How to identify signs of a fake job interview ?

Believe it or not fake job interview exist in every industry.This is more prominent in IT industry because speed of innovation is higher and everyone wish to grab the pie. Many IT companies be it start-ups or established player conducts false job interviews to capture some of the most promising ideas coming out of professionals who undergo interview and share their thought process around tool/technology/idea.

On the surface it is not that bad as it looks, it may have started with one of two interviewers who got inspired by some of the candidates who gave them some solution and later they themselves implemented and brought a change in their organisation. Moving from asking merely questions,In some situations candidates had been asked to share some case studies, strategy, planned documents to check candidate’s capabilities. In reality they want to showcase the same to their clients or for internal use.

Now its rather a big mess where entire industry is turning towards new age technologies like RPA, Analytics, blockchain, AI, IoT etc. organisations are grappling to get its resources ready and professionals learning new ways of working and getting some hang, people are equally clever to get more and more ideas from experts in the field.

Who are affected by fake job interview?

Specially people who are expert in some new age technology like cloud, RPA, Analytics, iOT, Security etc and have worked on some of the most challenging problems of the industry they are targeted by these false interviewers who would not be able to pay for individual consultancy but try to get it free through interview route.

It has happened with me in past and recently happened with my friend who is a RPA expert.Lets take his example and try to understand fake interview scenario. So my friend actually gets call from companies, they call him for a discussion about suitable role, in that they ask for future of RPA, how to form strategy, Business proposal, RFP response,How about growth in different market etc. After the interview is over he doesn’t get a satisfactory response on further candidature.

This particular friend of mine would have attended 3-4 similar interviews.During my office tea breaks few of my colleagues discussed the similar fake Interview scenario.Also when I interacted with many other job seekers and heard same experience I decided to ring alarm here.Although anyone of us can be victim of Fake Interview Scam but people belonging to Niche & patented technologies, market leading products,New age startup for instance AIML,Neural networks,BigData,BlockChain,3d Printing,RPA,Nano Technologies are more vulnerable to this scam.

Why fake job interview is a reality?

Good questions! Any good idea which has been tested and validated in market would be easy to implement and take out business benefits. For last 25 years IT industry has been changing the world with its innovation and products but is mostly unorganised and no standards exists. There would be something new which keeps on popping in open source and everyone would be running behind the new.

In true sense IT Industry runs of Ideas and ideas can be taken from anywhere, of course one of them is through interview where you get detailed idea. If someone has solved a blockchain problem he would be most sought after and if he is not affordable then call him for interview of a so called high profile job and then catch it, it is a safer way to extract someone’s expertise and without any legal worries.

I would like to warn people here and suggest caution.

Are fake job interview illegal?

No, IT job market or IT as such in India is not fully governed under labor laws and talking about this issue would be too much, however one can always challenge in court(how many does?) to get the justice if some real patented information is leaked through interview, or company made huge promise and kind of lured you of a sure shot role.

How to handle this situation?

Like we sign in NDA with any client, the same should be followed here. In interviews one should not disclose details of client, project, scope of work, actual activities, success/failure etc. Now this is very tricky but one has to take a call whether to discuss in detail or where to stop and say I cant go beyond this, give me a job and will share.

What I believe if you have strong credentials ( endorsement, recommendations, research papers, well connected network of people and snapshot of experience) then you need not worry saying “I can’t at the moment” because here the other person would be keep in mind that this person is real guy and he is the one for the job. I suggest people to have proper profile on linkedin, may be a website(if they are really expert), good no of endorsement and overall good online/virtual profile.

When I  did some research around the same got to know that this is a well thought issue and HR leaders around the world have acknowledged it long back, Time to think again and be prepared, because everyone needs a job, everyone goes through interviews and everyone needs to protect their ideas which can be worth millions.If you are a job seeker do checkout my interesting writeup on How to use Linkedin to find a job in 2022?

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