Caught interviewing and asked to leave

Anonymous Monkey's picture
Anonymous Monkey

Hey everyone,

My interviewer met up with my boss at a networking event and long story short the interviewer revealed I was interviewing at his firm.

My firm is likely to ask me to leave as they are very unhappy about it. Just wondering, how do you guys go about your job search to protect yourself from such instances? This seems like pure bad luck that can't be prevented but happy to hear any thoughts.

ty

Comments (91)

Most Helpful
Jun 27, 2018

My thought is, why did that interviewer rat on you to your boss? Bad form by that guy, really bad form.

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Jun 27, 2018
bfd:

My thought is, why did that interviewer rat on you to your boss? Bad form by that guy, really bad form.

interested myself.

Jun 27, 2018
bfd:

My thought is, why did that interviewer rat on you to your boss? Bad form by that guy, really bad form.

I'm curious if there are employment laws against this. I guess I've never thought about it since it's in such horrible form to rat out a job candidate that it rarely happens.

Jun 27, 2018
real_Skankhunt42:
bfd:

My thought is, why did that interviewer rat on you to your boss? Bad form by that guy, really bad form.

I'm curious if there are employment laws against this. I guess I've never thought about it since it's in such horrible form to rat out a job candidate that it rarely happens.

No laws, but in the land of the free and home of the lawsuit; this could easily be grounds for punitive damages, pain and suffering, and reimbursed legal expenses.

I worked at a place where a person of a certain race was let go with cause. That person claimed discrimination with racial slurs being spoken. Despite the fact all of this was false; internal legal motioned to settle to just keep the noise down.

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Jun 28, 2018
bfd:

My thought is, why did that interviewer rat on you to your boss? Bad form by that guy, really bad form.

This. Sue the bastard. Thats some real scumbag shit on the part of the interviewer.

Unfortunately, for you and your employer, it would appear that he doesn't value you very much. Whether that's justified or not is for you to decide, but if I were you, I wouldn't want to work there any longer regardless of what happens.

    • 1
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Jun 28, 2018

If you are fired I genuinely think you have reason and cause to seek damages. There at epeivacy rules regarding this I am sure and t is absolutely wrong for this guy to have said anything to anyone, especially your boss.

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Jul 6, 2018

Totally agree. I would not want to work for that firm anymore based on that type of behavior. The second the interviewer realized your boss was from the same firm he should have been tight-lipped about it.

Jun 27, 2018

Most interviewers use their common sense and realize they should probably not mention that their target is looking for a job when talking to said target's boss.

However, situations like yours can happen - small world. Could've been in the same analyst class, could have been friends in college, their kids might play on the same basketball team etc..He probably wanted some intel on you before offering you the position.

For future reference though, if you don't want your current firm to know you're looking for opportunities, you need to always tell the recruiter/interviewer that you want it kept confidential.

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Jun 27, 2018
buzzkillington:

Most interviewers use their common sense and realize they should probably not mention that their target is looking for a job when talking to said target's boss.

However, situations like yours can happen - small world. Could've been in the same analyst class, could have been friends in college, their kids might play on the same basketball team etc..He probably wanted some intel on you before offering you the position.

For future reference though, if you don't want your current firm to know you're looking for opportunities, you need to always tell the recruiter/interviewer that you want it kept confidential.

Yes that's a good point. We should all bear this in mind. Good luck to the OP in the future.

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Jun 28, 2018

This happened to me once with a top BB firm... interviewer was frat bros with my boss and while my boss never brought it up, he did fwd me an email that his friend (my interviewer) sent him that was industry-related, no way it was a coincidence.

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Jul 18, 2018

@Detox15, just to be candid, FT recruiting this year is going to be very tough, if not impossible, because of how the markets are. You should focus 100% of your energy into getting a return offer. Without a return offer, you might be SOL given the market conditions and the fact that almost all FT interviews start with "Did you get a return offer?"

That being said, no one will find out. Send out your emails with your personal email and take informational interview calls when you have down time. No one you network with is going to email your current firm. Good luck.

Jun 27, 2018

Wow, that interviewer really owes you a job now.

Jun 27, 2018
MichaelScarn:

Wow, that interviewer really owes you a job now.

So OP, did you get the job?

Jun 27, 2018

That guy's such an a-hole!

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Jun 27, 2018

Do hiring managers really go to "networking events"?

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Jun 27, 2018
GoldenCinderblock:

Do hiring managers really go to "networking events"?

haha yeah my thoughts exactly. How could that be.

Jun 27, 2018

Damn that's just a stroke of bad luck. Sorry to hear it, dude. It's a shame how bad things are with respect to labor supply that a manager feels confident stomping around like that.

Jun 27, 2018

Companies should be willing to let workers interview with who ever they want and if you get an offer they can either give you a better offer or just deal with it. Companies should also be willing to let their workers know of other opportunities that their employees might be interested in.

Funniest
Jun 27, 2018

I was once suspected of interviewing elsewhere (I wasn't) and bluntly confronted with, "Are you interviewing at other places?"

Coffee had yet to kick in so I scowled and said, "Should I be!?"

I quit about a month later anyway when a competitor tapped me.

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Jul 6, 2018

Reminds me of my boss at a former company... he asked me why I recently spruced up my LinkedIn profile and whether that meant I was looking for a new job. I told him it was none of his damn business. Left the company a month later. lol

Jun 28, 2018

This sucks and there isn't much you can do here. But I'd take two steps:

  1. Make it clear your boss doesn't know you're looking in any future interview, and request that they not contact your firm. If they push back, you can agree that they can call after you've accepted an offer but must check with you first.
  2. There's no point in sueing or making a huge public deal out of it, you'll come out looking bad too, and they haven't done anything illegal, just crappy. However, I would ABSOLUTELY reach out to this person's superiors and HR department to let them know both that they informed your boss that you were job hunting and that it directly led to your job loss. Do it professionally, maybe they have somewhere else they can refer you to. But more importantly, this person needs to be disciplined internally so that this issue doesn't occur with other future candidates.
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Jun 27, 2018
BreakingOutOfPWM:

This sucks and there isn't much you can do here. But I'd take two steps:

  1. Make it clear your boss doesn't know you're looking in any future interview, and request that they not contact your firm. If they push back, you can agree that they can call after you've accepted an offer but must check with you first.
  2. There's no point in sueing or making a huge public deal out of it, you'll come out looking bad too, and they haven't done anything illegal, just crappy. However, I would ABSOLUTELY reach out to this person's superiors and HR department to let them know both that they informed your boss that you were job hunting and that it directly led to your job loss. Do it professionally, maybe they have somewhere else they can refer you to. But more importantly, this person needs to be disciplined internally so that this issue doesn't occur with other future candidates.

Something doesn't have to be illegal for you to sue. In fact, that's what most litigation is surrounding--non-criminal and very much legal activity. If the OP gets fired he likely won't be able to brush himself off and move on to the next industry job. That's not how this business works. He will almost certainly suffer real, actual financial losses.

Jun 28, 2018

Fair point. However, I'd be surprised if there is precedent to collect here unless you've told them they can't contact your company. OP is still probably better off contacting HR etc first; they might bend over backwards to help him out in this situation, and the results might be better than a lawsuit (which also becomes public).

Jul 9, 2018

Regarding #2, just threatening to sue might be enough to get them to settle. This obviously depends on how much you'd sue for, and how large the firm is, but there's a good enough chance that they'd decide that it isn't worth the time and legal fees to fight you in court.

Jun 28, 2018

If you're part of a 2 year program, I don't think it's unfair to approach your boss and try to explain to him in a friendly, mollifying way that just because you're interviewing elsewhere does not mean that you intend to shirk your duties at your current firm.

Even if not part of a 2 year program, I again don't think it's unfair to approach your boss and explain that you were interviewing to "stay fresh"/"keep in practice", or because it "seemed like an interesting opportunity and I wanted to hear more".

I have never had a prick boss so perhaps I don't understand how it is. But personally, I have never been too guarded about the fact that I'm looking when I'm looking. There is no shame in wanting better things for yourself as long as your employer feels that you are still delivering on a day-to-day basis, and feels that you will not screw them over by leaving without transitioning matters. It's a soft skills thing, but if you are good enough at what you do and well-respected enough, I don't think your boss' incentives would be to fire you. That causes more disruption than keeping you on while he finds a replacement.

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Jun 28, 2018

If you really want to stay, you need to impart that you looked around out of curiosity and it just affirmed your desire to be where you already are.

Also, if you didn't know this, don't quit under pressure. Make them fire you. Unemployment/severance/ etc all are void if you quit. There's really no downside to making them pull the trigger first.

Jun 28, 2018

If you are an "at will" employee, you are legally allowed to interview elsewhere while at your current firm

Jun 28, 2018

Document all correspondence with the prospective company. Speak with an labor attorney. That shit is out of bounds. The only plausible scenario I can think of how this came about is the manager said "I work for x". and prospective company replied "Some great people over there, I met with Y recently" without realizing its your manager.

If it was deliberate, you may have a case.

This has happened to me once as well. The CEO of my medium sized company found out I was interviewing with a competitor and my boss called me one day after work to let me know. My reply was "ok, so what does this mean?". They were just trying to intimidate a young kid.

These things get pretty murky but once an org knows you're looking or you yourself mentally start focusing on new opps, it's best to see it through.

Jun 28, 2018

wcfever you interviewed with a dickweed...a tumbling tumbling dickweed.

Jun 28, 2018

1) you are allowed to interview and see what opportunities are available for you out in the market, and you should be able to say this without fear of being fired, so long as it does not interfere with your current job performance. (i'm aware this is idealist...tho not realist)
2) if your current employer values you, they will accept that you will receive offers elsewhere, and they will try to convince you to stay.
3) you said you were "asked to leave"....language here matters....if just "asked", you can say "no thanks, i'd prefer to stay"...however, if they say "you are fired...security will escort you out" then you should ask "why?" and see what they say (they might not give a reason, or they might say something stupid that you can use against them in a lawsuit).
4) Then walk out the door and contact a labor attorney.

5) contact the firm you interviewed with, politely explain the situation, and politely ask if they can help you find another job, because it was their fault you were fired from your job. If they say they can't help, ask them to make a few phone calls and ask their peers at other firms if they have any open slots for your level. I've seen people do this in this exact situation, and it resulted in a job referral.

just google it...you're welcome

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Jun 28, 2018

Wait... Is that even legal? To sack someone because they're interviewing at someone's firm....

Jun 28, 2018

new york is an "at will" employment state...you can be fired for any reason (or no reason at all)

https://ag.ny.gov/labor/can-you-be-fired
but the other firm should be held liable...if not legally and financially..then morally and ethically

just google it...you're welcome

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Jun 28, 2018

I feel like they broke a company policy by doing this. Read the interviewer's company policy about this and let them know what happened. They'll probably offer you to not get sued lol

Jun 27, 2018

Double post. My bad.

Jun 28, 2018

All good

Jun 27, 2018

https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/wro...
Wrongful Interference with Employment Relationship: When a person other than an employer intentionally interferes with another person's employment relationship and thereby causes the other person to lose his/her job, that interfering person might be liable for the economic losses that result.

The person damaged by the interference (the employee) will usually need to prove the following things in order to sue:

1) There was an existing employment relationship;
2) The person who caused the interference was a third party to the relationship (i.e. the relationship was not between the person damaged and the person who interfered);
3) The third party's conduct interfered with the relationship;
4) The third party intended to interfere; and
5) The third party's conduct caused the employee's termination.

In most states, the employee also needs to prove that the third party was not justified in interfering with the employment relationship.

Skank speaking: you have a slamdunk case of tortious interference with an employment relationship. I'm currently looking for a new job and your story makes my blood boil. Sue that motherfucker for all he's worth. No, sue his company. He fucked you over in his capacity with his company.

Jun 28, 2018

Doesn't having a lawsuit against an employer ruin your chances of ever getting an offer anywhere else tho? Especially for these ultra competitive jobs

Jun 27, 2018
ArbitrageSam:

Doesn't having a lawsuit against an employer ruin your chances of ever getting an offer anywhere else tho? Especially for these ultra competitive jobs

I would say getting fired for cause pretty much ruins your chance at a prestigious Wall Street job, hence the lawsuit seeking monetary and punitive damages. I look at #4 on the list: "The third party intended to interfere" and I have to think it's almost impossible to accidentally divulge the first and last name of the prospective in question at a party. Sue his company for millions of dollars and retire. I would.

Jun 28, 2018

If you were in good standing prior to this (we all assume so)...then assuming you went on to a standard illustrious career in the investment banking path --> analyst, associate --> VicePres --> managing director...you should be able to win a lawsuit (and they would most likely settle) for something in the range of 10 million (the total comp that you will now be denied because of their interference).

just google it...you're welcome

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Jun 27, 2018

To me, I wouldn't just focus on the compensatory damages; I would really sell to the jury (if it made it to trial) the fact that this kind of behavior poisons the well for job seekers and violates the unspoken, long-developed trust in the world of recruitment, that this unethical behavior needs to be stopped. I would make the hard sell for substantial punitive damages.

Jun 28, 2018

these things almost never goto trial...they get settled...and for less than what a jury would award. And we are all just talking out of our asses...only an employment lawyer will know for sure if this guy has a case

that website indicates
4) The third party intended to interfere

if the 3rd party unintentionally revealed that OP was interviewing (not sure how they argue that...but i'm sure they would)...they it fails the test. Regardless...banks have an army of lawyers on retainer for these things...they will be well protected. OP will have to prove the reason he was fired was because of the interview. While OP has verbal proof...i doubt he has anything recorded or in writing...and i doubt OP has witnesses. So this comes down to he said / she said. Its not a slam dunk. We can all agree what happened...and its obvious...but would a jury hear the same story? Would a jury award that much money? Hard to say....that's what the lawyers are for.

just google it...you're welcome

Jun 29, 2018

Think you hit the nail on the head, this is just pure bad luck. As bfd already said, bad form on the part of the interviewer.

Edit: FWIW, I wouldn't want to work for either of these scumbags

Jun 27, 2018

Appreciate all your inputs. It doesn't make sense for me to file a complain against the firm that ratted me out cause they have the resources to protect them and furthermore its just my word against my employer's word like what some have pointed out.

However, what should I do in the future to avoid such instances? Should I indicate my company's name as confidential on my resume? Any suggestions?

Appreciate all your inputs. Thank you.

Jun 27, 2018
wcfever:

Appreciate all your inputs. It doesn't make sense for me to file a complain against the firm that ratted me out cause they have the resources to protect them and furthermore its just my word against my employer's word like what some have pointed out.

No, this is what you aren't getting. Your employer wouldn't be in trouble. Your employer can fire you for wearing the wrong deodorant. Your employer has no incentive to lie. Lying under oath is called perjury and is a felony. If there is a civil case filed they aren't going to lie. What's their incentive to lie? Huge risk for zero gain.

You haven't been fired yet, and if you are there may be more to it than you're letting on. If they were going to fire you for interviewing they would probably have already done it.

Jul 2, 2018

wcfever, PLEASE I implore you to consider the sage advice given on this thread. You have to understand that you actually have a legitimate legal case here, and you should pursue this immediately because you have been unfairly fucked over.

Jul 2, 2018

This legal case is not going to happen. He is not going to get fired with the cause stated as 'going to the interview.' Maybe his boss does want to fire him and will fire him, but it won't be stated as this reason.

If they want to fire him, they are going to start picking up dirt on him and making a paper trail of warnings to eventually fire him.

I'm reading the original post though and the phrase 'my firm is likely to ask me to leave' seems highly speculative. Maybe you're just in the dog house for a week. Everyone interviews at other firms. If this is legit, it's ridiculous, unless you lied about where you were that day.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 2, 2018

First of all, you're completely right about them simply making up a different reason to fire him, if that's what they want to do. They'll start gathering a paper tail of minor infractions or perceived shortcomings. They can do whatever if they cover their bases.

I still think it's ridiculous even if he lied about where he was. I wouldn't tell a firm I was interviewing somewhere else. I assume when someone has a "doctor's appointment" in the middle of the week there's a 50/50 chance they're interviewing somewhere. It's the nature of the industry.

If I found out a firm actually did this to someone I'd avoid them like the plague. I once worked at a firm with a "no one should ever want to leave here" cult mentality and it was the worst culture I've ever experienced hands down.

"Now you's can't leave." -Sonny LoSpecchio

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Jun 27, 2018
Sam ''Ace'' Rothstein:

First of all, you're completely right about them simply making up a different reason to fire him, if that's what they want to do. They'll start gathering a paper tail of minor infractions or perceived shortcomings. They can do whatever if they cover their bases.

I still think it's ridiculous even if he lied about where he was. I wouldn't tell a firm I was interviewing somewhere else. I assume when someone has a "doctor's appointment" in the middle of the week there's a 50/50 chance they're interviewing somewhere. It's the nature of the industry.

If I

Ok, at this juncture the guy is probably not going to get fired and this is a moot point, but the larger point is that the current employer doesn't need to make up anything--they can fire him for any reason (not having to do with race, veteran status, religion, etc.).

Jul 6, 2018

thats fucked up homie

Jul 6, 2018

Dont know which jurisdiction you are in but there are laws that protect prospective employees. But you would have to have concrete proof of that in the form of emails etc not verbal. The person penalised would be the person from the firm that you were applying for. Realistically you wouldnt have any solid proof. Probably you'd get circumstantial proof to hold up in court. Consult a lawyer with your case. Yes it costs money but it depends on how far you want to take this.

Jun 27, 2018
Charles-Lee:

Dont know which jurisdiction you are in but there are laws that protect prospective employees. But you would have to have concrete proof of that in the form of emails etc not verbal. The person penalised would be the person from the firm that you were applying for. Realistically you wouldnt have any solid proof. Probably you'd get circumstantial proof to hold up in court. Consult a lawyer with your case. Yes it costs money but it depends on how far you want to take this.

No, this isn't correct! In a civil case, you just have to convince the jury that it's 51% likely that you were terminated because the prospective employer wrongly divulged your information ("preponderance of the evidence"). This isn't a criminal case where the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt"--circumstantial evidence is exactly the kind of evidence civil cases were designed for.

Jul 6, 2018

Yes you are certainly right that there are different levels of legal burden between civil and criminal cases. However, I am pointing out the case in a realistic way.

Either way civil or criminal, cases like this will be thrown out and will only be expensive for the person suing. Lest you are a rich person trying to make a point/have a vendetta.

Please consider the case in a realistic point of view. Think about how each party's lawyers argue in court and how each party will respond. Where do you expect that this person will get a hold of a paper trail indicating any wrongdoing by either parties. Are you going to ask for a subpoena for stuff like this? Most likely it will be verbal, and I hope you know that verbal circumstantial proof is one of the weakest forms of evidence to sway the jury. So you better get a superstar lawyer and we are at square one back to cost.

I'd say you were just unlucky and probably take a note of that name and spread it around your peers in the industry that he is very unprofessional. I have had this happened to me as well. It just sucks and disappointing, but you just gotta take the hit.

If you are to give someone advice you should probably try to understand the predicament that this person is in right now instead of harping on the minute details of the legal system.

Jul 6, 2018

Piss poor form by your interviewer, but I would seriously not try to do anything to them. Even if you get fired, better to take the lump and move on. I know it sucks, but you could seriously do more damage than good trying to exact revenge in this scenario. If you go the lawyer route, you may be industry black balled for quite a while. Sorry this happened to you. Hope a great opportunity comes your way and your success will be revenge enough.

Jul 6, 2018

That was a really jackass move on the interviewer's part. That sort of thing just isn't done. It could be that he's looking to jump ship too and needed some brownie points. Either way, dick move. If you get word you're about to get fired, I would reach out to the interviewer and say that you are getting fired as a direct result of his action and he needs to make it right (i.e. hire you). If he dodges the issue or you, I would say you should seriously think about a civil case. To that end, see if you can get your boss to admit why they're firing you (if they are), on paper, that will help you pretty much draw a line from cause to effect from that other guy's actions. Good luck.

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Jul 6, 2018

I'm assuming the best from people when I say this. Having interviewed hundreds of employment candidates over the years, it is possible that company leadership know one another casually well before candidates show up to interview. We should frankly assume this to be true. Conversations can and do happen between friends if there is no compelling reason for them not to.

One small prevenatative measure can go a long way: be explicit about the fact that you're interviewing and your current employer does not know that you're doing this. Ask for discretion. I can't imagine anyone I know from an HR department who would violate that request if it was made explicit.

I would simply caveat that if you make a comment like this in an interview, also be clear: 1. That if you do get an offer, that you will owe your current employer the respect of adequate notice and don't plan to jump ship without notice (this can make you look bad) 2. That you explored the options available to you through your current employer, and they either don't exist or they come with a condition that you can't meet (like you would have to move to some small island that serves only food you're allergic to). 3. That a career path in your new company is something you want as opposed to your soon-to-be ex-company for X reasons. A good interviewer will ask you this anyway. They won't likely want to hire a naturally disloyal or quick to disappear employee.

Be smart enough to be both honest and sensitive to everyone involved.

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Jul 8, 2018

It's always smart to be interviewing and networking. You need to keep an idea of what your market value is. It's a great negotiating tactic for bonuses, promotions and salary bumps if you can point to comps.
So you got blown up. It's gonna happen over and over again during your career. At least your employer now knows you're a hustler and won't sit around waiting for them to pay you what you deserve.

Jul 8, 2018

Isn't there some sort of inherent confidentiality in applying for a job? Or even a clause in the terms and conditions saying your candidature is in confidence? Regarding background checks, these are in the T&Cs when applying i.e. only after receiving a formal offer, and even then, often requiring you to sign a disclosure allowing the company to do so!?

Of course they can google you for info in the public domain before offer but asking people specifically about you would be crossing the line in light of the confidentiality of your application. And talking at the kids baseball game in a weekend is off limits here. These guys are in banking and should know how far reaching insider trading rules extend so similarly should also be aware of any other confidentiality issues.

Your company sucks for sacking you for looking for a job and your interviewer is a freaking amateur. No surprises really, bankers may earn the dollars but they're really no different to the desk jockeys in other industries.

Jul 8, 2018

consider yourself lucky.

if you're boss was really a douche, he'd play games with you.

here's what I'd do.

1) congratuate you on your ambitions
2) offer you an immediate (large) pay raise to make you stay
3) the day after your raise kicks in, immediately humilate you in front of the office for some menial bullshit
4) fire your ass over said menial (made up) bullshit.

again, consider yourself lucky.

Jul 9, 2018

Bad luck. The interviewer is a moron.

    • 1
Jul 9, 2018

Shit situation. Some of the advice given here seems fine, but I would be contacting a good employment lawyer if I were you. It's better to get advice from someone who probably deals with this on a day-to-day basis. Document everything.

Even if you don't get fired, you could possibly be retaliated against in other ways: work taken away, avoided, blacklisted, not promoted when you deserve it...

Who is to say that other firm was even going to give you an offer? But, if you were eliminated from the process because of that interaction at the networking event, that seems discriminatory to me. This interviewer's actions could have put your current job in jeopardy and you could now work in a hostile environment.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and don't claim to be an expert on the letter of the law.

    • 1
Jul 9, 2018

We don't have these problems in the back office.

Jul 9, 2018

You might be screwed now as it's likely your boss feels 'betrayed' and there's no guarantee the interviewer will hire you after all. Just hope he did that purposefully to push you out the door and leave you with no option rather than working for him. I'm not sure if there are any laws but whatever interview you did with him should be confidential he has no right to disclose it to anyone let alone your current boss, that's really low.

Jun 27, 2018

Just do it

Jul 12, 2018

Did this networking event have an open bar? The only scenario where I see a recruiter in their right mind doing this is after 7+ mules...