When you are working to find the perfect position for you, it could mean that you wind up interviewing at a direct competitor. Interviewing for someone who is in the same industry is a tricky situation. Here are four situations you will want to avoid at all costs!
- Being Asked for Competitive Intelligence – In very rare cases, a company may interview candidates from competitor firms not to look for a new employee, but to pump them for proprietary information. Make sure you do not give up any confidential information about your current company. In fact, make it a point not to speak about your current organization (except in a very general manner) when you are going through the interview process.
- Violating Terms of Employment Agreement – Before you start the application process, it may be worth looking at your employment contract. Make sure you do not have any agreements in place stating that you should not apply to work for competitors. It could be that it is not acceptable for you to apply for a similar position within a certain amount of time after you quit working for the firm.
- Leaving with Confidential Documents – Depending on your position, you may have certain materials that you feel “belong to you”. However, these could be classified company documents that belong to the firm you work for today. Think hard before you leave with customer lists or other important pieces of information—even if you are the one who originally sourced the data.
- Putting Yourself in an Uncomfortable Work Position if You DO get the Job – Think long and hard about how you will feel if you DO get the job. Do you have a working friendship with your co-workers or bosses? These relationships could end if you begin working for a competitor—whether you want them too or not. The employees at the new firm may also find working with you to be a little uncomfortable too.
While there are several specific problems you need to watch for when applying and interviewing with a competitor, that does not mean that you should always avoid these situations. Look at the pros and the cons and exercise caution. Who knows, you may find the perfect position in an unlikely place!