Recruiter Stories: Don’t Do This at Your Interview!
Whether you’re entrenched in a job search currently, or you’ve not interviewed in a decade or more, you understand that there are some standard expectations during the process. Dress for the job you want, show up on time, don’t have spinach in your teeth. Even with a common understanding about what not to do in your interview, the real-life recruiter stories that follow will illustrate the fact that not everyone has gotten the memo.
We reached out to the recruiters at Blue Signal and asked them to share with us the craziest candidate stories they had. Here are some of the best:
Plan Your Route and Parking Beforehand
Kimberly had a candidate who was heading to an in-person interview in downtown Chicago. Although this person left early with the goal of arriving to the interview on time, they had a panic attack about finding a parking spot in the busy downtown area. Because of their trepidation, they completely missed the interview and showed up at the office more than 90 minutes late. The candidate then had to wait for the hiring manager to come out so they could apologize in person.
Moral of the story: Drive the route and find a few parking options a day or two before the interview, so you know what your plan is. Otherwise, take a taxi, public transportation, or rideshare.
Too Much Is Just Too Much
Rhi has three recruiter stories of crazy occurrences before, during, and after interviews.
Before the interview, a candidate was running late and called the office to let them know. She then proceeded to keep calling the office with updates, repeatedly telling them she was “almost there.” She finally showed up for her interview—three hours after she was expected.
During a video interview, a candidate’s sister went into labor. The candidate lived with her pregnant sister, and the interview was scheduled while they were both at home. Understandably, the interview needed to be curtailed, after which the candidate actually delivered the baby at home. This lucky candidate was offered—and accepted—the job (presumably not as a doula).
After the interview, one candidate was so excited that he emailed the interviewer a follow-up email. That first email was repeated several times, and he eventually sent fifty emails during the course of that first night.
Moral of the story: Be upfront and honest with your interviewer—but know that too much is just too much.
It Seems Obvious, But…
Angela’s recruiter stories relate to topics that seem like no-brainers, but some people haven’t yet learned what not to do or say.
Several times, while doing background checks, Angela, a human resources professional, has come across situations that have made her unable to move forward to offer a candidate the position. These include charges for possession of illegal drugs, breaking and entering, and even attempted murder. All these situations came from candidates who told Angela they had no concerns with her running a background check. Apparently, they’d forgotten their transgressions!
The top challenge Angela has faced when interviewing candidates is being hit on. During the interview. That’s a sure-fire way to miss out on a date as well as on a potential new job.
Moral of the story: If it feels like something you shouldn’t do, don’t do it. Oh, and be honest. Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.
Mind Your P’s and Q’s After You’re Hired as Well
Because of her roles in HR, Angela has seen several issues once candidates get hired, in addition to those she’s encountered during the interview process. One of her employees was arrested on the job after using his work computer to hire a hitman. Another time, her company lost three people at one outing when they left for a break and the driver was pulled over. Three of the four people in the vehicle had warrants for their arrest, so they never returned to work.
Moral of the story: Continue to be on your best behavior, even after securing the opportunity.
Interviewers Make Mistakes Too
Kaitlyn has her share of recruiter stories, but the one she chose to highlight stemmed from a misstep on the part of the interviewers; however, there’s plenty to learn here for a candidate as well.
When a candidate went to an interview, the interviewers failed to respect her or her time. They didn’t have any prepared questions, hadn’t reserved a room for the meeting, had no way to take notes, and one even kept their air pods in during the interview. When arriving for the meeting, the candidate had to seek out the interviewers, who seemed to have completely forgotten they even had an interview scheduled (clearly, from their lack of preparation).
Understandably, the candidate was upset about the entire situation and was abrasive with the interviewing committee. Because of how she reacted, the team didn’t feel respected, and although the hiring manager understood that the team hadn’t been adequately trained on how to interview candidates, the process stalled.
Moral of the story: No matter what’s occurring on the other side of the table, always keep your cool and stay professional. While the interviewers may have some leeway to mess up, you don’t.
Avoid Becoming One of these Recruiter Stories
Truly, this collection is just the tip of the iceberg. If you google “recruiter stories,” you will find a bounty of hilariously shocking tales of warning. And that’s just how you should interpret them: as reminders of what not to do during your job search. Some are innocent enough, but others defy common sense.
When you’re looking for a job, it’s imperative to bring your “A” game at every interaction. Be prepared for your interviews, follow up afterward (but not too much), and maintain your professionalism once you’re in the job. At Resume and Career Services, every person we work with gains access to our comprehensive career advancement program. Across six courses, each filled with 10–15 lessons, you’ll learn all the ways you can master your job search and find a new position faster. Plus, with a talented resume writer and career advocate on your team, along with an introduction to an experienced Blue Signal recruiter, you can’t lose!
Learn more about how Resume and Career Services can help elevate your job-search results.