The Career Quiz: Test Your Office Smarts

Are you an expert at navigating cubicle life, or do you need to brush up on your office politics? Find out!

woman peering over cubicle
N. Hendrickson/iStock

Are you an expert at navigating cubicle life, or do you need to brush up on your office politics? Find out!

woman peering over cubicle
N. Hendrickson/iStock
Test Your Work IQ

Are you an expert at navigating cubicle life, or do you need to brush up on your office politics? Take our quiz to find out whether you're on top of your game or need to put in some extra hours.

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job interview
Test Your Work IQ

What's the best response when a recruiter asks in an interview how much money you make at your current job?

A. Duck the question by saying, "What I'm looking for is..."

B. Answer, but exaggerate.

C. Answer honestly.

D. Answer honestly but include perks and benefits in the figure you give them.

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Test Your Work IQ

ANSWER: D. If you duck the question by saying, "What I'm looking for is..." that means you're currently underpaid. Go the "my total compensation" route, and that means you've calculated in your health insurance, 401(k) match, and the occasional stale coffee roll left in the office pantry. Remember, an experienced recruiter has seen hundreds, if not thousands, of people in your field, so he pretty much knows where you are.

Are women still getting shortchanged? A look at how women are stacking up, salary-wise.

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Test Your Work IQ

True or False: You should keep your graduation year off your résumé.

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Pali Rao/iStock
Test Your Work IQ

ANSWER: False. No year of graduation on a résumé means you're over 45. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it says that you think there is.

Now make sure the rest of your résumé is up to par and make sure you're at the top of the pile on a recruiter's desk.

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Jill Fromer/iStock
Test Your Work IQ

Which of the following is NOT okay to expense?

A. Expenses from your first post-college job hunt

B. Taxis to work functions

C. Working at home

D. Your daily commute

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Clint Hild/iStock
Test Your Work IQ

ANSWER: D. Your daily commute. How you get to work is 100 percent your responsibility, but you can ask your HR manager about company benefits, which may subsidize your commuting costs.

Keep reading for the other work expense you can't write off or charge to the company card ... and the five you can.

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pregnant woman
Alvaro Heinzen/kycstudio/iStock
Test Your Work IQ

You just got a great job offer, but are two-and-a-half-months pregnant. Is it ethical not to tell them?

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woman crossing fingers behind her back
Plamen Petkov
Test Your Work IQ

ANSWER: No. You probably haven't even told some friends or family this early on, so don't reveal the pregnancy yet. Once things get serious or an offer is made, you're still under no legal obligation to spill, but it's time to consider it. While an employer can't rescind the offer because you're pregnant, if the job entails heavy travel every week or, say, baling hay, you may not be able to perform the duties, which means they do have an out. But don't be shocked if the new boss offers congrats through clenched teeth.

Baby or job? It's the mother of all tough choices. Read our frank conversation with Elizabeth Vargas about life on the mommy track.

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businessman crouching on the floor in front of woman
Valentin Casarsa/iStock
Test Your Work IQ

What percentage of workers have had office affairs?

A. 23%

B. 39%

C. 47%

D. 62%

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Valentin Casarsa/iStock
Test Your Work IQ

ANSWER: C. 47%. According to one survey, almost half of workers have had an office affair; another found that only 34 percent of them felt it necessary to keep their relationship a secret.

Finding excuses to work late? Read our handy guide on the ins and outs of office with orifice.

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woman peering over cubicle
Getty Images
Test Your Work IQ

True or False: It's never okay to go over your boss's head.

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woman at work
Test Your Work IQ

ANSWER: True. The only time it's okay is when you no longer care about doing permanent damage to your career. An exception may be when he's committing some fireable offense — sexual harassment, drug or alcohol abuse, a snub-nosed .38 strapped to his ankle. You may want to loop in HR first so you have an ally. Or go over his head if you are so secure in your relationship with his bosses that you feel confident you can move with impunity. But that support can disappear quickly. These guys tend to stick together. And remember the old saying: When you aim for the king, you better not miss.

How to get on your boss's good side and deal with his moodiness.

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woman looking over another womans shoulder on laptop
Anna Bryukhanova/iStock
Test Your Work IQ

Your boss just offered you a promotion, which means working with a supervisor who doesn't like or respect you. Should you mention the problems with the little boss to the big boss?

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angry woman and woman at laptops across from each other
Javier Pierini/Getty Images
Test Your Work IQ

ANSWER: No. Part of moving up in the ranks is the expectation that you can work things out for yourself. It's likely the immediate supervisor signed off on the promotion, signifying her willingness to move on, so get to work mending fences. Ask her out for lunch and, if you share my facility with bullshit, even offer, "I'm looking forward to us working together, and I know your support for me was one of the main reasons I got this job." Let her think you owe her a little bit; get her invested in your success. Then start working your ass off on that new gig.

How to ask for and get a promotion.

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getting a pay raise in a recession
René Mansi
Pick the right moment.

Just finished a big project, recently closed a big account, or scored the biggest press ever for the company? You'll want to swoop in when your bosses are praising your work and thinking positively about your value to the company. And it wouldn't hurt to make sure your boss is in a good mood before traipsing in with your proposal.

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