Warning Signs You’re Interviewing at a Pyramid Scheme

I originally thought it was naïve to fall for a pyramid scheme like this – but being cat-fished by a Trojan horse company can be debilitating, especially when you expect it to be a viable career option in copywriting.

When you arrive to find it’s actually a canvassing job ran by a sadistic man-child, it adds further salt to the wound that is job-hunting.  

Since I published my first blog about my interview experience, I have come across comments from other people that have fallen for this too – and to my surprise, at the same company.

So, perhaps describing the warning signs can nip it in the bud, stop you from wasting your time, and even allow me to elevate the experience as a learning curve. So here it goes:

The Company Name.

If the name is an onomatopoeia, or the logo has an apex-predator on it, it’s probably a pyramid scheme.

Make sure you google it, research past reviews from other employees – get an overview of the day-to-day responsibilities. Save yourself. Don’t apply.

You receive a text to invite you to the interview.

It goes something like this… ‘Hi my name is Leah, could u come to interview plz 2moz?

I read this and thought my new re-drafted CV was killing it, these companies will be lining up just for me to pick the best one.

But no, a reputable company wouldn’t ONLY text you – they’d send an email or phone you. And specifically, if they do text you they would at least have correct grammar. Delete the text and move on. It’s for the best.

The Office.

I’ll just describe what I found. I’ll leave it to you to find the warning signs…

Three IKEA clocks with different time-zones on them and a fish tank with a dead fish floating at the top.

Four 22” TV’s with an over-saturated RED BULL channel blasting on full volume.

A magazine rack with X-BOX weekly and a 4-year-old Business magazine.

A 17-year-old receptionist, 23 other interviewees stacked like sardines on 2 couches bought from Facebook Marketplace. Did you spot them?

The Boss.

He will most likely have an ego-problem, and will constantly remind you that you’re special but in a way that says he’s still better than you.

He’ll probably get a scrap of paper and draw your progression in the company in a way that’s a completely different shape to a pyramid.

He might have a desk filled with stuff a manager would have in a 2005 rom-com, Jack Daniels bottles, an iMac from 2004 and probably a picture of a fake family he doesn’t have. Nod politely and avoid his calls in future.

The System.

Slightly ominous.

But they will strategically create a facade to make it seem like there’s no way they will exploit you. Such as making you wait 45 minutes with the other sardines just for him to lure me in his office and ask me to come back the next day.

He tells you that you’re better than the others outside but then invites them all back. He’ll tell you that ‘training days’ are necessary but never pay you for them.

He might even tell you that you’ll become a manager one day if you work for free for the foreseeable future. Sound Good?

Although I pointed out the signs in a pretty obvious manner, it’s easy in hindsight. And reading them can make the smartest person feel dumb for falling for it.

But when you’re under pressure to get a job, and your future is on the line, you’ll be surprised what you’ll overlook in order to pursue a career. Just be present and evaluate what you’re being indoctrinated into. And remember, you’re better than this.

Thank you to Chris Kalogritsas for sharing this blog post with us – find more of his blogs here! chriskalogritsas.co.uk

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