WeWork | Candidate claims interviewer 'trash talked competitors'

Candidate claims interviewer 'trash talked competitors'

Giving candidates a positive interview experience is crucial if you want them to want to join your firm – or the client you are recruiting for.

It’s not only a chance to show off how a company performs, or what their company culture is like, but a key moment for your employer branding too.

Positive interview experiences might end up on Glassdoor or social media – boosting perception of that employer and potentially enticing more candidates to apply.

However, bad experiences can also be shared online which is exactly what one candidate did, taking to LinkedIn to share her recent interview experience at workspace provider WeWork in the US.

Katherine Dumanoir took to the professional networking site to vent about her recent interview experience with WeWork which didn’t go quite as she expected.

She wrote: “Not only did they trash talk other companies during the interview that I respect, but they left me alone in the interviewer room for a while and couldn’t get their technology to work. It was a mess.”

However, whilst this candidate was left unimpressed with her interview experience, she did say that the employer’s brand, purpose and mission-statement were the reason she applied.

Which is an important lesson for recruiters: a well-communicated employer brand and mission-statement is crucial when it comes to snaring candidates.

Yet, the story doesn’t end here. Dumanoir said that after receiving the contract of employment she found a few clauses which, to her eyes, appeared to be strange.

She added: “Upon accepting my offer, I received a contract like no other. I had several people read over it and was advised not to sign it as is. In the document it said any ideas before WeWork, during my employment, AND AFTER, belonged to them. That’s scary.

“Along with that, there was a list of other strange things that I have never seen in an employment contract before. I questioned my recruiter about it."

“He sent me a sentence with a smiley saying they encourage side projects.”

Dumanoir claimed to have told her interviewer that she had been working on networking events in the UR space and had some ideas that “were in no direct competition” with WeWork in any way.

She claims that on the day the day of the interview she was told this was fine.

However, a day later she was told that her offer of employment has been retracted.

The candidate posted a screenshot of an email allegedly sent from an internal individual involved with hiring: “I am writing to let you know that we are rescinding your offer of employment for the Talent Coordinator position.

“Unfortunately, you have let us know that you can’t accept our offer because of your concerns with WeWork’s Restrictive Covenants agreement. As a result, WeWork is officially rescinding its offer and no longer will be moving forward with the hiring process.”

Dumanoir’s post sparked a hefty thread of comments from other LinkedIn users.

Qasim Virjee, Founder and CEO of StartWell, said in a post that he hoped this experience hadn’t ruined Dumanoir’s “taste for working at coworking spaces”.

He added: “A lot of us small guys actually give our staff the opposite experience (lots of freedom and support to do other things)”.

A WeWork Spokesperson told Recruitment Grapevine: “We are committed to attracting and retaining the best talent as we continue to grow our 10,000 strong global team. We strive to ensure all candidates have a positive experience, and our policies are standard and in keeping with our high growth business.”

Whilst Recruitment Grapevine doesn’t have information regards how isolated Dumanoir’s experience is, any allegations of bad interview experiences can be damaging to a recruiter’s or an employer’s brand.

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