A few months ago I received an email inviting me to give a talk at a company that will remain anonymous — let's just say that it is a Bay Area company that has an interest in genomics (so that narrows it down to a few hundred or so).
I will stress that the original email simply asked, in very general terms, if I would be interested in visiting to give a talk. There was some back-and-forth email as we tried confirming a date and one email clarified that I could give a talk, have lunch, and then "perhaps" have some one-on-one meetings.
After we confirmed the date, I received an email that included my itinerary for the day. A few alarm bells rang when I saw that the file attachment was named 'Interview schedule'. In addition to giving a talk and having lunch I was now scheduled to have seven separate interviews with people at the company.
At this point I noticed from their company's website that they were actively recruiting, but I double checked all of our earlier email communications and confirmed that at no point had any employment opportunities been mentioned. So maybe 'interviews' was their name for informal one-on-ones?
Then a few days ago I received another confusing email that asked me to sign the company's NDA and complete the the employment application form. Hmm, it was decidedly looking like they were under the impression that I was being interviewed for a job. Not wanting to waste anyone's time I clarified that I thought I was just giving a talk. This no doubt has caused an equal measure of confusion at their end, and they swiftly suggested we cancel the whole thing.
So I'm no longer giving a talk this week, though as I have made many new slides I may well put the talk online anyway. It still kind of amazes me that this company could get so far along the recruitment process without realizing that the person that they wanted to interview hadn't actually applied for anything.