#babeswhohustle

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 
― Sheryl Sandberg

Asking For a Friend | Chapter 51

Asking For a Friend | Chapter 51

Advice from Babe to Babe


Got questions? We’ve got answers. This week, read the BWH Advice Gurus’ advice on which questions to ask — and not ask — during the interview process.


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This may be an unpopular opinion, but I would say don’t reach out with questions just for the sake of reaching out with questions. When I worked as an interviewer, I loved communicating with applicants outside of the traditional sit-down interview process, but also—I could totally tell when people were just scrambling to ask questions just to try and look good. Of course, you should already walk in to any interview with questions ready to show you’re thoughtful, practical and interested. But if it’s after that, outside of the normal professional “What do the next steps look like?” or “When can I expect to hear back?”—just because someone invites questions doesn’t mean they’re necessary.
—Molly Slicker, Contributor

I think it’s important to ask questions to stay on the hiring team’s mind and show you’d be an engaged team member! I recommend asking what the company journey has been like for the person you’re in touch with and what the company’s onboarding process is like. It shows you care about company culture and are already planning ahead for the role.
—Mara Strobel-Lanka, BWH Creative Director


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You might be tempted to, but don’t ask for a job. You’re there to network and gain insights from the experience, not to apply for an open position (and doing so might not sit well with the person you’re meeting). Since you’re in a new city and it’s likely you don’t know these individuals well, I would also steer clear of questions about compensation, as most people don’t like to disclose this upfront. Lastly, I would refrain from asking questions about work conflicts. You’re not trying to dig up dirt on the interviewee and asking about conflicts at work could make them uncomfortable.
—Ina Mezini, BWH Administrative Assistant

Whatever you do, don’t fish for drama. There’s not much worse than sitting down with a new “let me buy you a coffee” contact than realizing halfway through that all they want from you is hot tea on your teammates or competitors. Thank u, next.
—Mara Strobel-Lanka, BWH Creative Director

Just, don’t pull out your resume halfway through. That sinking feeling of really enjoying a coffee meeting with someone, laughing and enjoying the vibe, then hearing them say, “So, do you want to see my portfolio now, or should I email it afterwards?”—ugh. Just ugh. An informational interview is about getting information, not a job. Resist the urge.
—Heather Croteau, BWH Editor-In-Chief + BABE #136


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It's never too late to back out if it doesn't feel right, for any reason. I would be as polite as possible, while still being direct, and let them know you aren't prepared to work as a freelancer or independent contractor at this time, and can't move forward with the position unless it's an hourly or salaried role. In the past, when I've turned down a job after building a connection with a recruiter or company, I have offered to post the position in some of my networking groups or reach out to anyone I know who might be a good fit. It's totally optional, but also a nice way to show goodwill and keep strong connections for future opportunities.
—Ashlie Johnson Coggins, Contributor

You can always back out of an opportunity you don’t feel is right for you! Listen to your gut, be honest and express your concerns genuinely. The right company will either try to work with you or understand your decision and move on. If their response is rude, then you’re better off without them.
—Ina Mezini, BWH Administrative Assistant

If you’re genuinely interested in the role, I’d ask for a week longer to think about the offer and consider that news. It’ll give them the opportunity to offer you hourly work, and you the chance to sit back and consider your finances. I didn’t feel ready to start freelancing because I was terrified of taxes (OK, make that am terrified), but I made it work and have loved the clients, learning and schedule ever since.
—Mara Strobel-Lanka, BWH Creative Director

There’s a reason they only just told you about it. If it’s a full-time role that should be salaried, they likely know it’s shady and they’re worried about losing you. It’s never too late to back out; that’s what the offer letter is for. If they had instead offered you half the salary you require, you wouldn’t think twice about it. You don’t owe them anything until you sign on the dotted line.
—Heather Croteau, BWH Editor-In-Chief + BABE #136


Until Next Week,

—THE BWH ADVICE GURUS


Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!


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BABE #299: SHANNON HEMMINGS - Actor, Model, Content Creator

BABE #298: CLAIRE GOFORTH - Freelance Journalist

BABE #298: CLAIRE GOFORTH - Freelance Journalist