Things Recruiters don't Tell You / Second Choice / Personal Feelings
So let’s say you are a good fit in term of experiences & skills, that along will not get you hired.
Have you ever felt like a job was practically made for you, everything went out pretty well through the interviews, but in the end you got rejected?
You did not understand and all you got from the recruiter is that you were not well-suited, which didn’t make any sense.
Candidates complain all the time that they don’t get honest feedback from recruiters. It’s sadly true, there are things that recruiters won’t tell you because they’re related to you at a personal level.
I speak from my experiences as a recruiter in France and Hong Kong. Every story is unique and personal so you will relate or not to what I’m about to share with you. I want to cover what is most likely to happen in your life. So I’ve come up with three categories of things recruiters will almost never tell you. And believe me when I say recruiters, unfortunately that includes me as well and I’ll explain why.
1. You can be a second choice
That means the company had another candidate they prefer. So they choose a second one and keep him/her in the loop until the end in case the preferred candidate doesn’t take the job offer. If recruiters don’t keep other options then they might have to go through the whole process all over again. So I agree with that practice. Plus it’s true that the company likes you and is willing to hire you…only if the other one doesn’t take the job. So it’s not as bad as it sounds, it’s actually a good thing as still can get the job.
Imagine a recruiter telling you that. You wouldn’t like it, would you?
When I worked as a recruitment consultant I did tell my candidates when they had strong competition but without much details – as it would not help anyway.
I understand your disappointment when you are rejected, especially when you thought everything went super well and only got positive feedback. You wonder what went wrong.
When my friends are in this situation I explain that nothing was wrong, the company just liked someone else better, maybe less skilled or experienced than you and maybe you were probably going to do a better job. Most of the time it’s a matter of personal feelings and you can’t really do something about it so just move on.
And by the way you are doing it too!
When you’ve got several good leads you tell all companies that you are super interested until you secure you favourite offer and then turn down the others – which you knew for several days or weeks that you were going to.
It’s called strategy.
2. It’s personal – it’s not just about how well you are likely to do on the job.
Connecting with the corporate recruiter or your future boss is absolutely necessary, as they are the people you are going to work with. Most naturally people are attracted to similar people (meaning with same interests or past life experiences) and tend to hire someone they like.
Sometimes you have the right background, experiences and skills – but it’s just that the people in front of you did not get a good feeling and will come up with excuses to put you in the “no” pile. And that’s just it.
3. Attitude /Presentation
The last category is the least pleasant because it’s related to your physic or attitude.
The good news is that you can improve it and increase your chances at getting the job you want…that is if you are willing to change AND if someone is willing to tell you about it as you are probably not aware of it.
Recruiters will not tell you those things as they are too personal. People take those kind of feedback very badly so it is super sensitive.
The few times I tried when people asked me, they got really mad.
And when I talk about ”physic” I don’t mean how good looking you are because I really don’t care.
I know you CAN get rejected by employers as you are not pretty enough, or you teeth or skin doesn’t look great – I’ve heard tons of beauty requirements from clients in cosmetic and luxury industries – and as a recruiter we can almost do nothing about it because even if we present you to that unethical recruiting managers they will most likely (99%) not hire you anyway.
Which is a good thing as you don’t want to work for someone who doesn’t appreciate you. So focus on the positive and move on.
So I mean any weird things about you which makes you not presentable to meet with a recruiting manager or client if you’re in contact with a consultant. In both cases our reputation and trust are on the line every time we introduce a candidate.
I’ve meet quite my share of weird candidates. We cannot really help them change their presentation or attitude, we are not life coaches. We really we have no time for that.
Tell me if you’d like to hear that:
“Please take a shower as I’m about to faint”
“Wash your greasy hair it looks creepy and dirty”
“Do something about your bad breath because it’s killing me”
”You need to shave and probably need a clean hair cut too because this won’t work”
Also candidates who are too full of themselves won’t like it if we tell them. It’s really annoying to have someone in front of you who brag way too much and can’t even listen (I’ll do another post on that).
If you ask me I will honestly tell you even if it’s not nice to hear because I know it will help you. But don’t ask if you are not ready to hear about it.
If you want real feedback on you attitude and presentation to improve your chances at getting hired, do mock interviews with close people with experience in recruitment or get a life or career coach, they are here for that. You can also drop by your local career centre and ask to meet with someone for advice.
Can you relate some of your past experiences to any of that? Were you ever aware that you were a second choice? How did you reacted?
I would love to read your story and discuss about it in the comment section below.