5 Things NOT to Say to a Recruiter

5 Things NOT to Say to a Recruiter

The nice thing about a great employment rate in the country is that there’s a greater demand for your services and skills. That may lead to a competing offer from a recruiter trying to lure you to work at another company instead.

However, some workers forget the cardinal rule of always trying to look your best when you’re at a job interview. If you’ve been approached by a recruiter, you can’t regard them as merely the middlemen between you and your future employer. You have to regard them as another part of the hiring process, and you cannot underestimate the recruiter’s role on whether you get a more attractive offer or not.

This means you need to watch your mouth when you’re interacting with the recruiter, as the wrong words can botch the whole thing up. Here are some statements that you should never ever utter during that conversation with a recruiter:

  1. “I know the interview is supposed to be today, but can we reschedule this?”

    This is a cardinal sin. It shows a marked lack of respect for your recruiter and their job offer when you cancel an interview on the day it’s supposed to be held. The only reason this is even remotely acceptable is if there has been a sudden family emergency or death. However, if you’re running late, call or send an email with an explanation. In general, you need to be respectful.

  2. “I’m open to any job available in your company.”

    Job interviews are like first dates, and in both cases, you don’t want to come across as desperate. This statement is and for your image for several reasons. It implies some sort of inadequacy on your part, and you’re selling yourself short. The statement also makes it look like you haven’t thought things through regarding the move to the new company and your career goals. You also tell the recruiter that you’re willing to settle, and that’s an attitude that won’t get you the best offer.

  3. “Wow, that’s a great salary!”

    The rule in salary negotiation is that you never bite at the first offer. It doesn’t matter if that offer is already larger than what you were expecting to get in the end. You should do your research, and then make your salary pitch based on your research and the offers you get. A good salary negotiation is not accepting the company’s offer. They should be saying “yes” to your salary demands.

  4. “My previous (or current) company is terrible.”

    This is a huge mistake. You simply can’t complain about your former company, boss, or colleagues. Trash-talking only ends up making you look bad. Instead of complaining about the work circumstances, focus on how you dealt with the challenges that you faced.

  5. “My boss felt threatened by me, which is why they won’t give me a good recommendation.”

    Again, it doesn’t matter if this is true or not. If you give them a list of recommendations and your boss isn’t on the list, the recruiter will probably not comment on the absence anyway. If the recruiter does ask why your boss isn’t on that list, you can reply that your list of recommendations offers the most comprehensive view of why you’re the best person for the job.

Any snarky comments made to the recruiter should also be avoided, even if you’re annoyed that it took a while for the recruiter to respond to your job application. You may not be the only applicant, and the recruiter may be dealing with a busy schedule as well. Again, treat it like a first date—always be respectful and make yourself look good!  

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