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ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 11:41
A company contacted me via LinkedIn with a job opportunity - and said I needed to visit them for 3 days in Amsterdam, which was an intensive grilling from morning to nighttime by all members of staff. When I got home, they said congratulations we would like to offer you the job. But first we need you to come back for a further 4 days. I said no to this.
I requested the salary package, and they only gave a range, and said the salary level is dependent on how you complete a "little assignment".
On Monday this week, they sent me an email, with a demand - the "little assignment" - to outline a 12 month strategy for their retail client, with powerpoint slides, and marketing, technology, innovation recommendations - and that I had 4 days to complete it, and would need to then present it to them on Friday via Skype. I now realise they were planning to ambush me on that further 4 day visit that they requested. Well, I was travelling from Monday-Thursday (interviewing with other companies)...but I was pretty shocked at what they were expecting from me - considering I am well aware that they need to present a 12 month strategy to that very client in January - and I now feel that they just want me to do all the work for free. If I say no, I won't get the job. If I do it, they may steal all my ideas, and even use my powerpoints to present it all to their client, and I still risk not getting the job - and I risk being used for my strategic ideas.

I need a job, but I think it's an absolute cheek what they are asking me to do. I need to reply diplomatically - how would you respond to this? Would you do it? (work 4-5 days for no pay when you have a 16 year history in your field, and are a well recommended professional in your field?)

Thanks for your constructive thoughts.

NotAllThere
8th December 2016, 11:59
Tell them you are happy to come for the four days assessment, but only if they cover all your expenses, and pay you €1000 a day - on the basis that the work that you will be doing for them in those four days is of value to their company.

SussexSeagull
8th December 2016, 12:07
I wouldn't even worry about being polite. Tell them you are not interested.

eek
8th December 2016, 12:12
Tell them you are happy to come for the four days assessment, but only if they cover all your expenses, and pay you €1000 a day - on the basis that the work that you will be doing for them in those four days is of value to their company.

This - while you may be looking for a job as there is value for them in doing this work you want to receive appropriate recompense for the work and given that there is no job currently existing it has to be at your usual commercial rates for prioritized freelance work.

However they also seem to be utter cowboys so bill as much as you can and don't expect any job to appear at the end of it.

woohoo
8th December 2016, 12:16
Depends how desperate you are to take a punt like this. Sounds like they want free work, might pay off but I get the impression from your description that they are using you.

In the past I did a one day free assignment and it was a shitty place to work. I only did the free day because the agent dropped it on me last minute, never again.

SlipTheJab
8th December 2016, 12:22
They do sound a right dodgy bunch, i wouldn't do any more work for them unless they pay in advance as what guarantee have you got that they will pay you.

kaiser78
8th December 2016, 12:23
A company contacted me via LinkedIn with a job offer - and said I needed to visit them for 3 days in Amsterdam, which was an intensive grilling from morning to nighttime by all members of staff. When I got home, they said congratulations we would like to offer you the job. But first we need you to come back for a further 4 days. I said no to this.
I requested the salary package, and they only gave a range, and said the salary level is dependent on how you complete a "little assignment".



They contacted you with a job offer without speaking to you or interviewing - do you mean a job opportunity ?

I would politely say no as there are too many unknowns and hoops you are being expected to jump through.

vetran
8th December 2016, 12:23
Agree with NAT.

Thank them for their interest and your daily consultancy rates are 3-4 * normal daily + reasonable expenses.

I don't think its a job. Possibly if they are Gartner or Oracle they might be but I think they give a written plan for interviews. Did they pay expenses?

Forbes Welcome - the-25-companies-that-give-the-most-difficult-job-interviews (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/09/the-25-companies-that-give-the-most-difficult-job-interviews/#4a0bf785b764)

I had 4 interviews once for a job, they then tried to offer me (and a colleague who unknown to me who had applied as well) less money than we were currently earning, not impressed. If they want to offer you the job they should know what you are worth by now.

There are companies that screw you about.

OwlHoot
8th December 2016, 12:46
OTOH, if this was for a permie role were they one of these companies (https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/glassdoors-top-25-difficult-companies-interview-2013/) ?

vetran
8th December 2016, 12:49
OTOH, if this was for a permie role were they one of these companies (https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/glassdoors-top-25-difficult-companies-interview-2013/) ?

is there an echo in here?

OwlHoot
8th December 2016, 12:53
is there an echo in here?

DOH! Trying to do three things at once, and forgot where I had obtained the link! :emb

billybiro
8th December 2016, 12:59
Tell them you are happy to come for the four days assessment, but only if they cover all your expenses, and pay you €1000 a day - on the basis that the work that you will be doing for them in those four days is of value to their company.

This. Absolutely this.

Also, in any situation like this, I always like to "put the shoe on the other foot" so to speak and see how they react. So, let's say this client's business is to sell widgets*. Expensive widgets. I'd tell them that I'm interesting in becoming a customer of theirs, but first they need to supply me with a dozen "widgets". For FREE. I'll need them, for free, in order to test the quality before I can decide to become a customer of theirs. And they won't get the widgets back, either.

Nine times out of ten, the company would baulk at the very idea, but this is effectively what they're asking of you. If the company wouldn't give you something of value for nothing, then you shouldn't give them something for nothing either.

* = Of course, widgets could be anything. Not necessarily even a tangible product, but could be hours of service etc.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:05
Tell them you are happy to come for the four days assessment, but only if they cover all your expenses, and pay you €1000 a day - on the basis that the work that you will be doing for them in those four days is of value to their company.

Yes, when they requested the further 4 day trip, I said to them, "it's clear that you are still undecided about my skills - therefore, why don't we do a one month contract at an agreed day rate, and then you would have one entire month to assess my skills"? They said, "oh no, we're convinced about your skills, we don't need to do that."
My feeling is they just didn't want to pay 800 - 1000€ per day rate. Then a few days later, they dropped this "little assignment" on me.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:08
This - while you may be looking for a job as there is value for them in doing this work you want to receive appropriate recompense for the work and given that there is no job currently existing it has to be at your usual commercial rates for prioritized freelance work.

However they also seem to be utter cowboys so bill as much as you can and don't expect any job to appear at the end of it.

Yes, you're right. That's exactly the approach I'll take. Thank you.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:15
They contacted you with a job offer without speaking to you or interviewing - do you mean a job opportunity ?

I would politely say no as there are too many unknowns and hoops you are being expected to jump through.

Yes, you are right. Sorry, they contacted me with a job opportunity, and said they needed someone exactly like me. There is no job description, they would not give any indication about salary or package etc, until I said I can have no further discussions until they give an idea of the package. It's weird though, they tell me they have a policy of 100% visibility in the office - everyone gets to see what everyone else earns - so they said they have to be careful about what they pay me, because others might complain. They also sold it to me that in the Netherlands, there is a 30 percent ruling - which means all ex-pats pay 30% less tax. They said it's a huge benefit to me.
HOWEVER, they then said that because of the ruling, they would have to pay me 30% less than my previous salary, so that I would get the same net income. The only ones benefiting from the 30% is them!!!

I'm trying to find a new contract in the UK - I was contracting for 10+ years, but there seems to be nothing available - is it a slow time of year or has BREXIT wiped out all the contract work? I want to tell them to bugger off, but I'm worried I might not find anything else...

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:27
Agree with NAT.

Thank them for their interest and your daily consultancy rates are 3-4 * normal daily + reasonable expenses.

I don't think its a job. Possibly if they are Gartner or Oracle they might be but I think they give a written plan for interviews. Did they pay expenses?

Forbes Welcome - the-25-companies-that-give-the-most-difficult-job-interviews (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/09/the-25-companies-that-give-the-most-difficult-job-interviews/#4a0bf785b764)

I had 4 interviews once for a job, they then tried to offer me (and a colleague who unknown to me who had applied as well) less money than we were currently earning, not impressed. If they want to offer you the job they should know what you are worth by now.

There are companies that screw you about.

Yes, they paid expenses for me to go there for the three days. They are a small company, fairly unknown. They made it clear that they are very technically focused and they don't have anyone who could do the strategic client work for their retail clients. One of the employees over lunch one day told me that in January they have to do this big strategic piece for their client.
Then, coincidentally I get the request to create this strategic plan for this client. I wonder if they even know that their employee told me this work is due in January. I did like them but all of this has put me off - including their demand that I go for a further 4 days, I mean how long does it take to decide if you want someone to join your company or not? Normally 2-3 one hour interviews are ample. Not 3 days of intensive interviewing, plus personal assessments over evening dinners and at lunch etc.

That's a pee-take regarding your 4 interview experience - what a waste of your time when they offered you less than you were earning!!! Ridiculous!!

And yeah, I've heard before of consultants being asked to come for an interview, and they try to get your recommendations and advice, when in fact no job exists - they just wanted the free advice.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:31
OTOH, if this was for a permie role were they one of these companies (https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/glassdoors-top-25-difficult-companies-interview-2013/) ?

no - not one of these, but I have met some of these companies before, and wouldn't say they're more difficult than the next company...
This company in question is just a small consultancy, not known at all, but trying to build their name.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:32
is there an echo in here?

haha yes, there is!

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:33
This. Absolutely this.

Also, in any situation like this, I always like to "put the shoe on the other foot" so to speak and see how they react. So, let's say this client's business is to sell widgets*. Expensive widgets. I'd tell them that I'm interesting in becoming a customer of theirs, but first they need to supply me with a dozen "widgets". For FREE. I'll need them, for free, in order to test the quality before I can decide to become a customer of theirs. And they won't get the widgets back, either.

Nine times out of ten, the company would baulk at the very idea, but this is effectively what they're asking of you. If the company wouldn't give you something of value for nothing, then you shouldn't give them something for nothing either.

* = Of course, widgets could be anything. Not necessarily even a tangible product, but could be hours of service etc.

Yes, you're absolutely right, thanks for your response :)

kaiser78
8th December 2016, 13:36
Yes, you are right. Sorry, they contacted me with a job opportunity, and said they needed someone exactly like me. There is no job description, they would not give any indication about salary or package etc, until I said I can have no further discussions until they give an idea of the package. It's weird though, they tell me they have a policy of 100% visibility in the office - everyone gets to see what everyone else earns - so they said they have to be careful about what they pay me, because others might complain. They also sold it to me that in the Netherlands, there is a 30 percent ruling - which means all ex-pats pay 30% less tax. They said it's a huge benefit to me.
HOWEVER, they then said that because of the ruling, they would have to pay me 30% less than my previous salary, so that I would get the same net income. The only ones benefiting from the 30% is them!!!

I'm trying to find a new contract in the UK - I was contracting for 10+ years, but there seems to be nothing available - is it a slow time of year or has BREXIT wiped out all the contract work? I want to tell them to bugger off, but I'm worried I might not find anything else...

This time of year is always quiet for obvious reasons and should ramp up in the new year. BREXIT has had no direct impact on contract work(imho), although the market was slow in Sept/Oct and picked up a lot during last month. What I would say is don't force the job (I have made that mistake before), make sure you find what is right for you.

ChimpMaster
8th December 2016, 13:37
You have to think about whether you'd want to work for this consultancy on a permanent basis, considering how you already feel about them and how they're treating you.

Their uncouth recruitment process seems to depend to them winning this contract in January. Like many consultancies, they will hire and fire as and when they win/lose/finish client projects.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:46
OK, I've written to them, and said that I am fully aware that they need to do the strategic planning for the retail client in January, and I find it quite extraordinary that they've asked me to do this work as part of an interview process. I've also said I'd love to get involved in this strategic planning and drive it forward, but it would need to be a paid assignment at an agreed day rate, plus expenses with a written contract in place.

So, does the UK contract market seem a bit crap at the moment? A few months ago, pre-referendum, I would do a jobserve search and get about 30-80 relevant hits. Now I get 6, and they are not even my skill set.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:47
You have to think about whether you'd want to work for this consultancy on a permanent basis, considering how you already feel about them and how they're treating you.

Their uncouth recruitment process seems to depend to them winning this contract in January. Like many consultancies, they will hire and fire as and when they win/lose/finish client projects.

Yes that is a good point ChimpMaster, they do hire and fire according to winning / losing contracts - I hadn't thought about that. Cheers.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 13:52
This time of year is always quiet for obvious reasons and should ramp up in the new year. BREXIT has had no direct impact on contract work(imho), although the market was slow in Sept/Oct and picked up a lot during last month. What I would say is don't force the job (I have made that mistake before), make sure you find what is right for you.

Yes, you are right about not forcing it. I absolutely want the right job. It's just annoying that their delays and tactics have taken me from mid-November into almost mid-December, right into a downtime in the market. I was gutted yesterday, I went for a freelance consultant role at a major UK retailer on Tuesday, and I just heard I didn't get it. I was hoping I'd be able to tell the Amsterdam job to take a hike based on a new well paid contract...but it didn't work out that way sadly. Thanks for the update on the market conditions, that is helpful to know.

GB9
8th December 2016, 13:57
OK, I've written to them, and said that I am fully aware that they need to do the strategic planning for the retail client in January, and I find it quite extraordinary that they've asked me to do this work as part of an interview process. I've also said I'd love to get involved in this strategic planning and drive it forward, but it would need to be a paid assignment at an agreed day rate, plus expenses with a written contract in place.

So, does the UK contract market seem a bit crap at the moment? A few months ago, pre-referendum, I would do a jobserve search and get about 30-80 relevant hits. Now I get 6, and they are not even my skill set.

On a pure like for like basis there are approx 2,000 more jobs on jobserve than in April. No idea if your market is good or not. Jobserve isn't the only site these days.

p.s. I would tell your prospective clients to sod off, after I had stopped laughing of course.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 14:07
On a pure like for like basis there are approx 2,000 more jobs on jobserve than in April. No idea if your market is good or not. Jobserve isn't the only site these days.

p.s. I would tell your prospective clients to sod off, after I had stopped laughing of course.

"2000 more jobs" right now in Dec - compared with April you mean? I've been looking at Jobserve and CWJobs... are there any other good ones that you'd recommend? I've been out of the UK for 2.5 years, so any tips would be helpful :)

GB9
8th December 2016, 14:28
"2000 more jobs" right now in Dec - compared with April you mean? I've been looking at Jobserve and CWJobs... are there any other good ones that you'd recommend? I've been out of the UK for 2.5 years, so any tips would be helpful :)

The only reason I know the stat. above is that I had a quick look back then before taking current contract, (hence April rather than any other time). .

I always look at the total of jobs as a comparative for how the market is although many of that number are duplicate / triplicate. The highest I have seen on jobserve is 41k. The lowest is 11k.

No idea about your industry but as long as it isn't SAS then you should be fine, at least in the NY.

ChimpMaster
8th December 2016, 14:29
"2000 more jobs" right now in Dec - compared with April you mean? I've been looking at Jobserve and CWJobs... are there any other good ones that you'd recommend? I've been out of the UK for 2.5 years, so any tips would be helpful :)

Indeed is a good one.

I also feel the market is very quiet. I was getting bombarded with decent permie jobs this past spring/summer - jobs that I would have been tempted for had I not been in a contract - and then since August it just went dead. Pretty much completely dead.

Not that I'm looking but it's always nice to know there's stuff out there.

PurpleGorilla
8th December 2016, 14:31
Mate why are you even still talking to this bunch of sharks!

LondonManc
8th December 2016, 14:39
Yes, they paid expenses for me to go there for the three days. They are a small company, fairly unknown. They made it clear that they are very technically focused and they don't have anyone who could do the strategic client work for their retail clients. One of the employees over lunch one day told me that in January they have to do this big strategic piece for their client.
Then, coincidentally I get the request to create this strategic plan for this client. I wonder if they even know that their employee told me this work is due in January. I did like them but all of this has put me off - including their demand that I go for a further 4 days, I mean how long does it take to decide if you want someone to join your company or not? Normally 2-3 one hour interviews are ample. Not 3 days of intensive interviewing, plus personal assessments over evening dinners and at lunch etc.

That's a pee-take regarding your 4 interview experience - what a waste of your time when they offered you less than you were earning!!! Ridiculous!!

And yeah, I've heard before of consultants being asked to come for an interview, and they try to get your recommendations and advice, when in fact no job exists - they just wanted the free advice.

It sounds like you've got them over a barrel and they're slowly starting to realise it.

Stand your ground and wait for the money offer. Do not travel, do not pass go, do not collect unwanted grey hairs.

ECommerceConsultant
8th December 2016, 19:05
Indeed is a good one.

I also feel the market is very quiet. I was getting bombarded with decent permie jobs this past spring/summer - jobs that I would have been tempted for had I not been in a contract - and then since August it just went dead. Pretty much completely dead.

Not that I'm looking but it's always nice to know there's stuff out there.

Thanks I will take a look at "Indeed". Yeah the market seems dead to me.

cojak
8th December 2016, 20:48
Yes, they paid expenses for me to go there for the three days. They are a small company, fairly unknown. They made it clear that they are very technically focused and they don't have anyone who could do the strategic client work for their retail clients. One of the employees over lunch one day told me that in January they have to do this big strategic piece for their client.
Then, coincidentally I get the request to create this strategic plan for this client. I wonder if they even know that their employee told me this work is due in January. I did like them but all of this has put me off - including their demand that I go for a further 4 days, I mean how long does it take to decide if you want someone to join your company or not? Normally 2-3 one hour interviews are ample. Not 3 days of intensive interviewing, plus personal assessments over evening dinners and at lunch etc.

That's a pee-take regarding your 4 interview experience - what a waste of your time when they offered you less than you were earning!!! Ridiculous!!

And yeah, I've heard before of consultants being asked to come for an interview, and they try to get your recommendations and advice, when in fact no job exists - they just wanted the free advice.

I'm sorry ECC because I know you really want a contract, but do you realise how desperate you are coming across in these posts?

Re-read your posts as if someone else had written them. If you are a strategic consultant who deals with C-execs, you can see that this little outfit is playing you like a violin.

How would YOU advise the OP?

Scruff
8th December 2016, 21:45
I'm sorry ECC because I know you really want a contract, but do you realise how desperate you are coming across in these posts?

Re-read your posts as if someone else had written them. If you are a strategic consultant who deals with C-execs, you can see that this little outfit is playing you like a violin.

How would YOU advise the OP?

Tell them to go F... themselves 💲💲💲

Mordac
8th December 2016, 23:22
A company contacted me via LinkedIn with a job opportunity - and said I needed to visit them for 3 days in Amsterdam, which was an intensive grilling from morning to nighttime by all members of staff. When I got home, they said congratulations we would like to offer you the job. But first we need you to come back for a further 4 days. I said no to this.
I requested the salary package, and they only gave a range, and said the salary level is dependent on how you complete a "little assignment".
On Monday this week, they sent me an email, with a demand - the "little assignment" - to outline a 12 month strategy for their retail client, with powerpoint slides, and marketing, technology, innovation recommendations - and that I had 4 days to complete it, and would need to then present it to them on Friday via Skype. I now realise they were planning to ambush me on that further 4 day visit that they requested. Well, I was travelling from Monday-Thursday (interviewing with other companies)...but I was pretty shocked at what they were expecting from me - considering I am well aware that they need to present a 12 month strategy to that very client in January - and I now feel that they just want me to do all the work for free. If I say no, I won't get the job. If I do it, they may steal all my ideas, and even use my powerpoints to present it all to their client, and I still risk not getting the job - and I risk being used for my strategic ideas.

I need a job, but I think it's an absolute cheek what they are asking me to do. I need to reply diplomatically - how would you respond to this? Would you do it? (work 4-5 days for no pay when you have a 16 year history in your field, and are a well recommended professional in your field?)

Thanks for your constructive thoughts.

Personally, I would tell them to do one. They are trying to get an intern by the back door. I don't mind doing a days consultancy on the very cheap, provided it's all agreed up front, and there is an understanding that any future work is properly valued. Tell them to get stuffed.