Job Interviews – you got to love them.  The phone calls, endless rejections, keeping the resume up to date and trying your best to appear “Confident” without showing “Desperation”.

I have read dozens of books and probably been to 90+ Interviews in my life time and I can honestly say that many of these books are written by people who I doubt have had to apply for a job in a long time.

That is, I found many of these texts to really be providing “Pre-Internet”, “Pre-GFC” type of advice with the complete assumption that you are only going up against 1-2 other candidates in a given job.

I know some very good recruiters in Sydney and I have a lot of respect for the pain and suffering that many of them go through.

Unfortunately, like in any profession – you get your occasional “Rotten Apple in the Cart”.

I had this very enthusiastic recruiter call me up and offer a job to me that was 2 ranks below what I was doing at the time.  The role offered less than what I was on and to make things better – it was for an industry that I have never worked in before.

I politely told the recruiter all the pertinent facts and that I was not suited for this role and not interested.  The recruiter kept “Pushing & Pushing” and saying I would be great for it.

They then said they will put me to their client for a higher wage.  I then said, “I don’t think so – it’s not just me”.

But the recruiter kept insisting on me – so okay, I could be wrong here? Ed – just keep an open mind.

So anyway, I rock up at the interview and it was clear in the first 3 minutes that this job wasn’t for me.  So anyway, I continue talking to the client and they started just becoming very rude and harsh with me.  I quite realized that this wasn’t going anywhere, so I simply asked “Look, you don’t seem to be too thrilled with me – Can I ask what your concerns are?”.

The client then replied “Oh, we are just keeping their options open”.  The client then started asking me quite personal questions about my business and personal life.  Although I have no problem in answering these, the complete process from the Recruiter to Client was strange to me.

The client then got very rude with me and started winding things up and then turned it on me asking “Do you have any questions as we are very busy?”.  I then a second time, went to excuse myself and said “Well, it looks like you are busy – so I won’t keep you”.

So then the client replies “No it’s okay ask away” after really being rude with me.

It was a very strange experience, no-one listened to me when I said it wasn’t me.  In fact, my resume clearly stated exactly who I am – and still to this day I wonder why they even bothered to talk to me?

Having been a hiring boss and also the poor candidate looking for work – I found it was really bad form.  It appeared they didn’t even read my resume and for whatever reason, they completely ignored my protests.

After thinking it through, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Recruiter just wanted me there as a “Filler”.  Either that or they are completely daffy! A good lesson here is an old cliche “Time in Money!”.  Just ask for what you want and don’t mess around I say!


6 Responses

  1. I share your concerns Ed! Some recruiters have no clue whilst others have a ‘holier than thou’ attitude looking at you with disdain. It is just too easy for recruiters to fill their quota and boost their jobseeker database. I am in the market now for a new job having being made redundant and finding that there is no shortage of work (in Sydney anyway), however, picking the one that suits me and vice versa is tough. What I’ve learnt is:
    Don’t waste your time – if I want to be valued, I must only apply to jobs I want to do. My time is valuable too even if I am out of work;
    You said it – Know what you want and ask for it – a first step to prove that you’re serious;
    Appear keen but not desperate and don’t take just anything.

    • Wow Michael that sounds great.

      It’s good to hear that I am not the only one. And that is true isn’t it? Some recruiters treat candidates like complete scum and it’s really sad when you get some recruiters like that just give a bad image to their whole profession.

      Let me know how you go!
      Ed 🙂

  2. Having worked in Australia’s largest reruitment firms and having dealt with recruitment consultants as a client seeking candidates and as a job seeker, one issue is that there are no standards or qualifications or certifications required to become a recruiter. Many people think that recuitment is about recruitment. It’s not: it’s about getting commission into your bank account with the least effort in the shortest amount of time possible. Much like used car sales and real estate sales, base salaries are typically quite low and it’s the commission that makes the job lucrative.

    Once a recruiter secures an assignment, they want to get a bum in a seat as quickly as possible because when that happens the client pays the firm and the firm pays the consultant at the end of the quarter. If there’s three weeks to go before the end of the quarter and you have an assignment that will pay you (the consultant) $5k+ in commission if you get the bum seated before the quarter ends, you go all out to achieve that, don’t you. Otherwise you have to wait until the end of the next quarter. Patience is not one of the criteria used to select recruitment consultants.

    The underlying problems in the industry are (a) the process to select recruitment consultants and (b) the nature and structure of the reward structure in the industry.

    Anyone can get a job in recruitment if they have are confident and aggressive while being engaging, can follow a simple standard process or forumula and have plenty of gumption and perseverence.

    What gets measured gets attention. If a consultant is rewarded with more money and that money is paid quicker into their accounts, expect the behaviours you describe.

    One of the other issues is that many consultants have no or little business experience to enable them to (a) actually understand how a business works, (b) interpret what their clients actually need and (c) interpret the experience and achievements of the candidates who lob into their flash offices.

    Many of my relatively senior level clients with 20+ years experience in business tell me that they are dumbfounded at how a 25 year old with a year under their belt in recruitment, 3 years previous experience in a junior role in a bank and a partly completed degree in History and Sociolgy from a former CAE in Bathurt can possibly understand the signficance of what a manager running a $150m a year business unit has done.

    There are exceptions of course. There are some highly professional recruitment consultants with a solid background in business and / or HR at a senior level, just like there are some ethical and professional real estate agents who see the big picture and focus on the long term. But many see it as a way of making some big bucks in the short term.

    So my friend Ed, that’s life. Deal with it.

    • Hi Tom,

      A great reply and thank you very much for the contribution! That would explain a lot for sure – there is such a huge variation between “Good” and “Bad” recruiters and it finally makes sense! I just think it’s a real pity for the good recruiters out there, their profession is being trashed by the “Short-Termer’s” out there giving them a bad reputation which they don’t deserve!

      Thanks again 🙂
      Ed Zia

  3. Hi this website isnice Job Interviews – you got to love them. The phone calls, endless rejections, keeping the resume up to date and trying your best to appear “Confident” without showing “Desperatio

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