I love recruiting! It’s an incredibly rewarding profession as I get to help a lot of people find their next career. Over the years, I’ve had great candidates and some not so great. I decided to dedicate this blog to the not so great to let you, the job seeker, know what things NOT to do during your next conversation with a recruiter.
1. Don’t be disrespectful or condescending.
“After all, this is just a phone interview at this point.” This is an actual quote I got not too long ago from a candidate that sought me out because of their interest in a job I had posted. The sad thing was that it was said within the first five minutes of our conversation and set the tone for the entire interview, which by the way only lasted 10 minutes. If you approach a phone interview as an inconvenient step in the hiring process and that comes across in your tone, I guarantee the process will be shorter than the wingspan of a gnat. Phone screens are often the first step. You don’t know what kind of influence the interviewer has with the hiring manager, so making them feel insignificant isn’t really a great way to start. Treat them with respect and they will be your biggest cheerleader throughout your journey.
2. Don’t be evasive when answering questions.
Recruiters ask questions for a reason…they want answers. Simple right? If we ask you for the reasons behind leaving your last nine jobs and you dodge, evade or flat-out refuse to answer the questions, guess what, you’re done. The same goes with the salary question. We ask to see the pattern in your income and to see if the position you are applying for will be in the same ballpark as where you have been or want to be. It makes no sense to take someone through a long hiring process if they are expecting $100K a year when the position tops out at $60K. If salary isn’t your main motivator then say so. We respect that.
3. Not being consistent in your answers or misrepresenting yourself.
I had a candidate that interviewed so well over the phone, I was in awe. They had great communication skills, said all the right things and asked very deep questions that were very thought inspired. At the end of our interview, I was thrilled to present them to the hiring manager. But when they showed up, it’s as if their evil twin walked into the room. They presented themselves professionally (and by this I mean a nice suit), but told the hiring manager most of what they said in our interview was just fluff to get to the face to face. In their mind, they thought they were being clever and showing that they were willing to do whatever it took to get the business. They thought it would portray them as a clever go-getter and make them more attractive. On the contrary, it backfired and badly. Not only was I ticked off at being played, but the hiring manager was as well. What they did show us was that they were willing to lie and misrepresent themselves to further their cause at any cost. No company with any integrity would move forward with someone who displayed such a blatant act of lying. The candidate was truly in shock when the interview ended so quickly. Can you say, “Duh?”
Folks, interviewing isn’t rocket science, and good interviews are really more conversations about goals and desires more than they are scripted questions and practiced answers. Recruiters are there to help you. Think of them as your corporate friend. You’ll go much farther in the hiring process with them on your side than you would if you treated them as just a step.