I'm currently interviewing with a privately held firm that has been passed from father to son. The position is very exciting to me and is clearly a fit on my career progression.

Being a private firm, there is hardly any information available as to the company structure, market share, etc other than what they want to tell me. I've checked every public resource that I can find, but the information is very superficial and doesn't provide a lot of information.

If I receive an offer, would it be a faux pas if I asked for more information about the company? I wouldn't dare ask for financial statements, but would things like the following be ok between the times when I receive an offer and provide a formal response to the offer?

1. Articles of Incorporation
2. Org Chart
3. Any other useful non-public information


NLewis's picture

Minimally I'd ask for anything related to the position.  Certainly an org chart would be in order.  I'm also guessing that they're aware that there isn't much about them out there so I doubt questions would be unexpected.  If you pose them with enthusiasm and an eagerness for the position they'll likely be more impressed than insulted.

Best wishes to you in any case!

delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
Training Badge


I would recommend that you ask for the information that you really need to decide on the position.  I'm not sure what the Articles of Incorporation would provide to you and some good companies would not even have on hand and even if they did, they would not share and may think it an odd request and jeopardize your opportunity.  Also, many good companies sadly don't have org charts so that should not discourage you.

My recommendation is to use the interview process to determine the company status.  When asking questions - phrase such as:  what are the expections of sales increases (for a sales role) or what is the volume of xyz (for logistics role), etc and how do you see me increasing and to what levels?  Asking about the business as it pertains to your role will give you an idea of the size of the company.  You may also be able to determine this based on the questions they ask you.  Interviewers frequently talk a lot about the organization. 

Is your concern the stability of the company - even a public company can have downturns and layoffs so information you are looking for may not give you that comfort.  Any business nowadays has some risk.  I say if you like the job and the people then go for it and make it work.

Best wishs!

wwhite613's picture

nlewis and dtiller, thanks for the responses.

I decided to refrain from asking for too much information and relied on my "probing" questions to get the responses and reactions I was looking for.

brianr5's picture

If you are concerned with financial stability, if they pay bills on time,  and pending litigation you could run a Dun & Bradstreet or other credit check on the company.  I've never done this, but If it's a small family company maybe that would be worthwhile.  I have asked start up companies about their funding, most were happy to share that info under NDA.  

Best wishes,