How to Stick in a Recruiter’s Memory

Some tongue in cheek advice and personal anecdotes

Not everyone has the ability to be the perfect candidate; an exceptional specimen of professionalism brimming with a strong/relevant experience, friendly demeanour and raring to go on any opportunities available.

Nevertheless there are many different ways to make yourself memorable to people like us and potential employers…both in a positive and negative way I might add! Unfortunately as both parties regard interviews seriously (goes without saying!) it means we will remember when a candidate does something particularly inadvisable.

Of course there are the average, run-of-the-mill mistakes that even the most cautious candidate can still make in a momentarily lapse of judgement. These vary from exposing too much of your anatomy with a slightly low cut top (fellas this counts for you too!) to being stuck in traffic and not informing anyone you are running a tad late. You would also think that a good standard of hygiene is an absolute must, especially after your morning workout…however life is full of surprises.

Sometimes people will exhibit baffling behaviour, especially when they profess to be looking for a job. Although if you don’t feel compelled to attend an interview for whatever reason, it is wise to let the right people know and well ahead of time. For example I have experienced one instance where a candidate emailed saying that they turned up, got told no one was expecting them so they left. We had an inkling that this wasn’t the case. So later when calling the client to address the issue it, we found out that the candidate simply just hadn’t turned up in the first place! At least that is one way of making yourself memorable.

We like to make sure that people are fully prepared for what lies ahead. Not only does it increase the likelihood of succeeding to the next stage, but it makes you look better and feel more relaxed. However as we experienced with one candidate who we’d been chasing to prepare, it is not recommended to ring us on your way to said interview, as it is too late for us to be of any help at all.

We also urge against making assumptions, as one candidate found out by refusing any assistance and then didn’t get a job, what a surprise! In all fairness we still feel sorry for the candidate but you cannot doubt that extra familiarity with the company could make all the difference.

We also have other indelible memories of candidate interviews which still puzzle us to this day. For instance the candidate who pretended to woof in a desperate attempt to break the tension. Or the person who when asked to spin a creative tale about their story leading up to the interview and answered with a confused comment about how there wasn’t any traffic, thereby missing the entire point of the question. Even when you believe the job is yours bar one final meeting, we really do not recommend turning up in a pair of cut-off jeans!

When all is said and done, an interview really isn’t a big commitment. By accepting you don’t instantly sign your life away. It’s a good opportunity to check out client culture and your potential new line manager, opportunities for progression and specifics of the role/projects that often a job spec doesn’t reveal. If nothing else it’s good practice for the right job interview! If you decide that you aren’t keen on the company after all, we cannot stress enough that the sooner you communicate it to us the better! We have ways of sensitively letting a client know…

Despite these hair-pulling moments of frustration, it pays off when a candidate is successful. But everyone has a bad interview story (or it just hasn’t happened yet). What’s yours?

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