There is a strange trend popping out which suggest that your potential interviewer may steal your bright idea. Many IT companies be it start-ups or established player conducts false job interviews. They do it to capture some of the most promising ideas coming out of professionals who undergo interview. 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. 

Who are affected? Specially people who are expert in some new age technology where solutions are still worked upon like cloud, RPA, Analytics, iOT, Security etc. It has happened with me in past and recently happened with my friend who is a RPA expert. As per him companies call him for a discussion about suitable role, in that they ask for future of RPA, how to form strategy, Business proposal, RFP response etc. 

Why is it happening? IT industry is mostly unorganized, no standard, no process exists & there would be something new which keeps on popping. The rate of innovation is too much to keep up so people leverage existing ideas/ solutoins. In true sense IT Industry runs of Ideas and ideas can be taken from anywhere, 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.

Is there any legal framework available? 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.

One Comment

  1. David

    Based on personal idea, nearly all jobs asking you to do a test that involves spinning ideas are bogus and meant to steal your ideas. Sometimes copy writing or performance analysis tasks are for so as well. You are basically doing free work for them!

    Sometimes the questions are part of the job application process; some times they will send questions after job application before ever even talking to you (and likely never will); sometimes they will even set up a phone or in person interview to gain your trust or gather more information/knowledge, and then request you to do a case study. You believed they are truly interested in you, when they are only interested in your ideas for their use.

    It is pretty sick but VERY COMMON in growth and marketing field. So be aware of any jobs asking for information relating to the above mentioned areas. Make sure you ask questions to see if they are really hiring or ask them to pay you for doing the test.

    Some companies which have engaged in such practice include: JumpCut (online course startup through their Director of Growth & Acquisition role), TheVentury (startup growth agency from Vienna; Austria/Vinna is a con artist country fooling the whole world of how great they are when it is all lies. They will especially steal your ideas because they are a very closed country not even willing to give opportunities to Germans, not to mention other foreigners), even a PwC partner from Vinna tried to steal information while gamed about when they will meet the candidate…

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