A close friend contacted me for interview tips at my current company. I joined the company very recently and interview questions are still fresh memories. I suspect my friend is going to want to know the questions. I don't really want to talk to him because disclosing anything useful to him would potentially be doing my team a disservice and also would substantially discredit his competency if people find out about our communication. He is actually quite good and I believe he will do well in the interview, although he might not be as confident in himself as I am. I honestly think the downside for him if we talk and prep him is probably greater than the upside (should people on my team find out).

Any advice for handling this properly? Should I also disclose our relationship with the company upfront before the interview process starts?

  • 1
    You should bear in mind that no two interviews are the same. There is no script – Ed Heal Nov 29 '17 at 20:34
  • You have no obligation to tell the company that you know him (unless you're involved in the interview process), but you can ask about recommending him if you want to do that. – Bernhard Barker Nov 29 '17 at 20:36
  • Tell your friend "No". – Fattie Nov 29 '17 at 21:40
  • It's absolutely common to officially recommend acquaintances who you think are a good fit; there's no need to be secretive about it. – pmf Nov 30 '17 at 8:50

You should bear in mind that most interviewers (and interviewees) consider interviews to be discussions-in-confidence - and you passing on questions to your friend may entail a breach of confidence, which won't put you in a good light with your employer if discovered. The problem is that even if you help 'guide' your friend through similar questions, you might be breaching that confidence, still.

The best thing you can do is offer to recommend your friend to your employer - and be sure to have some good examples of their abilities/skills/temperament to back up your recommendation.

  • In many places, a recommendation from a good employee is worth more than acing an interview. – Erik Nov 30 '17 at 8:37

Just give him generic advice that you would be comfortable giving anyone else.

Listen to his answer to various generic questions, and guide him in how you might tweak those answers based on your own experience interviewing in general, not with that company in particular.

This way your conscience will be clear, and you will have also helped your friend.


As already stated in a comment to your question, job interviews aren't exams which means there's also no script or optimal solution which decides between "pass" and "fail". So even if you took the risk of potentially breaking confidentiality (see HorusKol's answer) it isn't said that it will help your friend.

There's even a good chance that your friend goes into the interview confident and "prepared" with your answers and the interview goes totally different compared to yours. In this scenario, it might even harm your friends chances who otherwise might have done quite well but was guided into some wrong direction due to your preparation.

So what can you realistically do now? You can give them hints about which directions to think in, i.e. how the company/team culture is (e.g. conservative, always state of the art...), which types of methodologies are in use and the like. This way your friend can prepare to emphasize their "right" sides – the ones that fit best to the job. But leave it to your friend to do this matching, since they finally have to present themselves in the interview.

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