EP 246 (183/365) Interviewing Someone Who Copied Your Resume

Can someone copy your resume..? Can that resume end up in your hand… less possible…. Can you end up interviewing that person.. No.. Way… But it happened… to yours truly a few years back….

You might think that it is impossible. You will agree the possibility that someone can copy your resume and you will also agree with the possibility that the person would take that and present for an interview. You might even agree the possibility that you will be interviewing someone who would have copied from another resume. But all hitting all that together is not a possibility.

I have been lucky enough to be that interviewer a few years back. We were looking for a candidate with a set of skills not very specific but around content management. I get a call from the recruiter that we seem to have the right candidate for you. I for some reason was busy and so did not check the resume before hand and directly entered the interview room. 

As the initial introduction and pleasantries were being shared I started reading through the resume. My eyes stuck at a company name that I worked before. The description of the candidate’s role was same as mine. Possible that the person joined there after me and took over what I was doing. But then the time of employment struck me, it was the same time as when I was there. I looked at the person to see if I remembered. Not familiar at all.

I asked a few questions without mentioning that I did the mentioned project, But told I used to work there. A smile so jubilant fell on me signing that we had struck a long lost common chord. But I was about to find that there were way too much in common than just the coincidence of working for the same company.

As the person started explaining the project (I did for the company at the same time the person claimed to have worked there), I was glancing through other experiences. And I read something that literally knocked me off my seat. A whole paragraph that I had put on my LinkedIn just few days back looked at me and grinned from the paper. But under some other company’s name 🙂

This was kind of the end of the road for me. I looked at the person, asked a few more questions and told we will get back. I then reached out to the recruiter and spoke. May be the recruiter would not have been able to figure, and if I was not the interviewer the candidate probably had a chance. But it did not happen. 

This incident has always lingered in my mind and I would think why someone would do this. I know at times when desperation is there some people do things like this. It is not ethical at all but in life there are much bigger issues that impact you and force people to make this mistake. I remember an old story where a candidate gets caught for lying on his resume and when asked he says “For a better tomorrow I decided to reengineer my yesterday”. 

I might not agree with that, but in a job where we are more interested in what you have done over what you can do, some people who do not have a commendable projectable yesterday, are at lose. I am sure we all have hired people who had good experience but then turned out to be nightmares just because that needed attitude was missing.

On this incident I could have reported this up and made sure the person finds it difficult for another job, but I did not do it… People might have different opinions.. I told the recruiter though… And I decided to be very cautious in the future… People make decision for varied reasons… Interviewing and finding the right candidate is not easy…

But I did ask the recruiter to inform the person that the interviewer (me) was the real owner of the experience that was presented. Hopefully the message was passed well and added value to the career pursuit.  And I decided to write and speak about it.. so people who listen can think about these possibilities….

Categories: Work & Career

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