A potential employer of my best friend recently asked to speak to his friends during the hiring process. Of course I agreed yet it sounds incredibly weird to me, I have never heard of such practices in Germany, but I don't know anyone working in the insurance industry myself.
I am not too worried about the meeting myself, if it gets uncomfortable I can end the connection to the online-meeting any time anyway, but I am wonderinger:
Is this common in the insurance industry in Germany?
Aren't friends the least reliable information sources?
Is this a red flag?
The position my friend applied to was for an entry level position as a financial advisor. Some miscommunication took place, as I was under the impression he was going to be selling insurances, however that is not the case exactly.
The meeting was about 25 minutes long, where the potential team lead of my friend explained what exactly my friend would be doing if he got the job, what the company is doing and stands for and, as mentioned in the comments, tried to pitch their services to me.
He was kind of surprised when I mentioned that I had never heard of the company before and yet already had a financial advisor and thus obviously did not need their services.
My contact details never got into the hands of the company, so I believe this to not be illegal, but I still find this highly questionable because it was mentioned during the meeting that my friend has to talk to more people before he would get the position, all under the guise of training and setting up a network for himself.
There was only one question asked of me that would have been of actual interest to the hiring process: Whether I believe my friend to be up for the job, which could have shortened the meeting to less than 5 minutes including introductions, as I was already familiar with the job and thus did not actually need the company presentation.
So this boils down to a, in my opinion, highly questionable hiring process.