Q+A: Should I take a job at a company that is going bankrupt?

Questions from our Readers
Answered by Michael Pollock

Q. I am a recent college graduate gearing up for an interview at a company that recently announced that it was going bankrupt. If I receive the position, should I be hesitant to take it over something else because of possible layoffs to come? Should I address the company’s bankruptcy during my interview in regards to knowing if the “job will be around for a while”?

A. I don’t believe that pretending everything is ok looks so smart. It makes perfect sense to ask what the future holds: “I’ve heard the company is having some difficulty. Can you tell me how this position might be affected by what is coming?”

I would certainly think carefully before choosing this company over a more healthy one. Cost cuts, even without layoffs, can affect your ability to do your job properly if you cannot get the resources you need. If it is a spectacular opportunity and you will gain invaluable experience and boost your resume then you should consider whether the job is in the core business of the company: the piece that’s likely to make it through reorganization and perhaps even gain in importance in a new structure.