Even though there are more than 7.9 billion people in the world, the chances of us bumping into someone we know are starkly high.
This is what happened with this Redditor.

A Redditor posted how they were supposed to interview someone who happened to be their junior in college. However, things are not as rosy as they might sound. The person noted how the interviewee was not a fit candidate because they cheated through tests and assignments in college, and had the work ethic of “a panda“.

The interviewer clarified how they raised this issue with the HR and refused to take their interview. However, this incident raised an important question for the redditor- Is it ethical to reject someone in an interview based on the past experience you have had with them? And if they did the right thing?
Like always, the internet came up with answers and similar incidents.

“I had many classmates in my BE who were shit at studies. They never took the course seriously. Two of them even had year backs. They finished their BE and most of them are well set. People change. In your case, you should not take the interview because that will be a conflict of interest. You can maybe tell the hiring manager about your concern, but not to any other interviewers.” – _theriddle_

“I think you did the right thing to back out of the interview panel. Your knowledge is introducing a bias that is not fair to the person, as they may have changed (for the better – let’s hope so). As for the person, to be a right fit for your company, it’s not as if he is going to be your damaad. Corporate has far more resources and tricks than you. So give it a rest. Learn to compartmentalize. People change. Giving you an example from biology – not all seeds flower in all soils. Maybe this person will be fruitful in your organization.” – MumbaiReturned

“Conflict of interest.” – seeunseenoel

“You did the right thing by not interviewing him. The best would be to leave it at that and let the interview panel make a decision based on their evaluation of the candidate’s experience and potential. Trying to influence the decision on hiring can be perceived as a personal vendetta. People change and it is only fair for this person to get a fair chance – just like you would want if and when you look for your next position.” – filmytank

“You did the right thing by recusing yourself. Let him crack it at his own volition. Also, it’s not your company, so it’s up to the candidate to clear the established recruitment process.” – bhodrolok

“I think you did the right thing by letting someone else interview him. I feel you should give him a chance. People change with time. I used to copy in my lab coding exams because I was never able to understand coding (not that am proud of). Fast forward to two years, I learnt to code after my graduation and now I am doing quite well. I am one of the hard-working developers in the team. Also got a hike of 78% after 10 months on the job for my contribution. I am not saying everyone changes with time, but you can give him a chance.” – lone_wolfy007

“Stop being a wagie slave and let a man hustle. If you’re not comfortable, just ask the HR dude to remove you from the interview process as you might be biased as you already know him. Let the result of the interview rest on his abilities. It’s good that you think so eagerly about “your” company, but unless you are the founder, “your company” won’t even think for a minute before kicking you to the curb if things ever go south.” – Reigen441

“If you know that person, it is ethical to stay away from the selection process.” – Kambar

“It’s a grey area. How long ago were you guys in college? If it’s been a few years, chances are he may have mended his ways. The best thing for you to do is exactly what you did, excuse yourself from the process. However, you should also let the new interviewer know that you know this guy personally and what kind of a person he was. That should help them be more aware of his mannerisms and cues to look for to decide if he has changed or is still the same.” – buzzing_bee90

“You can’t judge somebody coming out of college for their work ethic on the corporate job. Students go through a major transition from college life to corporate life when they are learning how this world works.” – Beneficial-Neck1743

“I’d say take the interview and check for those exact same things you think are concerning. If those exist, recommend as reject. Put the ethics aside – this is not a case of discrimination based on religion, race etc. but objectively on an individual’s ability to do the job. That said, don’t say anything about pandas. They’re cute.” – karky214

“My advice in Hindi- “bhai tu apni zindagi ji. Kyu kisi dusre ki career ke peeche pada hai.”iwanttoaskhere

“That’s not your problem unless he joins your team. Let the HR people earn their salary.” – NitulDeshpande

“I think it’s fair to share your experience of him in college. Cheating is a pretty bad trait.” – bollywoodhero786

“I had 20+ backlogs in my engineering. 20+ years later, I’m a Senior Director at a large bio-tech company and an angel investor – most likely the second wealthiest guy in my engineering class of 60 folks. My engineering performance and my life after are not necessarily connected. I didn’t understand the gravity of life until I started working. And people change for the better. If you want to punish people for their past deeds, you probably don’t belong in that interviewer’s seat. Good call asking to be removed.” – Inevitable_Dish_99

“Excuse yourself from the panel and that’s about it. His manager will be responsible for his performance evaluation.” – FitFatFitFatFit

“Absolutely use this information in your decision. Firstly, this is not bias. This is material information… But of course, be reasonable in your decision. Consider the fact that students normally do cheat in colleges. So consider what kind of cheating this guy demonstrated? Now is it possible they might have changed? Sure… Consider the extent of their dishonesty…So would you want to work with a coworker like that?” – a9entropy2

“On the contrary, be his interviewer. As you already know what his shortcomings maybe, you are better suited to judge him as a potential worker. If he’s actually the same person as before, reject him citing your reasons. You know your biases. Work around them. Furthermore, if he does get hired, there would always be that nagging suspicion that he somehow duped the interviewer.”- Dr_MoRpHed

“You seem to be the kind of guy who was a nerd his entire college life, just slogging off everything, and the jealous type who looked at other kids, and thought I want to live that. But no one would include you.” – kawerr

“It depends on how he would react to seeing you. If he starts ass licking in an attempt to get higher compensation, reject his ass and send him packing to those WITCH companies.” –  Eradonn

“Unless he will be directly reporting to you, you should let it go. Just back out of the interview and don’t interfere. If other interviewers find him worthy then no harm is done, otherwise, if he is as bad as you say he is, he will be rejected anyway.” – IamMayankThakur

What are your thoughts?