I applied for a technical job at a small satellite office in Canada for a very large US company. The overall interview process went great, I felt, but I did not get the job, leaving my frustated, since this involved 3 rounds of in-person interviews, and a take-home technical exam, plus lots of phone calls, leaving me pretty upset. I left a sharp review of the company on GlassDoor.com (a site for leaving reviews about working at a company or interviewing with a company), which I felt was fair and accurate.
A couple days later, I posted the technical interview on an interview-questions-database site, similar to CareerCup.com (a StackOverflow-like site for answering interview questions), including a link to a modified copy of a PDF they originally sent me for the take-home technical interview. This was so I could better understand the technical questions in case I wanted to interview there again in the future, and not out of vengeance.
A day after uploading the exam, I received an e-mail from the HR division of the company that noted I was in violation of the NDA I agreed to when I took part in the take-home exam. I don't know how they identified me, since I used PDF toolkit to extract the pages with a unique candidate ID and my name, etc, but they did. They also basically told me:
- I would not be considered as a potential candidate at all for the next 5 years if I were to re-apply.
- The company is not going to sue me at this time, but they apparently "reserve the right" to, at their discretion, for NDA and copyright violation.
- The company will be uploading records of this offense to a database used by all their subsidiary and partner companies for background checks, due to the "egregious and vindictive" nature of "unauthorized sharing of company assets".
This leaves me a few related questions:
- Do tech companies actually share interview data or background check info with each other? Is this legal? Does it only apply to companies that are part of the same parent company, or could totally separate companies actually be allowed to do this? I've heard of casinos and bars sharing such databases.
- Could they really find out it was me, even if I scrubbed the PDF for the exam, or are they trying to trick me into admitting the review I left on GlassDoor?
- Have I blacklisted myself from work in my industry?
- Should I contact the company and apologize, and tell them my posting of the questions wasn't out of malice?