Questions

As many of you out there in reader-land know, my fiancé and I just moved back to Chicago, IL for my wonderful job as a Recruiter with Impact Advisors. However, this move left the poor chap happily unemployed for a bit of time. As “House Boy” he kept busy assembling IKEA furniture, unpacking, cooking, exploring Chicago and tending to the “would you please . . .” list. Unfortunately we are not independently wealthy and the time came for him to get a job.

As a Recruiter I often try to relate to what my candidates are thinking; what is motivating them to change jobs, what they value, their family status, etc. However for my fiancé’s search I was directly involved in the process and what a great refresher it was for me. We had many discussions around compensation, work/life balance, commute and many other values in order to pick the right opportunity (for which he had two competing offers vying for him. I’m so proud!).

We highly value work/life balance. Albeit difficult, we try to put down the Blackberrys in the evenings and focus elsewhere than work (this is a constant challenge for me). During these discussions, I thought of some questions that would be very interesting to actually ask in an interview someday.

When is the last time you took a vacation?

Ok, so the offer comes with four weeks of vacation. So, hiring manager, when is the last time you actually used your vacation? At one of the offering companies, the hiring manager said that four weeks of vacation are standard, but, “if you take a vacation you’d better be sure that all your work and anything you anticipate for work is totally complete.” What this says to me is, yes, we’ll give you vacation, but you can’t actually take it because you should be dedicated to working for us all of the time. Or better yet, when is the last time you took a vacation and left your phone at home?

Will you work me to death? Will I be jailed here?

Have you ever worked for one of those companies in which when it’s time for everyone to go home employees start looking around to see when their coworkers will leave and try to leave after to create the appearance of staying late? I’ve worked for that firm and it was awful. I’d wrapped up my day, but still had to wait 15 minutes because if I left, management would think I don’t do my job. Is it your company culture that you will clock me on the dot and watch over me every second? Micromanage my every move and have no trust? If so, no thank you.

Will you tell me when I’m doing well, not just criticize?

The message here is that I’m going to work really hard for your company and try my absolute best because it’s my job, but I hope that you’ll tell me when I do a good job and not just where I need improvement. Recognition is important, so is constructive criticism; however the next time I get a job I want to know whether I’ll be told when I am doing well. Communication with managers and employees is key to success in any role and I want to know what will be communicated to me. I’d like both the positives and the negatives. Let’s hear it!

I’m curious to know what you wish you had asked your employer during the interview process, too. Comment below!

About the author


Cassie Sturdevant

Cassie Sturdevant is a Senior Recruiter for Impact Advisors, a healthcare IT strategic and implementation services consulting firm just named 2013 Best in KLAS for Overall Services. She specializes in humor and follow up.


  • After being in the IT Security field, I have been layoff. I want to get into the health field, IT HealthCare. What is the best possible way without going back to school for right now? I have been applying for IT Support Analyst in the Health field without any success in getting a job. Would getting my Health Care Certification help?

  • Hi Pamela,

    Thank you for your comment. First, and very respectfully, I’d like to comment that writing skills are important in any job including Healthcare IT. Your first sentence should read, “I have been laid off,” not “layoff.”

    Secondly, if you are trying to avoid going back to school, I would recommend applying for jobs at hospitals and not consulting firms. Hospitals should be able to give you the on-the-job training that you’ll need to be successful, whereas consulting firms expect you to have all the necessary experience prior to employment. Hospitals are actively hiring right now and usually provide their employees great benefits.

    However, more education is always welcome in the healthcare field. If you are open to more eduction, check out UIC and Duke. You’ll be able to find links to their online programs right here and at

    Thank you for the comment Pamela and best of luck with your search!


Click here to post a comment