…And then we just stormed out of the interview & went to the pub

Today, I had an interview. I walked out ten minutes in after saying my piece, and also made a friend of a fellow interviewee in the process. He left too, and off we went to the pub at midday to laugh about our weird scam-job experience with Pantheon.

After my first interview on Friday I thought things were a little odd, and so I checked Glassdoor and oooooh, look here Pantheon, look at what people are saying about your ‘Marketing’ position.

pantheon

I then got invited back for an eight hour interview day and in the phone call asked point-blank if the whole day would be purely in the office.

Michelle: “Sure! It’s in the office. It’s a little. It’s a little bit of this…”

Me: “So I definitely won’t be going outside, won’t be going door to door?”

Michelle: “No… it’s just a day of a little bit of everything…”

And so, absolutely convinced this thing is a scam, I decide to go anyway. On the off-chance I’m wrong and overly paranoid, then cool! A job! But on the very obvious chance it’s a scam to lure poor job-hunters into working for free for a whole day, I’d turn up, see what their tactics are, and walk out – hopefully saving a few fellow interviewees in the process.

Off I go, tweeting my skepticism.And before long I’m chilling in the waiting room alongside then-stranger Craig.

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Craig is looking 1000000% smarter than anybody else in the room. I kid you not, there’s people in suits and trainers. There’s people in TRACKIES. For job interviews. The receptionist is ignoring everybody who awkwardly walks in and staring at her phone. I honestly can not take this place seriously.

Half an hour after the interview is supposed to start, a guy walks in and calls mine and Craig’s names. We say hey to each other, and are lead into a room to meet Mohammed (sp). Mohammed is the best of the best. We are sooooo lucky to have Mohammed showing us around today! Mohammed is tall, good looking, and has a smooth, charismatic charm about him.

He walks us both straight out of the room and immediately begins small-talk with me as we walk. “Where are you from?” Blah blah blah. He completely ignores Craig which makes me feel a little awkward and bad for Craig, but as we walk I’m also noticing that we are walking. out. of. the. building.

For fuck’s sake, Mohammed. This is not an office.

As we walk I flat out interrupt this boring small talk.

“Mohammed. Where are we going?”

“So , we’re going to Halifax!”

(At this point I think he means Halifax the bank, but he actually means Halifax the town. He is not only taking us out of the office. He is taking us OUT OF THE CITY!?)

“But, this is supposed to be an office-based day. I checked specifically that we wouldn’t be going out.”

Craig is looking at me with slight amusement, confusion and agreement.

Mohammed starts stumbling over his words. He keeps telling us how much money he makes! How much money people can make in the job! A thousand pounds a week! Wow! I literally don’t give a fuck about that. That is not what I asked you! Craig and I give each other the side-eye as Mohammed looks everywhere but my face.

I was polite yet ruthless. Pressing and pressing until Mohammed was just stood there, unable to really form a proper sentence or answer a question. We weren’t walking any more.

“Yeah. I think I’m going to leave.” I look at Craig – “I really recommend you don’t do this either but of course you can do what you want!”

Mohammed ‘terminates my interview’ with a handshake and turns to Craig.

But, Craig comes at him full force: “Nope. I’m leaving, too. I feel exactly the same and you just beat me to it. By the way, Mohammed, your colleague Greg? I’d recommend you get him to change his voicemail. It says ‘gaaaaaaaaaay’, and as a gay man it’s utterly offensive.” Craig turns to me: “Wanna go get a drink?!”

And this is the point we walk away from Mohammed and find ourselves in Queen’s Court with a strong drink.

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Look how cute we are. I had a wonderful time and made a friend! But, of course, I feel really angry and upset at all these interviewees who are still out – stuck in a neighbouring town they can’t get back from – doing cold-calling for free. And I’m angry that this will continue to happen to people who are naive and looking for jobs and have so much hope about getting through to a ‘second interview’.

Pantheon, you are trash.

Some tips on avoiding these ‘Marketing job’ scams:

I’m in Leeds, but Pantheon operates elsewhere (I’ve seen London reviews) too.

The process:

The advertisement looks something like this:

pantheon-3
Short story 

  • You apply.
  • Have a whirlwind 15 minute interview.
  • Get invited back to an all day shadowing interview.
  • During the shadowing ‘interview’ they actually take you out somewhere it’s hard to get back from, and you do cold-call sales for EIGHT HOURS.

Long story 

  • You apply, and then get a phone call/ email inviting you to an interview. For those in Leeds it will likely be at Oxford House, a building that hosts a few different companies. You’ll sit in a waiting room full of people in varying dress , and they will probably be late.
  • You’ll have a one-on-one which is basically somebody telling you about how amaaaazing the company is, how your resume stood out, how they’d love to make you a manager with your own team in just 4 months. And you’ll be given all the skills you need to make that happen. It’s suuuuper competitive and they only take the top 5% out of interviewees!
  • The next interview is a whole day thing (wow, exciting!) where you’ll be shadowing a current Marketing Assistant and they’ll call you later to let you know if you’ve gotten through to that stage.
  • You get the call! Woohoo! A second interview!
  • You go back to the same office and see more desperate-looking job hopefuls. You wait for half an hour  (because being late is their thing). They call your name and you’re introduced to your ‘best of the best’ who then walks you STRAIGHT out of the building and onto your full day of free-labour cold-calling.

Always check Glassdoor about the company you’ve applied to, as it’s full of anonymous company and interview reviews. And always be hopeful in your job hunt, but skeptical, too! 

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4 Comments

  1. Hi, I live in Leeds too, and I have also been on one of these hilarious interviews. Exactly the same, I swear, down to receptionists hiding in their phones. I was given a job on the spot, and told I would have my own team in 3 mths too. I did not go back as I looked them up and saw they were a scam. Annoying that this is legal!

    1. Hi! That sucks! I’m glad you looked them up and avoided that full day of ridiculousness.

      It really should be illegal. This seems to be such a huge problem – especially in Leeds!

  2. Hey, I applied for this job. And of course I got an interview! Luckily, I didn’t waste my time with an interview as I Google’d this company in time, and quizzed them over email. Through emailing it was very clear ‘my CV was amazing, and they have a manager position which is perfect for me!!’

    So, I asked for further information, which I never got they ignored me twice. So, on the day of interview I emailed and said I wouldn’t be turning up, I mentioned how they ignored me etc but good luck in their search blah blah. The response I got was super unprofessional!! Mentioning that they never got my emails (one question was on a long email they replied to), and how ‘weird’ the situation was blah blah…

    So yeah, I’m pretty sure others in the building are the same: Utopia Creations and Midas INC but don’t quote me on that, I may be wrong!

    Thank you for sharing this, I hope you’ve saved some peoples precious time 😄

    1. Hi!

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It seems like so many people have had this experience and it’s ridiculous. It’s really good you did your research and realised what they were.

      I also hope this post has helped some people avoid the fate of eight cold-calling hours! ❤

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