I have had the pleasure of bringing companies, candidates, and managers together for over four years and during this time have witnessed some major candidate faux pas that have made lasting impressions. I revisited my catalogue of candidate missteps to create my top five tips for the prospective employee. Best of luck in your career search!
- Be polite: You may be the cream of the crop but check your ego at the door. If you are difficult/egotistical during the recruiting process, we are led to believe that you will be the same if not worse as an employee.
- Know what you want: Nothing is more discouraging to a recruiter than a candidate who has no idea what type of opportunities they are targeting. One of our goals as a recruiter is to ensure that we are bringing candidates, managers, and opportunities together that are the right fit. Come to the table with your ideal opportunity and be able to articulate items that are and are not negotiable for you.
- Provide clear examples but don’t get lost in the detail: You will be asked to demonstrate certain areas of expertise through examples. Keep in mind that is it very likely the person you are speaking with has never performed that particular job. While recruiters have great understanding of the jobs we are recruiting for, we are not Java programmers so provide good examples but don’t go so far in to depth that you lose us.
- Be honest about your salary requirement: If you tell a recruiter you want 55k but you really want 65k—bad move on so many levels. You could not only end up wasting everyone’s time but if things do move forward—you significantly delay the hiring process. Let the recruiter know up front what your real expectations are—you can discuss in terms of minimum and what you hope for.
- Follow instructions: It is very likely that you will be asked to complete applications forms and to bring them to your interview. Don’t forget to do this. The recruiting process is a time when we expect the best behavior out of every candidate and forgetting to follow instructions now leaves an extremely bad impression and it can slow down the hiring process. (Not that it is okay to forget things when you are hired, but you get the point.)