Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The Employment Scam - 1st Interview

This blog post is part 2 of a series. Part 1, “Forewarned is Forearmed” can be found here: https://www.blacksgonegeek.org/2022/02/forewarned-is-forearmed.html

The interview seemed like a normal interview. I had one the previous week for a remote job at a start-up company. That one was on Zoom. I went through the same process with this job. I found a job I liked posted on a reputable employment website. I went through the steps and submitted an application for it. I waited to be selected for an interview. I received a message from the employment website notifying me that someone had an interest in my application and that I should expect an interview. I received the interview request as a calendar entry. Early Monday morning I met with the CEO of the company. I was impressed. I had worked with small businesses before in my BGG Consulting Services business. 

I checked out the prospective employer’s website. I noticed a couple of  typos, but nothing major. It looked like the website needed some attention, but that is what I expected for a company that was looking to hire so many people. Yes, that’s right, I found over 50 job postings at the same company but didn’t think much of it. 

I was excited and looking forward to the interview. I received a call to my cell phone right on time. The CEO explained their situation. They had 10,000 employees. It was a family owned business that had been around for over 20 years. They had just bought a subsidiary company that was coming out of probate from another family and they needed help to refresh the web pages and connect with social media to promote their business. I aced the interview. The CEO said that I should expect to hear from their HR manager later in the week. We didn’t talk money. We didn’t talk start date. It was more like a “meet and greet” and a chance for me to sell myself. 

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Here is what I can see looking back at the situation. The only research I did on the company was looking at their website. I didn’t spend too much time delving into the company background for a first interview. It was early Monday morning. I didn’t want to waste the CEO’s time asking questions. I had taken contractor jobs in the past after a similar one-time meeting. Nothing seemed unusual except the email came from a gmail account, not from a custom domain name. This, in and of itself wasn’t that big a deal. I had an interview at another company the week before and they used a gmail account too. But shouldn’t a CEO from a company with 10,000 employees use a custom domain? 

The number of job postings seemed unusual but the CEO explained the situation. The company was changing hands and needed a fresh set employees. They had a loyal customer base and they needed back office employees to run the company. And he gave me the name of their holding company which looked legit when I found their website (except for another typo, LOL). 

The CEO didn’t talk about revenue, number of customers, brick and mortar offices or anything concrete. I didn’t think much of it. This was a remote job and they were accommodating my preference to work from home. I could tell from their website that they offered cleaning services in all 5 states and he confirmed that they had hundreds of independent housekeepers from around the country. 

I expected that the follow-up interview that would answer detailed questions like this. I expected an interview to quiz me for the job. So I took this first interview at face value and kept posting for other jobs. Rejection letters started coming in. ☹

Thank you for applying for the position of ABC with XYZ Corporation. While your background and experience are impressive, we have decided to pursue candidates whose qualifications are more closely aligned with the needs of the position.

I started to second guess my employability. Had I been out of the job market for too long? Was I too old to go back to work? Did I really want a full-time job? The roller coaster of emotions started kicking in. Seeing a job that looks like a perfect fit. Dusting off my resume and applying for the job. Seeing a confirmation message that my application was accepted and then waiting, waiting, waiting. 

The CEO said I should hear from their HR manager in a day or two. It was a long week and I heard nothing. Then I got an offer letter late on Friday. I was ecstatic and elated. I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face when I showed it to my wife. You won’t believe what happened next.

To be continued…

Milton Haynes

Past National BDPA President

Founder, Blacks Gone Geek

Join The Blacks Gone Geek Community

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