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I am in a process of several interviews with this company that is direct competitor of my actual one. They asked me as part of the process to reveal my account base, since they want to know if they have current sales person working on the same accounts I have relationship.

I am not comfortable doing this since I was not offered a position yet, even though this company is a lot longer in the market. The manager seems pretty honest, he is doing this for over 23 years. He is telling me that he does not want me to get frustrated if the accounts I have wouldn't be the same since there are other people working on them. What should I do?

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  • Just tell him you would not be frustrated working same or different accounts
    – paparazzo
    Dec 13, 2015 at 8:07
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    They are conning you. Dec 13, 2015 at 8:47
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    I don't have the experience to answer this for your industry, but it certainly seems dishonest. If that's information you're even allowed to give (and not protected by your current contract/NDA) I would only do so conditional on a signed offer, preferably even an actual contract to avoid an at-will dismissal.
    – Lilienthal
    Dec 13, 2015 at 10:57
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    Personally if a person/company asked for that information I would run to the hills. They are not worth working for even asking for that information. That is my opinion
    – Ed Heal
    Dec 13, 2015 at 14:07
  • If you signed a NDA when you were hired (you probably did) you would probably be breaching it if you shared a list of your clients with the manager. May be a good idea to see if you can find whatever you signed so you can become familiar with WHAT is going to be considered confidential information. Dec 14, 2015 at 16:57

2 Answers 2

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Just tell him that it is not your property and you cannot do it. If he insists, then forget trying to get a job at that company. Any hint of dishonesty in the finance professions is bad for your career.

They might thank you for the info, but they would not hire you if you did, they'd be too worried about what you'd do with their information.

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Your potential new employer is (unnecessarily?) putting you in the middle of both a legal and ethical dilemma.

Legally, it's simple: you may have signed legal documents upon your acceptance (or anytime thereafter) preventing you from doing so and violating it would put you in legal hot water.

Ethically, you have an inherent commitment with your current employer to develop accounts for them not anyone else - this is what you are being paid to do.

You can diffuse the situation by stating simply that you cannot divulge information that is property of your current employer and that he should understand if the situation were reversed. Being loyal to one company doesn't mean betraying the trust of another.

Looking at this from the hiring manager's perspective....

Asking you that question is not about your "comfort." It's about seeing if you are going to bring any new accounts to the table. Why would they hire you if they already have your accounts as current customers? Until he hires (makes a commitment to you) he's in the same position he was yesterday - he doesn't know what accounts he doesn't have. So, why would he not attempt to get the milk for free if someone is already willing to give up the cow?

Lastly, tenure is in no way an indicator of trustworthiness. Having been "around the block" makes you experienced, it doesn't make you honest.

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  • Maybe it's a test of ethics. If you agree and provide information that you should not, then they know you can't be trusted with their information. Doubtful, I know, but that's certainly one thing they'd learn about OP if they did as asked. Aug 18, 2017 at 14:34
  • @PoloHoleSet - exactly. That's why I put (unnecessarily?) in the first sentence!
    – Allan
    Aug 18, 2017 at 14:40
  • sadly so many companies are lacking in their own ethics that it is much more likely for them to be fishing for improper information than testing the candidate's fortitude, but the possibility does exist. Still, if this company is so lacking that they make it a make-or-break criteria, it's not one OP will probably want to work for, anyway, so losing the potential position over doing what is ethical won't be that big a loss, in the long run. Aug 18, 2017 at 14:42
  • I that scenario - it's a lose-lose for the OP
    – Allan
    Aug 18, 2017 at 14:47

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