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  1. Sarcky
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    NDA to do an interview?


    Recently, the topic has come up at work about forcing people to sign NDAs for benign things like sales demos, first interviews, and office visits. Do any of you work in companies with this policy? Has it caused any trouble with partners, clients, or potential employees?

    Personally, I don't sign NDAs unless I'm already relatively confident that the company has some unique piece of information that would be dangerous to share, and they're sharing it with me in a way that would be beneficial to me. If they can't even let me through the door without a legal contract saying they can sue me, then I wish them luck in the big scary world they've found themselves in. I've had to turn down 3 interviews in the last year because I refuse to sign an NDA without knowing anything about the company.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by ManiacDan; October 16th, 2013 at 09:44 AM.
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  3. Code Monkey V. 0.9
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    I totally agree. NDA's are being used way to much these days for things that they just aren't needed/meant for. I haven't heard of them being used for interviews yet, but then I haven't been looking for a job for a while now so I'm slightly out of that loop. If someone told me that I needed to sign a NDA to attend an interview I'd do the same as you. I've never heard of an initial interview that would require anything even like this, and if it did I'd probably be more worried about what I'd be getting myself into working there.
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  5. Sarcky
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    That's exactly how I feel. I've had companies ask me to sign NDAs for attending their roadmap planning sessions. That's fine, that's strategic business information. But an initial interview? Or a delivery person? Absolutely not. Our poor secretary tried to get the water delivery guy to sign it yesterday. He laughed at her, dumped the jugs on the floor, and left.

    My boss says that the industry is changing and we need to keep up. I wonder why I didn't sign an NDA when I interviewed with IBM, shouldn't they be at the forefront of this? Why didn't my friends at google sign them for their interviews? What has changed about verbal communication in the last decade that suddenly requires lawyers to be involved in casual conversations?
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  7. Code Monkey V. 0.9
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    Your company tried to get the water delivery person to sign an NDA??? That's just way to paranoid. What is that delivery person, or any other normal delivery person, going to see/hear/find out that's going to jeopardise the company? Wouldn't it be better off making sure that staff don't talk openly about company "secrets"? That's... just... wow...
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  9. Come play with me!
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    As long as the NDA didn't have ridiculous terms* I'd probably sign it for an interview. Real-world interviews often touch on something the company/interviewer is dealing with and I understand if they don't want their competitors to know. Besides, it's not like I was going to talk about it anyways.
    Now, as for whether I'd like to work for the company knowing how paranoid they are, that's a different story.

    But the water guy? That's too crazy.

    * Like, say, that I can't talk to other companies without written permission. **
    ** True story.
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  11. Sarcky
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    Anyone who goes past the lobby must now sign an NDA, including visiting friends, delivery people, contractors, etc.

    I think regardless of the terms, I won't sign a one-way NDA for a casual conversation like a first interview. If they can't adequately tell me the basics of the job without revealing critical confidential information, then the job is either too stressful or they don't understand the definition of "critical".

    Plus, the "I won't tell anyone anyway" argument is a bit of a fallacy. You're not agreeing not to talk about it. You're agreeing to be sued if it seems like you've talked about it.

    I understand that it seems to give protection against basic corporate espionage...but if a competitor was going to send an employee into an interview to masquerade as a new hire in order to steal our secrets, do you really think an NDA is going to stop them? We don't check ID when they sign the NDA, we don't compare signatures. There's nothing stopping the guy from writing "King George III" in messy script and then going through with the whole interview anyway.
    HEY! YOU! Read the New User Guide and Forum Rules

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

    "The greatest tragedy of this changing society is that people who never knew what it was like before will simply assume that this is the way things are supposed to be." -2600 Magazine, Fall 2002

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