how is being recruited different from just applying for a job?

A reader writes:

I was curious about what kind of differences can be expected in interviews where a candidate is one of dozens — if not hundreds — who have applied for a position, and interviews where a company has specifically sought out a particular few individuals for a position they have open.

I recently had an interview of the latter type and there was quite a difference between how I expected the interview to go and how it actually went.

I have worked as, let’s say, a teapot machine operator for seven years but have been looking for a new job recently, as I’ve maxed out my potential growth at my current employer. I recently got a message via LinkedIn from a local company that had an open operator position for similar – but more advanced – work, and would like to have an interview with me about filling the role. They even said in their message that they thought I would be an excellent fit for the job!

I wasn’t sure if it would be the right move for my career, but I knew I owed it to myself to at least explore the opportunity, so I scheduled an interview with them.

While I was assuming it would be a standard formal interview, and prepared for it as such, I was caught off-guard when the first thing they had me do was fill out an application for the position. The application had sections for job history and education (as well as salary history, which I, of course, left blank, much to their dismay). I figured providing this information was sort of irrelevant at this point since they clearly knew it all from my LinkedIn profile, so I wasn’t sure why they were having me give it to them again. They also never asked to see my resume.

In the course of the interview, they asked a lot of questions that I felt would be asked of a candidate who had no experience in the field at all, and they asked, “Why do you want to work for Pro Teapots Inc?” That seemed out of place to me since, in a sense, they were the ones who asked me if I wanted to work there.

Was I way off the mark to expect a lot of these basics to be skipped over since they specifically sought me out? Or was this just a case of people being bad at giving interviews?

For what it’s worth, I took your advice to heart about interviews being a two-way street and, instead of worrying if I was a good fit for them, I decided after the odd interview and doing more exploring into the company’s reputation that they were not a good fit for me and declined the job.

Yes, the experience of being actively recruited for a job should indeed be a bit different than the experience of applying for a job.

When a company seeks you out and tries to convince you to apply, they should be wooing you a bit. They should take the time to talk to you up-front, answer your questions, and pitch themselves a bit. They should try to get you invested in the position — they shouldn’t assume that you’re already interested, since they approached you rather than the other way around. That’s especially true when you’re what’s called a “passive candidate” — meaning that you’re already happily employed and not job searching.

They also should be thoughtful about minimizing any hoops they ask you to jump through, like filling out an application. You may need to do that at some point as part of their process (not to apply, but to ensure they have all the info they need from you), but it shouldn’t be the first thing they have you do, and they should explain why they’re asking for it.

And they should certainly tailor the questions they ask you to fit the circumstances. That means not asking candidates who they’d actively sought out and convinced to apply, “Why do you want to work here?” It’s not that it won’t be appropriate at some point to delve into what appeals to the candidate about the company or the role, but it’s not what you’d ask in a first interview in this context.

I’d suspect that what happened in your situation was that these are people who just aren’t great at recruiting and interviewing (and thus haven’t thought through how and why they should treat people they sought out differently). Or it’s possible that the person who recruited you isn’t the same person who interviewed you, and forgot to pass along relevant information about how you came to be talking with them.

All that said … there are different types of recruiting, and the above applies more to some types than to others. If someone from the company contacts you and pitches you on the job and invites you to come talk with them, that’s when you should expect to be wooed a bit in the way I described above. But if a recruiter contacts you on behalf of a client, you often should still expect to go through the client organization’s standard hiring process. In your case, though, it sounds more like the former, and it sounds like you were right to be taken aback by how they handled the process.

{ 57 comments… read them below }

  1. ThatGirl*

    I was job-searching over the spring and summer and had a similar, somewhat bewildering experience.

    A local company’s HR rep reached out to me, asking if I would be potentially be interested in a job – sent me the description; we had a few go-rounds because the title of the job (technical graphic designer – none of those things that I am or was marketing myself as) turned out to be inaccurate as to the actual job description. She thought I could be a good fit, so I said what the heck, let’s find out more – and then I had three (3) phone interviews of varying length, plus an official online application and a more information questionnaire about my interest in the job … and then after six weeks of that got the “sorry, no dice” message.

    Which was fine – but my experience was very clearly laid out, if that wasn’t the kind of thing you were looking for, why reach out to me at all? And never an in-person interview. But whatever, hands washed of it, found a great fit.

    1. Zencate*

      I had that same thing with a dubious job title; that can be awkward to explain to a company and negotiate.

      1. ThatGirl*

        Come to think of it I’ve been recruited a few times to apply for a job where I was skeptical that I was what they were looking for, they convinced me to keep going, and then abruptly said “sorry, you’re not what we’re looking for” … like, it’s never been a massive bummer but it’s definitely kind of annoying. I always have wanted to say why don’t you figure out exactly what kind of candidate you want first…

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      Sometimes I find that folks who aren’t sure about the job title are sometimes new to hiring for that type of job. So they sometimes learn by going through the process that they’re not searching for the position they actually want to add. It’s good that they learn what they’re really looking for, but it’s frustrating for candidates who are being recruited.

  2. Jesca*

    Whenever this has happened to me, the wooing normally happens during the phone interview or doing some informal quick meeting. When I get to an in-person interview, I always assume that I am going to be asked why I want to work there whether they found me or I them. I kind of disagree here with Alison! Yikes, I don’t want to admit that! But I think being sought or not, you should always be prepared for basic interview questions when being called in for an actual interview no matter what! And most places have you fill out an application because it is some arbitrary requirement. Also, some places do skip the wooing if the position is more lower level than higher management ones.

      1. JulieBulie*

        I was just thinking that if I had been recruited and already had a job, and they asked during the interview “Why do you want to work here?,” I’d have no choice but to reply, “I don’t know that I do want to work here yet. I was recently recruited, so this is my first exposure to the position and to the company.”

        1. Old Cynic*

          I was asked once during the interview “Why do you want to work here?,” and also replied “I don’t know that I do want to work here yet. That’s part of the interview process for me.” They asked me why I was job hunting and my reply was “I’m not, the recruiter you engaged thought my skill set and experience would benefit your firm.” They followed up with “Why do you want to leave your current job? What don’t you like about it?” I said “I’m very happy with my current position and haven’t been looking to make a switch. Your recruiter thought we may be a good match and I was intrigued enough to consider making a move and how it might benefit me.”

          1. JulieBulie*

            So you told them you weren’t job hunting, and THEN they asked why you wanted to leave your current job? That sounds like an exasperating person to work with.

            1. yasmara*

              I think that’s a person reading off an interview script (literally) who didn’t think through it enough beforehand to tailor to the individual in front of them.

              1. BioPharma*

                What’s that example in journalism? Something like:

                Journalist: So where do you live?
                Interviewee: In Town, X, where I killed by brother.
                Journalist: Great, and what do you do for work?

  3. WITney Houston*

    In previous positions where my team has been looking for candidates, we interviewed both recruits and direct applicants – so the me it’s not a black and white issue (one method vs. the other). While I agree it may have been a bit off-putting, I don’t think it’s an egregious error on their part. Having been the interviewer in this situation, I’ve had talent acquisition schedule interviews with me where I have no idea if the candidate applied themselves or was found by our TA team. So in this case those questions would be completely valid. Plus, to be honest, I wouldn’t want to hire someone who wasn’t stoked about working for my company, regardless of their qualifications, especially if they were currently with one of my competitors in the industry.

    The caveat I have (which negates most of my comments above) is if this interview was with the person who reached out to you in the first place. Then yeah, that’s weird.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yeah, that’s what I was getting at when I said “it’s possible that the person who recruited you isn’t the same person who interviewed you, and forgot to pass along relevant information about how you came to be talking with them.”

      I do think it’s okay to ask about interest at some point (from the post: “It’s not that it won’t be appropriate at some point to delve into what appeals to the candidate about the company or the role, but it’s not what you’d ask in a first interview in this context”) — it’s how it was done here that’s the issue. They treated her like she was on a candidate assembly line.

      1. WITney Houston*

        Apologies, wasn’t trying to contradict/criticize, but more to reiterate those specific points you made to the OP so they don’t write off what could be a good opportunity .

      2. Bex*

        I wonder if they are using LinkedIn to get people onto the candidate assembly line? I’ve noticed a definite increase of companies sending very vague emails pitching jobs that don’t actually match my experience. For example, got this one the other day:

        “I came across your profile on LinkedIn and I am impressed with your [industry] experience. We hire smart, high-level talent, and your skill set makes you the perfect match for [company/department] Coordinator role”

        Sounds great! I’m impressive! And a perfect match!! Except this was a position for someone with 1-2 years of experience, where I’m currently a Director with almost 15 yrs under my belt. So I assume that the in-house recruiter was sending these emails out really widely, in the hope of getting a couple hits.

        1. MCMonkeyBean*

          Yeah, I’m wondering if this is a case where they overestimated the interest of the company based on a linkedin message. I think a lot of companies just search for “teapots” and send a message to everyone with remotely related experience hoping to expand their applicant pool.

          1. Lars the Real Girl*

            “Overestimated interest”. Yes. We sometimes reach out to a variety of people to say “hey, we have an opening that fits your profile, if you’re interested in applying, go here:”

            That’s very differently from actively recruiting/headhunting a high level position where we ARE trying to woo.

            Not saying that’s what happened here, the company could just be crappy (or any of the other reasons listed above), but just because the company/recruiter made the first step, doesn’t mean they’re chasing YOU, specifically you and only you, for a role.

        2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

          Of course they are. Using LinkedIn is a low-cost option – they don’t have to pay a recruiter for that, they just look for buzzwords and reach out.

          Contrast this with receiving a phone call from the principals who will be doing the hiring decisions. But even then, you might be one of ten that they’re “recruiting”.

  4. Zencate*

    I definitely agree with Alison. That sounds really weird or that the folks were inexperienced. The job I work at right now recruited me directly and it didn’t sound at first like something I’d even want to do and they pushed, so I came in and it was like a collaborate meeting rather than an interview – I do software related stuff with focus on federal compliance… which sounds boring but I was offered basically cartblanc to drive how my position would grow. They told me what they wanted, I told them what I do and we discussed areas we fit together, when it seemed good we had more formal questions – I was fired from my last job (very long illegal story going through litigation) and they still took me. So, I’ve seen a difference before – even the feeling I left with and what’s better… they made good in the promises and I made good on mine. All that said, it may also be that they don’t know exactly what they want but know they need it. I know with me I fit a very narrow niche (but I came with a price tag about double what they wanted to pay) so some of their questions were interesting, but not alarming. I’m glad you went with your gut on the decline though. My situation could have easily turned in to a total disaster but the people and how they conducted themselves made all the difference; they turned in to amazing managers. I think you get a better (though rose colored) view with the wooing.i dislike recruiting companies though, because I’m a paycheck a little more than a team member you have to work with.

    1. Pine cones huddle*

      My thought is that it’s possible that these “recruiters” are basically desperate or trying to anyone they can into some role that’s basically a revolving door. I’ve had this type of “recruiter” contact me before and my gut tells me something shady is going on. Then I’ve asked around and found out that they are calling themselves recruiters and wooing someone just to get a body in the role and do it again in 3 months that when the person runs.

  5. oldbiddy*

    I think it varies from company to company. I was recruited via a 3rd party recruiter to interview at a big chemical company. My employer at the time was doing contract research for the big chemical co, and I had worked directly with some of the people who interviewed me. It was definately a wooing situation, as they were very familiar with me and my research. Nonetheless, I still had to fill out an online application. The recruiter said that they made everyone do that. Some things aren’t worth getting bent out of shape about.

  6. AdAgencyChick*

    My industry is small and everybody knows everybody, so it’s been a long time since I’ve gone to an interview in which there were more than a handful of other people being considered for the position (if anyone at all!).

    Yet…every time I go in, I’m asked to fill out an application, usually one with multiple pages. It’s annoying. I’m never asked “why do you want to work here?” though. It’s always “Here’s why we think you should work here!”

  7. Scientista*

    I was recently recruited and the process was similar to what was described above, but I was warned about the entire process by the hiring manager ahead of time. I had known him for several years in a professional capacity, he knew my background and skills, then he heard from someone else that I would be willing to consider to relocation so he approached me. He then spent a lot of time answering any questions I had (it involved relocation, so I had a lot), talking up the benefits package (it’s phenomenal), talking about how they mitigate risk, life-work balance, and other wooing type things. The position was written for me, then I had to fill out an application (it was extensive), but that’s because their are layers and layers of oversight, so everyone has to fill one out. During my in person I was also asked stupid questions (they called them “basic HR questions”) and interlaced more technical ones in to clarify answers. But in every step, I was assured that this is how it had to be done, they are required to do this, etc.

    I think the advice above about always preparing for basic interview questions is a good one for a recruitment opportunity or a regular application.

  8. Kindling*

    Yeah, this feels kind of like asking someone out on a date but then forcing them to pay for both dinners. Seems like a little bit of a let-down (though obviously not if Alison’s various caveats are true).

  9. nnn*

    I’ve had that happen before! A recruiter reached out to me, and when I told them I was already happily employed they pressured me to interview because I was exactly what this company was looking for and they could probably do far better than my current compensation. Then the interviewers were asking me why I wanted this job, and their overall tone seemed kind of suspicious I would apply because I have a degree and the job doesn’t require one. Just…if I’m reluctant to interview and the interviewers are reluctant to hire someone like me, don’t pressure me to interview!

    I also once had an external recruiter contact me just after I’d been hired for another job and, again, put a lot of pressure on me to interview even though I was already employed. But it turned out the company they were trying to recruit me for was one that had already interviewed me for and rejected me for that very position during my job search that had just ended! (Fortunately I didn’t get as far as going to the interview – I recognized the job posting during my conversation with the recruiter – but it was an awful lot of pressure for an employer that didn’t want to hire me!)

    1. WITney Houston*

      Since external recruiters get paid based on their candidates getting hired, from the recruitee side I’ve found that some put a lot of pressure on you as a candidate to speak ASAP, apply, etc.

      From the corporate side working to fill a position with an external recruiter, sometimes they make “guarantees” about sending X number of qualified candidates in Y number of days (especially if you’ve paid a recruitment retainer + will owe a placement commission).

      I’ve learned to just ignore the pressure and promises, and go with my gut on these things :)

  10. Xay*

    I agree with Alison’s advice. I was recruited for a position and my first couple of meetings with the hiring managers were to sell me on the company and to prepare me for the interview. Eventually, I did have to complete an application and go through the traditional interview process which included their standard interview questions as well as some specific questions about my expertise.

  11. BRR*

    I’m kind of surprised that the last two times I was recruited I asked about salary and was told it was “commensurate with experience.” I was rather surprised that they reached out then act like I was doing them a favor.

  12. Aspergirl*

    I was recruited this summer by my current job and it was a lot more like Alison describes. I mean I work in an industry where interviews are at least a day long and you have to prove you know your teapot stuff. But they sent me everything beforehand, I was a good match for the job because I’m a niche teapot expert … and it was much less stressful than any interview I’ve before. I wonder if these folks don’t recruit much.

  13. OP*

    The 1st person I interviewed with (of two) was the manager who sent me a PM on LinkedIn which is why I found it so odd he was asking such basic questions. I think Alison is right that they were just bad at interviewing. They clearly had a standard process that they were sticking to without regard for the context of my particular situation.

    Bonus – a mini-update: the brand of equipment we use is the same brand that they use, which means both our companies have service contracts that are upheld by the same team of technicians. I get along great with the technicians and told them about my interview. They confirmed that, from what they’ve seen working at that location, they are not a very good employer and I would have been unhappy to move there. So I made the right call!

    If only I could know someone on the inside of every job I apply to!

    1. Ambulance Chaser*

      This actually makes me feel better, believe it or not. At least it’s a legit job. My first thought was that you were just recruited for one of those independent, commission-only sales “jobs” that recruit literally EVERYBODY just to keep one person a month.

      But from the way this sounds, it’s at least a real job.

    2. MillersSpring*

      I think instead of “Why do you want to work here” they should have asked “What about this position and the company interests you?”

      If the candidate has seen the job description and read about the company on our website, I assume she has a moderate amount of interest. As a hiring manager, my job is both to vet candidates and sell them on working for our company. As Alison often says, interviewing is a two-way street. However passive candidates, whether recruited by an agency or the hiring manager, should show up ready to sell themselves, answer standard interview questions and bring a resume. To me it’s part of consenting to the interview. (I do think it’s overreach for companies to require an employment application before a first interview.)

  14. Hey Karma, Over here.*

    Well, it was an easy way for the company to: 1) see what’s out there; and 2) hone their interviewing to match. I am seeing this possibility also because you already have a job, so for the company they can discuss what types of things people in the field are already doing, and if this “test drive” doesn’t inspire them to hire anyone they can feel that they didn’t string along a person in need of a job.

  15. AnitaJ*

    While I agree that handing you an application first thing is irritating, it’s not irrelevant. There are OFCCP regulations that can require employers to collect information on all candidates, and this information needs to come from the candidate itself, not from a recruiter plugging in LinkedIn information to their tracking system. There can be real consequences if compliance regulations aren’t followed. It’s obnoxious that they treated you like a fresh-off-the-street candidate, but unfortunately, the application is necessary.

  16. alana*

    I think it depends on the company —we do public-facing work, so it’s reasonable to expect people we might hire to have heard of Llamas, LLC, and be familiar with how our work is different from Llamas and Alpacas, Inc. And some people like the Llamas and Alpacas way of doing things, and some people really want to do Llamas, LLC-style work.

    Typically, if I’m recruiting someone for a job, it goes something like this:
    —initial, general conversation about how I think they’re great, would they be interested in openings here; or initial, more specific conversation about “we’re hiring a llama groomer, is that something you’d want to do with us”
    —job is posted, they submit their resume
    —panel interview, where we do ask them what they like about the company and why they want to work here.

    The thinking is that by then, they’ve been able to decide if they are interested in that job — and we want to hire people who really want to work here. We usually have a competitive talent pool and being genuinely interested in our way of doing things (or having specific ideas to change our ways of doing things without altering our core mission) usually means a more successful hire in the long term.

    1. alana*

      but if I’ve recruited someone, I usually prep them for this question! “You should be able to name a couple of our llama groomers or show some familiarity with our work.”

      1. The New Wanderer*

        Interesting! Do you do this only for candidates that you contacted first, or for any contacts that seem like a good fit? Just curious because I have a call with a recruiter tomorrow to discuss logistics for my on-site interview. (I applied to the position initially)

    2. Aspergirl*

      Yes this is much in line with my experience. I had to submit things, although they set me up to do that beforehand. And they emailed me the phone questions and gave me some prep materials for the in-person, although not questions, which weren’t pre-written. There was definitely process and I did have to do forms, but they facilitated the process.

  17. S-Mart*

    I’ve been recruited a half dozen times. The good recruit experiences felt much different than interviews where I had initiated the application process. There’s always some amount of ‘why do you want to work here?”, but in the good experiences it came later in the conversation, while the negative experiences led with it. Similarly, the negative recruitment experiences were more likely to describe why one would want to work at their company generally, where the good experiences got specific – tying their needs to what they knew of me so far, basically telling me what specifically caused them to seek me out.

  18. SWGl*

    I agree with Alison in general, but I think the OP is reading way too much into the original LinkedIn message. In a lot of cases, those get spammed out to anyone with specific key words in their job history or skills on LinkedIn. I can’t tell you how many messages I get that say I’m an “excellent fit” for something that has the same job title as my first job from 10 years ago. I just assume I showed up in some recruiter’s search results, it doesn’t make me think that the company is “specifically seeking me out.”
    Also, at the company I work for now, it’s absolutely required for a candidate to fill out an application online before we can interview them. We get into trouble sometimes at career fairs, where we schedule interviews for the next day. We tell all the candidates that they have to go online and fill it out, but if don’t do it before they show up for their interview, we have to make them fill it out on the spot. It’s an HR thing.

    1. OP*

      True, spamming candidates on LinkedIn with “You’d be great!” messages is something I’ve seen quite a bit. But this particular one, after I messaged back thanking him for contacting me and asking more details, he replied back, “Can we set up an interview? I think you would be an excellent fit here!”

      It was pretty direct in this instance.

  19. Gene Parmesan*

    I had sort of a similar experience a couple years ago. I’d applied for a fairly high-level position at a state agency, interviewed with a panel of deputy and assistant commissioners of this agency, and ended up not getting offered the job. A week later, one of the assistant commissioners called me up and said there was an opening in his division that he’d like me to interview for. Then they had me go through the motions of completing an application form again (I kind of get that; state bureaucracy with their administrative rules), and interviewed me with all the basic types of interview questions mentioned here. That really dampened my enthusiasm for the position. Then I did get an offer for the job, but the salary was far lower than I would have accepted–about half that of the original position. It was an overall frustrating and disappointing experience.

    1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

      Did you ever see the movie “The Company Men” — where the guy applied for a salary of $X , was called in, and an overweight HR rep couldn’t put her salad down long enough to explain professionally that the senior position was filled, but you’re here for the junior slot which only pays 2/3 of that?

      Many surprises in my industry like that. My response is “I don’t think I wish to go forward for that position.”

      And the responses you get are comedic….

  20. Bend & Snap*

    I’ve been jerked around 3 different times for months on end by internal recruiters from the same company, to the point that I won’t talk to them anymore. It’s a giant, global company and they thought nothing of taking hours of my time and then disappearing with no feedback, only to TEXT ME that someone else got the job after I pinged a couple of times to ask what was up.

    The wooing is the easy part, it’s the follow-through that a lot of recruiters seem to have problems with. If you came after me, set up interviews and generally took up my time and attention, have the balls to tell me we’re not moving forward in a timely manner.

    Not bitter or anything.

  21. Quickbeam*

    I’m an RN with 30 years experience and a niche skill set. I get hits from all over the country, people cold calling me telling me how fabulous I am. I’ve had hard sell LinkedIn recruiters talk me up about how I’d be great for this or that job.

    They don’t know me at all. It was flattering for 5 minutes until I realized they are telling everyone the same thing. I get that they need nurses for Teapot Reconstruction but it’s a bit obvious they are just casting a net.

  22. babblemouth*

    So, how exactly does head-hunting/ recruiting work? Is it exclusively network-based, or is there a lot of googling around until you find people with similar profiles? Should I be offended that no one has ever tried to recruit me, or is it somethinv that just never happens to most people?

    1. k8*

      i think it’s more prevalent in some fields than others– as a programmer, i get pinged by recruiters practically every other day and they’re all super random/offering $25k less than what i currently make/not relevant to my experience at all/etc. they basically plug a search term into linkedin and message everyone that comes up, as far as i can tell. I’m sure there are non-annoying tech recruiters, but i have yet to meet them ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  23. Sabine the Very Mean*

    If I got, “Tell us why you want to work here!”, at such an interview, I would love to have the courage to say, “I have no idea if I’m interested in working here. That’s why I agreed to this interview you recruited me to. Why do you think I should want to work here?”

  24. Kickin' Crab*

    I’m in the middle of a job search in academia, and recently had the rather unusual experience of having a recruiter reach out to me. This doesn’t generally happen in academia, but one of my former colleagues happens to now work in this department and put in a word.

    However, said recruiter has been a bit of a flake. We set up a phone interview so I could hear the basics of the position, but she didn’t call me (and hadn’t provided her number so I couldn’t call her) until 20 minutes later after I sent an email asking if this was still a good time to talk. She couldn’t answer any questions about the job, or even info about benefits other than that my non-existent hypothetical children would get discounted college tuition at that institution. Then she emailed me yesterday, after three weeks of silence, asking if I could come for a campus visit next week.

    If this is being wooed, it’s being wooed by a bizarre blow-hot-blow-cold jerk, and I am sorely tempted to DTMFA. (But, it’s academia, and I need a job.)

  25. LT*

    For my current position, I was contacted by an outside recruiter engaged by my employer. I still had to go through the company’s application process, but seeing as they’re a large company I can see that they’d need to follow their policies and procedures. The recruiter (though engaged by the employer) was sort of a coach and an advocate for me- giving me suggestions about how I worded things in my resume, and acting as a liaison with the HR rep from the company.
    The only difference I noticed in this application process was that I did not have to submit a cover letter.

  26. SheLooksFamiliar*

    Corporate staffing here, with a note about applications: please, just expect to fill one out, no matter how you came to the company’s attention. This is especially true if the employer is a government contractor – they get 10%+ of their revenue from a government contract. These firms are audited by the Office of Federal Contracts and Compliance programs, a group you do not want to play with. Same holds for publicly traded and/or large companies that get reviewed for their HR processes by local, state, or federal offices. They strive for consistency in the recruiting process so no one looks like they’re getting special treatment. The OFCCP and Department of Labor audit companies for consistency, folks. If a direct-sourced candidate gets hired and doesn’t fill out an application till late in the process, if at all – but everyone else had to fill one out – that raises a red flag. An application is not an insult or affront to your capabilities – it’s a standard process.

    I agree that the interviewers in the LW’s example need serious interview training.

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