Avoid Cornerstone / Canadian Career Managemant Group

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  • May 10th, 2019 10:25 am
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May 7, 2005
312 posts

Avoid Cornerstone / Canadian Career Managemant Group

I had an interview with a company that offers "marketing" service for professionals who want to step up to be mid to sr level managers.

At the beginning, I was asked to highlight my previous professional engagements, why I want to quit the current job and what I'm looking for down the road for the next 5 ~ 10 years. These questions are valid and normal.

After quickly going over my resume (actually, this process only took less than 1 minute), the interviewer said my experience looks great and defnitely wanted to put me through to the next round of interview.

Now, the weird thing happened. He asked me to bring my wife with me for the 2nd round interview. And if possible, I can bring my kid with me. I was very puzzled and asked why since this is my job interview and don't see any reason why my wife has to be there, too.

The interviewer explained that we could have discussions since there would be an advisor in the 2nd interview who will do some preparations so that they can market me. In addition to that, I will pay a fee, "which is not a burden to yourself", for the service provided by the advisor.

I asked how much the fee would be. The interviewer said " I don't know".
I asked when he would know, and he said he'd know the fee AFTER the 2nd interview.
I asked based on your so-many years of experience, how much could the fee be, roughly? He said he didn't know.

He then asked me to book a time to go on to the 2nd interview. I said I'd discuss it with my wife. He said no discussion required as it is just an appointment and he could do on weekends.

I expressed my concern about the fee as I have never been asked to pay a penny for any job hunting services. The interviewer said that they're not a job agent or broker, they're a 'marketing' company that can help market you.

Well, I wanted to play safe and didn't want to continue as it didn't look normal to me. He then said, "You don't understand our business and you are not a fit". He said " You are a perfect fit " after we went through my resume.

I don't know if I was too sensitive or something, but I felt that that was something cheating. Does anyone know or has anyone gone through similar interviews with some so-called marketers?
140 replies
Mar 21, 2006
71 posts
I'm far from being an expert but I'd say this is some kind of scam.

I definately wouldn't get involved with something where I don't know how much it will cost me in the end. What happens after the interview and they demand $1k. They start threatening you and your wife.

Judging by the way you wrote your post you know it's a scam also.
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2003
3425 posts
Ya definitely sounds like he is trying to recruit you into something.
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User avatar
Nov 14, 2003
3324 posts
I agree with UrbanPoet, it sounds like a scam. Stay away, very far away.

If you want to play them, ask for successful customers; references! :twisted:
Oct 17, 2004
434 posts
I'd breathe a sigh of relief and be thankful you didn't fall for it. The undisclosed fee is definately the screeching loud warning bell for anyone. What if they charged you $500? I'm sure people have fallen for this and have been pressured to pay up.

Either that or it was a legitimate service that you had no idea what you were getting into.
User avatar
May 7, 2005
312 posts
I didn't think too much about it until he asked me to bring my wife to the 2nd round interview. I concerned more after he told me he wouldn't know how much the fee could be until I go to the 2nd round interview.

It doesn't sound logical to me because this guy has so many years of experience and he must have had at least 1 potential candidate. If that candidate went through to the 2nd interview, the interviewer would know how much the fee was.

I asked him several times how much the fee could be, just for a rough range, but he just said he didn't know. I also asked him what the fee consists of. He answered, the fee could cover the hours the advisor worked for my case, the gas he burned to drive around, and something I forgot.
Penalty Box
Aug 26, 2001
17111 posts
Oak Ridges, ON
definitely a scam... i didn't read your post in detail, but several things stood out, things which should sound off WARNING ALARMS in everyone's heads...

- Children and Wives are NOT brought to interviews

- You do not PAY MONEY to an interviewer, never, especially not a "headhunter" or "recruitment agency"

It doesn't sound logical to me because this guy has so many years of experience
Guy was probably lying through his teeth. He was probably just hired a few weeks ago and just reading off a script.
Apr 10, 2006
281 posts
Something is definitely not kosher here. Why do you need to bring your family to your interview? and what if you were single then what, bring a relative or a friend? WTF.

And to be asked to pay a fee HUH? you should have asked if you were on Candid Camera. What's the name of this company anyway and where did you find this job.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 2, 2003
2922 posts
Peterborough, ON
Based on your post, it sounds to me that you're smart enough to realize that this is some kind of scam. Heres my theory about what will happen:

-Some light freshment will be offer at some point to you.
-With your wife in the room with you, thats to give you a false sense of security.
-They'll engage in some small talk to try to relate to you to help develop a rapport.
-At some point your household income with be the focus of the conversation.
-A plan or pitch to you for their services will make it sound really easy for you to get rich.
-They will play on your fear of lack of financial security/financial freedom, lack of job security.
-They will show you maybe with visual aides the kind of life style you both could be enjoying(big house, boat, luxury car, vacation etc)
-They will probably use words like residuals, income for life, retire early.
-They'll say you'll get all the training, support and resources you need. In business for yourself but not by yourself.
-They will be very attentive to you and appear to be very supportive and interested in your financial success.

Now if the adviser is really good and I'm willing to bet he/she probably is, they will present all this without seeming like they're pressuring you at all. They will sound confidant and very sure of themselves and make it seem so easy for you to "make it". By then you and wife will already start thinking "maybe this is possible". Now that $500 or whatever that they'll ask for will seem like such a small price to pay to get started.

You should never have to pay a company to work for them. As a favour for the rest of us, please tell us the name of the company so we don't fall for this or PM me. Thanks!
Aug 27, 2004
204 posts
Give the name of the company!!

Seriously, I Google every company before I even apply for a job with them. A lot of people send out hundreds of resumes blindly, but that's like putting your hand in a box without knowing what's inside. All it takes is 5 minutes to do a quick search.
User avatar
May 7, 2005
312 posts
Just got up and will post details of the company when arriving at office today. Stay tuned. :)
User avatar
May 7, 2005
312 posts
Name: Cornerstone Career Partners
Location: Oakville Corporate Center
700 Dorval Drive, Suite 305
Oakville, Ontario L6K 3V3

Here goes the whole story.

I received an email from the other day as quoted.
We recently reviewed your online resume and would like to direct it to our partner, Cornerstone Career Partners. CCP is a trans national career management firm that specializes in facilitating placements for mid to senior executive level professionals. They work with mid size to multi-national corporations, affiliated executive search firms, and generate interviews with key decision makers for their clients.

If you are interested in pursing mid to senior level executive positions, please reply to and attach the most current version of your resume. We will then direct it to the appropriate consultant at CCP to follow-up. If they feel they can help you, Cindy will call you to set a time to meet with one of their executive managers.

Best Regards,

J (name snipped)
Galloway Partners
Well, I'm interested in pursuing such positions and I replied to the email address with my resume attached. But wait, the domain,, is even not set up properly if you do a quick google on it. Anyway, I thought it wouldn't hurt as they got my information somewhere from some online jobboards.

Anyways, I sent out my resume and got a phone call from Cindy afterwards. She said a company saw my professional experience from a job board and wanted her company to schedule a meeting with one of their managers. It sounded OK to me and an appointment was scheduled last night at 4:30pm at the Oakville location.

I arrived at the site a little bit earlier and stepped in Suite 305 at around 4:20pm. The manager I was visiting is called Mark. The moment I stepped in, Mark was the only person in the office.

After greeting each other, we sat down in Mark's office and he started with some normal questions.

- Why are you here today?
- What did you do in your past employments?
- What's your goal in 5~10 years?

These were all valid questions.

While I was answering those questions, he appeared to write down what our conversation was on a sheet of paper that looks like a form. I guessed it could be some candidate information form for themselves.

After the questions, he talked about this company and how they will help market me to some multi-national companies. Also, he talked about how many jobs there are in their job pool and how many canadidates they deal with. And they deal with a lot of MBAs and CXO's. Those comments sounded somewhat OK to me.

Then he asked me if I'm willing to relocate and I said no. He kept writing on his paper without even raising his head.

Now, the question section was over and I was given 2 pieces of paper.

The 1st piece lists a bunch of reasons for me to pick that could cause a person to leave the current job, the items you look forward to in your new job in terms of compensation and your 3-month, 6-month, 1-year, 5-year and 10-year goals.

The 2nd piece simply asks what kind of assistance I'm seeking from their company, in terms of what skills you want to improve. Those questions were open as I could write whatever I want. I was asked to sign and date the 2nd piece. After checking carefully the content on the 2nd piece of paper, I signed and dated it.

I was alone in Mark's office when I was filling out the 2 pieces of paper and he came back in after I completed them. He took the first piece, browsed it and wrote something onto his note, telling me my choices were pretty much valid and normal for people like myself.

He didn't pick up the 2nd piece of paper but asked me to read my answers to him while he appeared to write down my answers. Well, all looked OK so far.

Now, the weird part started. He said he had gone through my resume when I was filling out the 2 pieces of paper and thought he'd definitely put me through to the next round. Now, I felt suspicious because he didn't ask any questions about my past professional engagements. He only listened to what I told him at the beginning.

Then, he wanted to book an appointment with me and my wife. He also suggested I bring my kid to the interview, which was declined as I really didn't think that would be necessary. Before he proposed a date, I questioned him why bringing my wife would have something to do with my job hunting. He said me and my wife would discuss something, for example, there could be a fee, "which is not a burden to yourself". I initially interpreted this as the employer would pay the fee but he corrected me that I would have to pay the fee myself. I asked him how much the fee could be based on his years of experience, he said he didn't know. If he said he couldn't tell me, that would sounds more logical. But he said he didn't know, which alerted me immediately, because his not knowing the fee would be very unlikely.

I tried to find an excuse to leave the interview, saying I could call back to schedule the 2nd interview as I probably want to discuss it with my wife. Mark said that wouldn't be necessary as we only needed to work out a date to meet and he could schedule an appointment after business hours or even weekends so that my wife could attend it.

I asked again about the fee and questioned what would happen if after the 2nd interview, me and myself decide not to continue to use their service? Mark stopped for a few seconds and then came back, saying "Then you would lose a good opportunity". He also talked about the ratio that 1 out of 7 candidates will be the luck one to get the job, which gave me a hint that 6 out of 7 would be paying the fee and end up having nothing. Also, he mentioned that it is NOT his company that is interested in me but some other big companies. The big company that is interested in me asked his company to do some pre-screening or filtering on their behalf. I have never heard of this story as when a company wants to hire a job agent to look for some people for them, they will give the job description and requirements to the agent and it is the agent who searches job boards to find potential candidates. Otherwise, why bother paying an agent to do something they could do themselves?

I insisited on not making an appiontment for the 2nd interview and then Mark said I was not a fit for this position as I didn't appear to understand the business. I said fine and stepped out of the suite.

That's the end of my adventure last night and it took 30 min as it was 5pm when I came out. Maybe I really don't understand their business but, as a matter of fact, I don't want to try to understand it. :)