No one would ever imagine that companies would conduct interviews for nonexistent jobs, but they do. One employer admitted to interviewing candidates a few times each year for nonexistent jobs so they could get ideas from them. Employers are seeking free advice and ideas from candidates that are completely unaware that their time is being wasted. Don’t let yourself be one of these poor unsuspecting job seekers. Here are the 5 signs you should look out for that indicate it is an interview for a nonexistent position.
1. The questions from the interviewer are very detailed, and then they take notes on what you say in response to the questions. While it is normal for them to take some notes, they should be more interested in listening to you than the exact words you say. An example that something is not right is if you make a general statement along the lines of “We evaluated wholesalers and chose ABC Inc.” and the interviewer asks “Why did you choose that wholesaler – in detail?” Then when you turn around and ask them questions about the company’s plan for such situations, they will likely change the subject.
2. The interviewer has no problem “picking your brain” on the things you have expertise in. They do not share much information in return about the job. They are purely focused on the details of the things you know and do.
3. When you ask the interviewer questions about the remainder of the interview process they do not give any clear answers. You may inquire about who else will be involved in the interview or when the position is expected to be filled, but get vague answers that don’t make sense in response.
4. The interviewer is eager and willing to spend a lot of time meeting with you, holding several interviews where they take extensive notes on every word you say. However, they provide no information on the job you are supposedly applying for.
5. Now that the interviewer has collected all the information from you that they need, they stop calling you for additional interviews or returning your inquiries about the status of the position. You may eventually get a response of “The position has been put on hold.”
So how do you avoid giving them all the free advice while still performing well during the interview? Give less detailed step-by-step instructions that could solve their problem and instead turn the table on them. Ask them to provide you with more information about the company’s needs so that you can tailor your answers to their needs and not your former/current company’s needs. If you understand the interviewing company’s needs, then you can focus on how you would address their needs if hired.
For more information about interviews, please see the following articles:
- The Best Way to Prepare for a Job Search and Interviews
- How to Talk About Other Interviews in Your Interviews
- Employers Want to Hire You
- How to Answer the Tell Me about Yourself Interview Question
- Six Common Job-Interview Questions