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Fwd: Offtopic - Interviews and non-disclosure agreements
>From: Rick Collins - Arius <PCImail@arius.com>
>I have been interviewing for twenty years (not for the same job change ;)
>and I have never been asked to sign a NDA for an interview.
>What do you think about this?
Given the intensely competitive market conditions you will
see more and more companies asking for NDAs as part of an
interview. I visit several companies where an NDA agreement
is part of the check-in process to get a security badge.
You sign it even if you just want to use the restroom, let
alone find out what they're working on.
What it means to you is NOT that you can't interview there,
then go to a competitor. Even if you worked there for a
while, quit, then went to the same competitor you are free
to do so. What you aren't free to do is to take information
directly from that company for the competitor's benefit.
You can keep what's in your head, (slavery was outlawed
back in 1865) but if you learned something during the
interview, then went and used that technique/method at
another company, and neither you or that company knew
of that process before, then the company holding the NDA
has a case against you. Of course, proving it might be
One aspect not often discussed is that the NDA requirement
can protect the company from some of the more cheesy
industrial espionage ploys. It is not unheard of for
"shills" to be hired to go interview with no intention
of taking a job, but just taking the information. This
is not illegal, but the NDA does open an avenue for
redress, assuming again they find out and can make a
case for it.
So go ahead and sign the NDA, if you like the company that
you are applying to. You can certainly find out enough
prior to the interview to see if there are any "show
stoppers" which would make you not want to work there in
the first place. Take it as a sign that the company
considers what they are doing (and what you will be doing)
valuable, and are willing to take the extra steps to
Now, if they ask you to pee in a cup or something, that's
where I'd balk. :) Good luck on the job hunt.
ZNYX Networks - Alan.Deikman@znyx.com - 510 249 0800 FAX 603 843 5867