Author Topic: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?  (Read 1339 times)

Duke03

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Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« on: February 04, 2020, 12:53:25 PM »
I got an interesting phone call two weeks ago.  The CEO of a smaller company called me and wanted to have a chit chat.  I've spoken with this man a handful of times in the past 5 years because my company and his loosely do a little business together.  In the past when we spoke he wasn't the CEO.  He asked if I'd be interested in flying out to the east coast and spending a few days with his organization.  I asked what this was about and he claimed that he just wanted to get to know me better and hoped that I wanted to get to know him and his company a bit better.  I took the bait and said sure. 

Of course bells start going off in my head that this is a job interview that I did not apply for or was seeking, but hey why not right.  Here is where things get a little weird.  They have booked me first class and are covering all travel, meals, incidentals, ect  He also claimed that he wanted to pay me for my time.  As a high income earner I was surprised at the first number he threw out because he's doing exactly what he claimed to do and is paying me for my time plus a little extra.  I'm not 100% this is a job interview or that he will even offer me a job, but if he did I'm not sure they can afford me.....   I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but I'm currently very well paid and live in a LCOL area.  Granted if he allowed me to work from home my number is way less than if he expects me to move to the East Coast.  My question is.  Is it immoral to take this trip knowing that he probably can't afford to pay me my number or should I go and see what this is all about?

RWD

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2020, 12:55:59 PM »
My question is.  Is it immoral to take this trip knowing that he probably can't afford to pay me my number or should I go and see what this is all about?

No, you don't know that for sure until you go and get the details. Maybe they can afford to pay you more than you think.

JoJo

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2020, 02:17:22 PM »
This sounds like quasi-consulting.  Be careful with sharing any secrets or anti-trust issues.

mozar

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 02:44:19 PM »
This sounds more like he is looking for company secrets.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2020, 03:03:45 PM »
Sexual attraction?

solon

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2020, 04:19:00 PM »
No, it's not immoral. Go and find out what they want. But keep your guard up. All the other theories that have been proposed so far are valid concerns.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2020, 07:56:29 PM »
Sounds more like consulting offer than a job offer, absolutely go.

tawyer

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2020, 09:55:30 PM »
Not immoral, but as others have said, seems like consulting more than a job interview.

You say his company does business with yours... how is it going to look later on if you both stay at your respective companies, and if he tells anyone at your company that he paid you for some of your time?

I think all employment contracts I have ever signed have had some clause that prevents me engaging in activities that could be perceived at competitive. With the information you have shared, I would consider it as such.

Gremlin

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2020, 10:07:51 PM »
If it IS a consulting arrangement, then:

1.  Make sure you are allowed to engage on such terms with your current terms of employment.  You could very quickly find yourself out of a job with your current employer.

2.  Make sure you're compensated appropriately.  I know that if I were to do some short term work on a consulting basis, I'd be remunerated well more than "my salary plus a small margin".  More like a multiple of my salaried hourly rate.  Your industry may be different, but this guy could just be looking for some high value consulting at a bargain basement price.

Finally, I wouldn't hop on a plane without knowing what they are expecting from you.  If it's consulting, then they should be upfront.  If they are looking at possible fit for a recruitment opportunity, again they should be upfront.  If they aren't prepared to elaborate, then I'd run a mile because there are a range of things it could be that have the potential to leave you in a very difficult situation.


ChickenStash

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2020, 10:01:32 AM »
I'd not be so certain about "knowing" that they can't afford to cover the salary. My last job hunting escapade included an HR person telling me that they would never get close to my asking salary and warning me about wasting my time interviewing. I went anyway and they magically found the money to make me an acceptable offer (I work there now).

Never been paid to interview, though. That's neat. I've had travel/expenses covered when one flew me out to interview but they didn't cover the time.

Rosy

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2020, 10:26:04 AM »
In my past line of work it was not unusual at all to be compensated for interview time and expenses.
However, I am surprised that this new CEO is being so cagey and unclear about what his purpose and true expectations are.

Immoral? why would you even think that? This is a business transaction.
Can't meet your current salary? I doubt that.

Don't assume anything, be open-minded and ready to negotiate, remember that almost anything can be negotiated to suit both parties.
Your skills and reputation are valuable capital, use it to your best advantage.
Good Luck!

use2betrix

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2020, 03:49:53 PM »
As others mentioned - I would really make sure there are no conflicting interests with your current company. I do find it a bit odd that there is no “topic” for the visit?

I wouldn’t think twice about accepting what he has offered, but I would be a bit concerned that he could start requesting confidential information. It’s important to consider whether they are a competitor, or just another company that your company does business with.

I see 3 outcomes in no particular order:
1. It’s actually a job interview
2. They want company secrets/info
3. He’s just a really friendly guy and would like some consulting/opinion on their company

You may want to just reach out for a bit more clarification on the purpose.

Malkynn

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2020, 03:54:23 PM »
I'm sorry, but WTF?

He's offering all of this travel and money, but it's not even clear what he's trying to bring you out for?

Regardless of your industry, that's fucking weird.

ETA: paid interviews are not uncommon in my industry, but the people being interviewed know exactly what job they are being paid to interview for.

Duke03

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2020, 07:33:35 PM »
Thanks for all the replies and insight.  All he's asked of me is to familiarize myself with one the products his company makes. It's a niche product, but just so happens I know it forwards and backwards. I work for a mega corp and they have a strange/weird set up where they actually encourage employees to go work for certain suppliers ect…  I've seen employees leave to go work for a select group of suppliers and then come back to mega corp years later to step right back into their previous rolls.  You can look them up in our company directory and they are listed as inactive employees. 

obstinate

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Re: Has anyone been paid to go on a job interview?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2020, 05:07:49 PM »
Something like this sort of did happen to me once. It was definitely a job interview, and I was paid. I worked with the team from about 10 am until about 2 am. They paid me a decent consulting fee for the time. Later, it seemed like maybe they wanted to hire me but they were cagey about how much the comp was going to be and wanted a commitment from me before expanding on that question.

That made no sense to me. Plus at the time I was newly married and the thought of passing out from exhaustion in the office vs. going home to my wife and our bed made the decision easy. I stopped talking to them. They eventually got acquired although I don't know how much the deal was for or what I would have stood to gain from the transaction (since they never told me).

In any case. If he's paying he should presumably have a sense that you are not all in. Nothing immoral about taking the trip. Nothing immoral about refusing either. But it sounds like an adventure. Go for it.