A Warning to all Graduates! How to avoid Job Interviews with Phoney Companies

Although most of the time, the companies that you find on sites such as Indeed are trustworthy, there are certain roles which are deliberately trying to mislead. The sad truth is that there are companies out there whom rely solely on exploiting graduates. Not just once they hire them but even during the interview process! The sham is often a sales role on the street which was packaged as a marketing position online. They will invite you in for an “assessment day” which will involve a full day of unpaid labour where you may be expected to stand on the street and selling products under the pretence of “impressing them” and winning the job.

You will probably be able to suss the situation once you turn up and they ask you to sign a dodgy contract. It might be that you realise “meeting clients in prime locations” actually means attempting to interrupt strangers on their trip to the shops. However, by then, unfortunately they have already wasted your time, destroyed your plans for the day and dented your job-hunting morale. Here is a handy checklist of what to consider when researching a company online which should make you question the company’s legitimacy.

What can you find about them online other than on their official site?

Visiting the company website is never enough. Make sure you check them out on social media, but even more importantly, look at Glassdoor. On Glassdoor there are independent reviews from employees and people who have been to the job interview already. Consider who each reviewer is. Even if many employees say that the company is great, if there are just a few former interviewees describing the company as dishonest about the job they are selling, this is cause for concern.

Is the time between you submitting an application and them reaching out to you unusually short?

If the company calls you up the day after you submitted an application, this suggests that they did not take very much time considering your suitability. How qualified you are may not be relevant to them because they are not offering you much. Or they may have an extremely high turnover rate because no one wants to work for them, so they need to get new workers in fast. Either way you may not want to work there.

Do they explain things thoroughly to you?

People who are pretending to be official will often hide behind unnecessary jargon. They may talk too quickly and rush you through the process. If you ask questions they may even try to intimidate you into giving it a rest by pretending to be insulted or surprised that you cannot fully understand. Don’t be put off, keep grilling until you have worked them out!

Is everything consistent?

Look out for little signs that things don’t completely add up. Perhaps what they say on the phone is different to what it is in the job ad. They may try to make the position seem more competitive than it is. Perhaps your interviewer is “thrilled” that you made it to the “next round” even though she is in charge of the recruitment process, and was the only one making the decisions on who to hire anyway! When a company tries to make themselves look bigger than they are, they may tell a variety of little lies and then let those little inconsistencies slip without realising.

It’s up to you

Sometimes there is not a clear line between a company that you should and shouldn’t trust. Companies may sit on a spectrum of legitimacy. They might offer you a job and a decent salary, it’s just that they weren’t exactly what they said they were. It is reasonable to be put off by any of these signs, but ultimately it is up to you to decide whether this company is worth your time. Have confidence and don’t under sell yourself to a company that doesn’t seem right. If you are bright enough to see through them, you can probably do better.

-Bondburry Recruitment Team

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