job offer

I Once Had a Fake Interview and Accepted a Fake Job Offer

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Job Search Horror Story

This might be the mother of all of my job search horror stories. 

Back in 2017, I was nearing the end of my contract with a prominent NYC Bank as a QA Analyst and I was super anxious to pick-up another role that would start directly after that one so I didn’t have any gaps in employment. 

I took a few interviews, and one actually led to an in-person that was supposed to be for Sirius radio. I was mildly interested in Sirius having been a customer for 2 years back in 2009/10. I also felt like I needed to close something quick, so I couldn’t be too picky with my next role. 

The interview was set-up through a recruiting firm so I believed that all of the sources were credible. But boy was I in for a rude awakening. 

The Interview

I was told a few days before the interview that I was to meet the Hiring Manager, who I had previously spoken with on the phone, at a diner close to the Sirius HQ. At first I thought maybe this guy just likes to be extra casual when conducting interviews and didn’t find anything strange about it. 

Inappropriate Stories

I arrived at the diner on time and met the gentlemen in a booth. I ordered some food which I think he paid for and we started to talk about the role and the company. Our conversation went fairly well, but he brought up some inappropriate stories including one where they caught a programmer watching porn on the job. I thought the manager was just being friendly, and being that he knew a lot about the company, I quickly moved past it and kept interviewing as I normally would. 

The Offer

The conversation lasted pretty long, and when I walked out of the diner, I was confident that I’d get an offer. And I was right. Just a few days later, the recruiter called me and told me that they wanted to make me a formal offer. One day after that, he sent over the paperwork for me to get started and he even told me when my first day would be. I was ecstatic after months of worrying about being out of a job again. 

I told my mom, my wife who was my girlfriend at the time, and my boss who had to end my contract a few weeks early in order to let me start the other role on time. My wife even took me out for a nice dinner to celebrate. It seemed like everything was lining up perfectly. But I was about to have my hopes crushed after a long investigation. 

The week before I was supposed to start I received a call from the recruiter telling me that the job had been canceled. At first I didn’t know how to react. He also told me that he’d let me know if anything changed. I was devastated. But I also knew something was fishy about this whole situation. How do you tell someone just a week before that the job had been canceled? So I reached out to Sirius to get more information. 

The Investigation

I spoke to a few different managers at Sirius who ended up telling me that this role I had interviewed for never existed. I also told them about my interview in a diner. They said that would never happen based on their company policy and that all interviews are normally held in their building. I was still upset at this point, but happy that I was getting some answers. 

It Was all Staged!

I called my recruiter back and told him this information. He was understandably shocked by it and started doing his own investigating. I forgot about the matter for a few weeks and decided to reach out to the recruiter once again to see if he found anything. 

It turns out, this person that I spoke with was let go from the company for conducting fake interviews and offering fake jobs in order to juke his numbers. That’s right, he would basically conduct interviews for jobs that didn’t exist, and then earn commission for recruiting a candidate. And in order to keep the candidate quiet, he would pretend that the role was canceled, which is a rare, but sometimes accurate occurrence with jobs. 

I was still upset about not getting the job, but I felt vindicated with my investigation. I whole ordeal was a complete waste of time and my wife and I still joke about it to this day. 

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