my recruiter is so overbearing and obnoxious that I’m thinking of withdrawing my application

A reader writes:

I’ve started my job search. I was contacted by a recruiter about a position. I heard her out and she wanted to move me forward — great! But she’s been absolutely excessive to the point I almost don’t want to continue through the process.

Some examples:

– We had a phone interview, and she said she wanted to pass me along and then sent me the job description. She then wanted to do a FaceTime interview a day later after I had a chance to read the job description. We didn’t talk about any new information.

– I’ve told her multiple times I prefer email communication. She has called me every single day, to “update me on the process.” However, every day except for the one where she told me the company wanted to do a phone interview, her “update” was “I haven’t heard anything.” Again, I really don’t have the time to disrupt my day for non-urgent calls.

– She sent me an email where I had to agree to a submittal policy where her recruiting firm basically says, “We’ve invested a ton of time, and if you decide to not take this offer we want you to know we really frown on this.” Obviously, I’m continuing through the process until I know whether or not I’m interested and would have every intention to tell them at that point.

– She has been calling me all week so that we can touch base before my phone interview with the company. She sent me an email with the information she wants to talk about — for example, that I should find a quiet place for the phone interview, that I should do background research on the company beforehand, that I should sound interested in the role, and other basics. I’m in my mid-thirties and am kind of insulted that I need to be prepped for a phone interview.

I’d been considering taking myself out of the running due to her behavior, and I’m not really sure if I’m overreacting and whether or not I should tell her.

Then, I had to ask to reschedule my phone interview because my daughter got diagnosed with influenza and will be home with me the rest of the week. Since her previous email told me to be in a quiet place, I just said I had a personal emergency and would like to reschedule for next week. Her response: “I only want to reschedule if you’re 100% sure you can make it as the managers are pressed for time and it takes a lot to rearrange their schedules. This isn’t looking good on you as a candidate.”

I want to respond that this is so high maintenance and tell her to take me off the list. I am probably taking myself out of the running anyway because I’m not that hard up for a job. Do I even tell her SHE is the one turning me off?

She sound like a huge pain in the ass.

If I were the employer, I would not be pleased to find out that a recruiter I was using was handling candidates this way — both because it’s a crappy way to treat candidates, and because I wouldn’t want her prepping candidates like that. If someone doesn’t know on their own that they should sound interested in the job, that’s information I’d like to have, and I wouldn’t appreciate her disguising that from me. She’s coming across here like she’s working for herself, not for the employer she’s recruiting for, and is solely out for the commission. (I mean, external recruiters do work for themselves and the commission, but good recruiters who care about doing their jobs well don’t operate like this. They care about the long-term satisfaction of both parties.)

Anyway, because she’s an external recruiter, it’s possible that the employer itself is great. But the question for you, of course, is if you’re willing to run her condescending gauntlet in order to get access to it.

It sounds like you feel you have plenty of options and aren’t particularly invested in this job, and so it might make sense to push back and figure that if she takes you out of the running as a result, you don’t really care. (And the reality is, if the company is really interested in you and/or she has a lack of other candidates, she might be willing to let you set your terms.)

If you want to go that route, you could say something like, “I’m interested in this job, but I need to be clear: I am busy at work and cannot have daily phone calls about it. If you need to reach me, please use email. I’ve asked this before, but you’ve continued calling daily, and I will need to withdraw from the process if that continues.” (Also, stop answering her calls. If she leaves a message asking you to call her back, reply with an email and tell her it’ll be tough to reach you by phone that day but you’re available by email.)

You could also respond to her chastising email about rescheduling with something like, “Of course I understand that the managers I’ll be meeting with are pressed for time. I’m a professional myself. I’m rescheduling because it’s unavoidable.” Personally, I’d add, “I’m of course looking for a company where people understand that sometimes that happens.”

And yes, if you get too fed up with her and just want to be done with the whole thing, you can tell her that. It’s important for recruiters — and hiring managers and HR reps and other people involved with hiring — to hear that kind of feedback. So many job seekers don’t have the luxury of delivering that kind of message — because they don’t have other options, feel nervous about putting the job at risk, etc. — so you’d almost certainly be speaking up for lots of other people who didn’t feel they could.

{ 129 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Respectfully, Pumat Sol

    This recruiter sounds like a nightmare. I don’t blame the LW for wanting to withdraw!

    Reply
      1. Fergus

        and add never never contact me anymore by any means. I have had recruiters do exactly what the LW has said and more. It was so bad I had to send an email to someone higher in the company that the next contact from the recruiter would cause law enforcement to show up. Yea they are that bad. I told a recruiter I wasn’t interested and he called 6 more times.

        Reply
  2. wondHRland

    I’ve had recruiters like this as well – from well-respected recruiting firms (think big – name firms). Telling me how to dress for the interview (i know how to dress – I’ve been working for a while), and wanting to prep me for the interview. If their prep is to give additional pertinent info (i.e. informaiton about what the hiring manger looks for in their experience with them or something along those lines,) it’s worthwhile, otherwise, it’s a time-suck. Although, it is kind of refreshing to hear about a recruiter that DIDN”T ghost someone, but kind of went to the other extreme. :)

    Reply
    1. T. Boone Pickens

      It’s funny you mention the interview dress attire part and it’s something that I debate going over when I do interview prep with candidates. I usually only mention something specific if it’s an out of the norm office culture (think startup where a full suit would seem out of place or white shoe law firm where the color of your suit matters) otherwise I go with the standard dress a level or two up of whatever the typical business attire is there. That being said about twice a year I’ll run into a situation where a candidate totally misses the mark with interview attire and I end up overexplaining things for the next couple weeks with any other candidates.

      Reply
      1. London Calling

        I was made redundant in 2003 and started sending out CVs. One agency wanted to see me on a Friday evening before I hit the town with some colleagues who had also been canned, so I dressed for an evening in the pub (think sweater and trousers, not wannabe pole-dancer). I was interviewed by two recruiters whose age can’t have added up to mine, and at the end was very sniffily told that if I was looking to get back into banking in the City of London I’d have to dress more formally than current attire. I asked them to look at my CV and see where I’d been working for the last 26 years (several big American banks and a European one.)

        I never had any job leads from that agency, for some reason.

        Reply
      2. azvlr

        I had a recruiter that sounded just like this from interview prep to invasive contact, etc. I did try to push back on this a bit, but she insisted that she do the prep (same prep for multiple interviews with this company who ghosted me, I should add.) and gave the following example:
        “This lady had made it all the way through the process. She had the job. She had it! But the client wanted to meet her in person, of course. This was a job that paid $130k. She showed up to the interview with a big fat nose ring. She did not get the job.”
        I asked her if the role was client facing. She said no and sounded really upset. That candidate dodged a bullet in my opinion. I was bummed that I didn’t get the job, but I probably did too.

        Reply
      3. Burned Out Supervisor

        Do you tell people to not wear perfume? I only ask because I interviewed a spate of people who doused themselves to the point where I couldn’t concentrate on their answers to my questions.

        Reply
        1. T. Boone Pickens

          I’ll usually throw it in if I don’t get the chance to meet the candidate in person. It’s usually thrown in with smoking.

          Reply
      4. Elaine

        As a potential candidate who has been contacted by a handful of recruiters in the past 6 months, I don’t mind specific tips about what to wear, as each firm’s culture is a dad different. But, a recruiter can say “conservative business dress, maybe w/ a slight twist” or “polished business casual” and leave it at that.

        Inside info on the hiring manager/job is also good prep.

        Reply
    2. Sleepytime Tea

      I worked with multiple recruiters my last job hunt. One sent me this same type of condescending list and made me do a really lame mock interview beforehand, but I did it because I figured that they do this to increase the chance of their candidate getting hired, and therefore them getting their commission. However the recruiter I worked with who offered me advice but didn’t try to force this type of thing on me was the one I recommended when I had a friend who was job hunting, because I felt like she personally tried to get to know me, my background, and tailored her approach to me, rather than a random cookie cutter that assumes no one knows the basics of interviewing and so forth.

      The recruiters that were clingy and required a ton from me? Yeah, didn’t really work as closely with them and they don’t get my referrals. Sometimes that’s the best feedback.

      Reply
    3. Dagny

      I’ve had some nightmare recruiters. Some have one big company as a client, and do nearly anything to keep that company happy. Others are just interested in their commission, and do not care if they screw over your career in the process.

      A recruiter should give you the job description, title, and salary range before you submit the job application. The reason for not doing so is that you are likely overqualified for it – not so much that they will reject you, but enough that this is not a good move for you or your career.

      Reply
    4. TeapotNinja

      I’ve honed in my “mmm, yea”, “Yes, absolutely” automatic response mechanism for recruiters like that. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish during a prep call when you try.

      Reply
    5. Samwise

      I don’t understand why people get offended at “basic advice”. We see basic advice type questions all the time on this blog. The recruiter has no way of knowing if a candidate already knows this stuff or not.

      Now, calling over and over, ignoring requests to use email, getting snippy about rescheduling — THAT’S annoying.

      Reply
      1. Nanani

        First of all, I don’t think people are “offended” so much as annoyed or put off.

        Secondly, the reason isn’t that advice is being offered in the abstract, like on a blog or advice column; it’s that blanket it advice is being shoved onto people who -demonstrably already know it-.
        There are examples in this very comment section about people being told to dress appropriately in an in-person conversation where they were already dressed that way.
        This sort of thing is off-putting because it makes it blatant that the recruiter giving the advice isn’t paying attention to you, doesn’t care about your actual knowledge and experience, and is evidently treating you as a widget. That’s not a good thing in a role that’s meant to be about connecting PEOPLE.

        So yeah, if people are upset, it’s because being treated as a boxed widget is upsetting.

        Reply
        1. Steve

          I think it is a lot about attitude.
          “I know this is potentially advice you have heard before, but I just want to run through some points which might be helpful. After that I have some specific suggestions for this particular company.”
          instead of reading off a list of points which they haven’t customized.

          Reply
      2. Bulbasaur

        I kind of agree, to the extent that recruiters are in business to connect candidates with roles. Alison’s suggestion that recruiters should remain neutral, do no preparation with candidates, and let them stand or fall on their own merits strikes me as a little naive (perhaps things work differently in her market). I don’t believe I have ever met a recruiter who would think “this candidate is bad at interviewing, oh well, that’s valuable information for an employer, I’ll just let them interview badly so that the employer gets the most realistic picture possible.” Recruiters in my industry are up front about the fact that they are selling the candidate to you. As in any sales situation, you wouldn’t expect them to say or do anything that was outright misleading, but helping the candidate to put their best foot forward is absolutely something I would expect them to do, and typically things like interview coaching fall within that sphere.

        That said, there are much better ways to do it than in this example, and it’s common courtesy to ask the candidate whether they want assistance first (so that you don’t end up trying to teach them to suck eggs, as in this case).

        Reply
        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          I’m not suggesting that at all! It’s fine for recruiters to do some prep with candidates, but not prep that’s insulting or that the employer would object to if they knew about.

          Reply
          1. Bulbasaur

            Sorry, I was probably overly broad in my restatement of your position – let me see if I can clarify. I was referring to the following line:

            “If someone doesn’t know on their own that they should sound interested in the job, that’s information I’d like to have, and I wouldn’t appreciate her disguising that from me.”

            This would be a fairly normal thing for recruiters to help interviewees with in my industry. I don’t think any of the ones I know would offer it as unsolicited advice (which I agree is condescending) but if they had, for example, put the candidate forward for a couple of roles and had received feedback that they appeared uninterested, I would absolutely expect them to work on that with the candidate, assuming that they intended to continue working with them. (That or find out whether they were genuinely not interested, and not submit them for roles where that was the case).

            Reply
            1. VelociraptorAttack

              I don’t want to speak for Alison (so let me commence in doing so), but I think the “not submit them for roles where that was the case” is kind of the point. If the recruiter is continuing to push forward a candidate that isn’t interested in the job or is going to come in with a very laissez-faire attitude, that’s useful information about a candidate and shouldn’t be disguised.

              Reply
            2. JamieS

              OOC do you by chance work in an industry where expressing exuberance/excitement above and beyond what most people naturally express is expected? Or tend to attract mostly entry level people who are a bit more clueless?

              If a candidate is genuinely excited for a position/job but the recruiter is getting feedback that’s not coming across it’d make sense to work on that if the recruiter is invested in the candidate. However in OP’s context the recruiter is just stating the obvious and being condescending.

              Reply
              1. Bulbasaur

                No, but you are on the right track. I’m in tech, so it’s fairly common to see candidates who are very capable at what they do but a bit lacking in personal skills (including interview skills). There are also a high percentage of foreigners, especially Asians, who are often not as familiar with cultural conventions, conversational norms and the like as a local would be. In both cases it’s very possible for a candidate to be genuinely excited about a role but fail to convey that impression in an interview.

                (Re: your second paragraph, it sounds like we are in agreement there).

                Reply
        2. Karen from Finance

          I had two very different experiences with recruiter advice just last week.

          The first recruiter gave me “feedback” on 3 categories at the end of the interview, which she said is standard at her (huge) company: education, career, and second language. She gave me painfully obvious “advice” for my education (finish my degree that I’m working on finishing.. huh thanks?), told me to stay longer than 1 year in my next job (she never once asked my why I’m job hunting after 1 year in this job), and praised my English level which she’d tested (we’re non native English speakers but it’s fundamental in business.. but I’ve been a teacher in English, I already know I’m fluent). The whole thing was kind of weird to me.

          The other recruiter, for another job, gave me advice regarding the company’s interview stages, and she told me which areas to focus on when speaking to the company, and which types of questions each person would be able to answer best. I took note of this and am going to be using those as I practice for my next interview, and I appreciated knowing which specific things I should focus on so that I can go in more focused.

          I think the problem with when they give out this canned advice is that it’s condescending, makes you feel like a child, and is rarely useful, while specific tips and heads ups are very much appreciated.

          Reply
      3. Zillah

        I agree with you in some ways, but I think that this is a situation where presentation matters a lot. Some things do come off as patronizing/micromanaging to some people, and I think it’s important to be mindful of that, too.

        Reply
      4. Womble

        It’s a case of needing to read the room, as it were, and judging how much advice and what to give – not just jobsplaining to anyone and everyone. If someone is in their 30s with some career history they do not need to be told to sound interested in the job!

        Reply
      5. London Calling

        I’ve been working for forty five years. If I’ve had an interview with a recruiter and discussed my career they are going to know – or they should – I’m not a newbie out of school.

        Reply
      6. Paulina

        This particular recruiter seems to *only* provide basic advice, though, and isn’t listening to the candidate. The described behaviour sounds like a very pushy basic checklist, like a recruiter version of Microsoft’s Clippy, and they’re not providing much value at all. Meanwhile, there’s an insistence that the candidate needs to take the offer if made, with the emphasis on the time the company has supposedly invested in the candidate, while not providing much value or useful information. They’re acting like they’re owed a commission simply for very basic basics.

        Reply
    6. Hey Nonnie

      I feel like we need a post for “nightmare recruiters” stories. I just got a new story last week….

      Reply
  3. MB

    This sounds like a recruiter I was just working with. You should have seen the email she sent after I declined the offer. Chastised me for declining over email, and was *extremely* angry that I’d had a conversation with my potential grand-boss about the role without her involvement – where we also discussed some miscommunication from everything running through her that had made me look really bad. She didn’t like that I corrected the record, but at the end of the day, my reputation means a lot more to me than hers does.

    Reply
  4. Exhausted Trope

    I’ve been on the receiving end of this type of recruiting. Even when I’ve continued with the process, it hasn’t ended well. This recruiter sounds like a nightmare. I’d run.
    Excellent advice from Alison, as usual.

    Reply
  5. Elizabeth the Ginger

    I support you not only telling the recruiter, but telling the company directly (since she’s extremely unlikely to pass on bad feedback about herself). If you decide to stick with the application, probably best to wait until you’ve gotten an offer or a rejection. If your tone is neutral and you stick to facts, I don’t think it would sound like sour grapes even if you’ve been rejected: “Thank you for considering me. I wanted to let you know as a professional courtesy that I almost withdrew my candidacy over the experience I had with the recruiter. She called me daily about the position even when there was no news, tried to coach me on basic interview etiquette like telling me to sound interested in the job, and pressured me to accept the job if it were offered to me whether or not I felt like it was a good fit. I recognize that she is not an employee of [Your Company] and so I tried not to let this color my views of you, but I wanted to let you know about the experience from the candidate’s side.”

    Reply
  6. Nanani

    I’d fire her just for disregarding your stated instructions not to interrupt you with phone calls. This is a recruiter, not a higher up whose preferences you need to adapt to. More like the other way around!
    There is nothing to gain for continuing through this recruiter, and it’s probably a good idea (though not an obligation) to be explicitly clear about why.

    Reply
    1. Slow Gin Lizz

      Yeah, I would’ve dropped her after about three days of those repeated phone calls. That would drive me bananas. Agree with Nanani – she should be adapting to your needs, not the other way around. She seems to think that you’re the seller and she’s the buyer, but nope. She is supposed to be selling the job to you and responding to your needs. You need her to stop bugging you. If she can’t do that and you can afford to tell her that she’s bugging you and that she needs to stop, you’d do a huge service to any other “clients” who might work with her in the future.

      Reply
    2. cncx

      a million times yes. i personally don’t like phone calls but beyond that, a lot of times recruiters are working with people who are already employed- if someone has another job presumably they’re going to be too busy during the day to take a phone call about another job.

      Reply
    3. LawBee

      Her number would have been blocked so hard, with an email saying that I would ONLY respond to email.

      She wants that commission, she’ll (ironically) have to work less hard for it, haha.

      Reply
  7. Annette

    This story only confirms that recruiters = scam artists. They don’t have enough to do so they make up work for themselves. Like giving you useless suggestions. No thank you. Trust your gut and stick to companies that don’t loop in these charlatans.

    Reply
    1. Amber T

      There are always going to be people who are terrible at their job. But good recruiters save both employers and employees a lot of time and energy. My company, as do most of the companies in my industry, don’t do any hiring without recruiters. You’re missing out on a lot of opportunities if you have a “no recruiter” policy.

      Reply
    2. London Calling

      I temped for recruiters for 14 years and they found me some very good jobs (also some duds, to be fair). They also found me my current job which pays the highest I have ever earned, so no, they aren’t scam artists.

      Reply
    3. voluptuousfire

      Agency recruitment is a tricky beast. There are some stellar recruiters out there who were agency recruiters (I happen to work with a handful of them who went in-house). Others who pass along warm bodies along to their clients so there’s some kind of “pipeline” going in, which is disgraceful.

      I don’t necessarily blame you for having bad experiences with external/agency recruiters–I met with at least a dozen or more over the years and only two actually got me any sort of employment.

      Just keep an open mind. You may be surprised.

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth West

        I don’t think the agencies treat them very well so they’re probably desperate to get any commission they can.
        Still annoying, though.

        Reply
    4. I'm A Little Teapot

      You won’t be able to get a job in my industry then. Period. EVERYONE uses recruiters. The only people who get in via the website link are the ones with a relationship and have been referred.

      Reply
      1. Super Dee Duper Anon

        Same with mine (at least when it comes to my specialty within the industry). 90% of the time roles are not posted publicly. And the 10% that are, well there’s usually a reason – either the company is doing very poorly financially (like circling the drain) or they’ve been so unrealistic/picky about the role that recruiters have pretty much thrown their hands up and are refusing to waste anymore time working with them.

        Reply
      2. Cheryl Blossom

        That’s not the case in every industry, though, and Annette would presumably know if that was how her industry operated.

        Reply
        1. Lavender Menace

          That’s great for Annette, but she’s telling other people to stick to companies that don’t use recruiters, which wouldn’t be good advice for many fields (including mine).

          Reply
    5. blackcat

      I was toying with the idea of leaving academia and worked with a headhunting firm. They were nothing but lovely, including when life shit happened and I was no longer in a position to uproot (need to stay near current medical providers). They invested a bunch of time with me and were completely understanding when I said “Hey, sorry, I can’t move and any local job would be conditional on X medical system being in network with the insurance.”

      Reply
  8. MuftKaGyan

    I’ve had this type of recruiting before–I’ve wondered whether the recruiters were evaluated by how much time they they spent on the phone with candidates, based on the number of times they would insist on calling to report no info, or repeat their latest email. Does anyone know if this is a thing?

    Reply
    1. T. Boone Pickens

      I’ve heard of some recruiting firms that will track phone time although it’s pretty infrequent in my experience. The ones that use metrics to evaluate will usually track other activities like business development calls, job application inquiries and things like that.

      Reply
    2. Cobol

      They’re focused on getting a candidate in the position, but don’t realize they’re pushing away the best candidates.

      Reply
    3. hbc

      Seems to me more an agency or a particular recruiter that’s reacted too strongly to the typical job search complaints. “I sent my resume and I have no idea where I stand” and “I interviewed a week ago and no one has been in touch!” Okay, here’s someone who will call every freaking day to give the “no update” update, so you can be sure that they haven’t forgotten about you.

      The fact that they’re *willing* to have that kind of involvement is a good thing, but the fact that they’re forcing it on everyone (rather than just the candidates reacting positively) is annoying at best.

      Reply
    4. Foreign Octopus

      I worked for a recruiting firm that tracked phone time.

      It was awful because there were only so many candidates that one could feasibly reach in a day, and many of them weren’t interested because this was cold call recruiting. If we didn’t have enough time on the phone, we were publicly dinger (white board with marks). I got around this by turning my phone off and just calling my answerphone to up my minutes.

      This was a job that I quit before I got fired.

      Reply
      1. Abc

        Wow. How incredibly stupid.

        I can understand a business ruthlessly measuring what revenue individuals bring in. It might not be right, but it’s understandable.

        Measuring the theatrics is just absurd.

        Reply
  9. PJH

    “We’ve invested a ton of time,…”

    Only because she’s wasting a lot of it on unnecessary phone calls by the sounds of it.

    Reply
    1. goducks

      Meanwhile, she’s almost certainly doing the hard-sell on the client as to her candidates. I’ve been on the employer side, dealing with a recruiter giving me a hard time because I wasn’t just biting on whatever candidate she sent me, and it was taking too long. I’d been upfront with her when I engaged her services that this was a tricky hire, but somehow she preferred spending her time trying to sell me candidates I didn’t want.

      Reply
    2. Beth Jacobs

      Yup! And just imagine a job candidate sending out an email after a phone interview “I’ve invested a lot of time in this process and if I choose you as my employer, I would strongly frown upon you turning me down.” Ridiculous, isn’t it? Interviewing is a two way street.

      Reply
    3. Marthooh

      Yep, that sounded like “We reserve the right to do a metric ton of passive-aggressive sniffing and whimpering if the undersigned turns down this role.”

      Reply
  10. Mockingjay

    Withdraw. There are plenty of professional recruiters out there to assist your job search. This person is not one of them.

    I obtained Current Job through a external recruiter. I hadn’t worked with a recruiter before and was pleased to have a very smooth experience. He was knowledgeable about the client and got more info on the role when I had a question. He communicated mostly via email and would set specific times for calls to ensure I could speak discreetly with him. He kept in touch a few times a week to keep the process rolling, but not so I felt badgered.

    Reply
    1. Heidi

      Thanks for sharing. This was the 3rd post in the past few days about sketchy recruiter behavior, so it’s great to hear about a positive experience with a recruiter. Some professions don’t get enough credit when they do their jobs well, and you only hear about them when things are going badly. For instance, I think my local DMV does a great job at getting people in and out. And the TSA people at our airport got me through security on Thanksgiving morning in less than 15 minutes. There was a lot of herding and telling people to get off their phones at both places, but I appreciate it.

      Reply
        1. Daughter of Ada and Grace

          I’m loosely in contact (via LinkedIn) with the recruiter who found me my current position.

          Unfortunately for me, he’s been promoted to the point that he no longer works in my geographic area. (Totally deserves it, too.) But I’d be willing to ask him for names of people who do recruit in my area the next time I job search.

          Reply
      1. MeepMeep

        I have a GREAT experience with a recruiter! She contacted me out of the blue to offer me a contract job that was exactly what I needed and matched my qualifications 100%. She then negotiated an hourly rate for me that was way higher than what I would have asked for if I were doing the negotiation. And there was no garbage like what the OP describes – she actually gave me useful information and didn’t waste my time. If I should lose this contract job, I’m definitely asking her to find me a new one.

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    2. 2 Cents

      I was just hired via an external recruiter as well and the process could not have been better. There are people who are good at what they do and bad at what they do in every profession.

      Reply
  11. GA

    Very interesting – I had this exact experience last year. I almost backed out because I was in the same place: I did not need to move on and the external recruiter was driving me crazy. Some of the worst examples of the conversations she required me to have with her include that I should make sure not to exhibit any road rage when I was driving to the interview just in case one of the interviewers could see it and she wanted me to tell her exactly what I was wearing to the interview (down to the jewelry and makeup) to make sure it was appropriate. I just ignored the recruiter and focused on the company/team I would be working with. I ended up taking the job and love my new job and team. I did give feedback on the external recruiter to my new company and they gave it back to the CEO of the recruitment company who made some changes.

    Reply
    1. Washi

      That’s the tricky thing; the job could be great except for this bananas recruiter!

      Also, if the OP drops out of the process, how would the feedback about the recruiter get back to the company? If the OP tells the recruiter that she’s being too pushy, the recruiter might not necessarily want to relay that back to her employer.

      Reply
  12. Amira

    Oh, I have had an experience like this – and it twisted me up inside to finally withdraw. It was very, very pushy and guilt-trippy, and I kept thinking “It’s not that bad! They just want to make sure I’m representing them well!”

    …but I kept thinking that because that’s what they kept telling me. In the near-daily calls. During my work day. Sometimes trying to reach me during times I specifically said I was unavailable. I got as far as meeting with the client, and discovered, to my horror, that the client was someone I literally couldn’t work for because of a non-compete I had warned the recruiter of!

    I should have gone with my gut instinct when I first felt uncomfortable with the recruiter – but at least all I had to deal with was wasted time!

    Reply
    1. my two cents

      Was recently laid off at the end of January, and I ended up with 2 job prospects from 2 drastically different recruiters. I had a SIX HOUR INTERVIEW at one sizable place, where I also had to prepare a 25-30min ppt presentation. That afternoon, I got home and was called by a second recruiter for a Very Different position with a tiny-but-giant company. The hiring process for the tiny company went very quickly, in that I was able to phone screen, interview, and then come back to meet the owner all before the first company had gotten back to me. The first recruiter was incredibly pushy, made me feel like it was some magical favor he pulled that the company was willing to consider me. Well, I also know you do not withdraw from the maybe’s until you have a Yes in-hand. So once I had accepted at the tiny company, I sent an email to the first company directly (with the recruiter on copy, of course) saying I was withdrawing because I accepted an offer elsewhere. MAN… that first recruiter was salty AF, and after first calling (voicemail just said ‘call me back’) he quickly followed-up with a text of ‘must have popped up VERY quickly. hope you did your research, lets keep in touch’ and I absolutely will never work with that particular gentleman ever again. But! You simply cannot turn a giant company into a tiny company, there was no way he could have otherwise adjusted that first gig into something I would take instead of that tiny company gig (which is going great, btw!).

      Reply
      1. Hey Nonnie

        Just a couple weeks ago I politely withdrew from an interview because I had accepted another offer. The recruiter’s response was basically “what can we do to convince you to go through with the interview?” First of all… nothing? because if I thought his job could be better than the one I accepted he wouldn’t need to convince me? But also… did he WANT to put forward a candidate willing to immediately renege on their agreement with an employer?

        Reply
    2. TootsNYC

      They just want to make sure I’m representing them well!”

      This all kinds of messed up!

      You aren’t supposed to representing THEM well. They are not the point here.
      They are supposed to representing YOU well. And the company well.

      They really did a number on you! I totally believe that you were thinking that way because they just kept pushing and pushing that narrative.

      Reply
  13. 2horseygirls

    Considering how many recruiters ghost candidates, her over-communication is refreshing (albeit perhaps too much so).

    OP: Why did you not address the communication method immediately? That seems fairly easy to fix.

    I would never work with the recruiter that placed me in my current position again. I had to call them when I needed very basic reception/filing coverage while I was out for a family death, and they sent someone who had zero office experience. I don’t know how someone does not know the alphabet and how to say Hello when they pick up the phone, but it was a nightmare, and just reinforcement that they DO NOT LISTEN to candidates OR clients.

    Reply
    1. Michaela Westen

      When I started temping in the 90’s I was surprised that agencies gave a basic skills test on alpha filing, reading, typing, etc. I had never known there are adults who can’t do those things, but apparently they’re out there.

      Reply
    1. Jennifer Thneed

      I explicitly tell recruiters I’m working with that I usually can’t answer the phone so they should send me email. When we *need* to have a phone call, we schedule it.

      Which is to say, I hate talking on the phone. I’ll do it for legit phone interviews, but if all they need is to ask me basic questions and get the answers, I insist on email, and recruiters who don’t accept that preference get a “no thank you!” email from me. I’m in a market where there’s more jobs than people to fill them AND most of the jobs I want are way too far away because I’m on one edge of the metro area and they’re on the other. I need to pre-screen them just as much as they need to pre-screen me.

      When I’m looking for a new contract, I don’t need to waste time with bozos who can’t respect my preference. I get that they want to hear my voice and make sure I’m not an ax-murderer, but that doesn’t need to happen as the first (or even second) contact. Here’s what I want to know first: (1) Where is the position, geographically? This is a big metro area and there are parts of it that are just too far to commute. Save both our time. This single question will knock out about half the positions. (2) Who is the client? (3) What is the offered rate? Doing this thru email is SO MUCH FASTER than by phone.

      Reply
  14. Antilles

    Her response: “I only want to reschedule if you’re 100% sure you can make it as the managers are pressed for time and it takes a lot to rearrange their schedules. This isn’t looking good on you as a candidate.”
    Frankly, this would have been it for me right then and there. I’d probably have immediately cut the ties, with a snarky response of “Well, I’m sorry we can’t work it out, but personally, any company who has an issue with me rescheduling ONCE to take care of a family emergency is a company that I’d be just as happy to not work for.”

    Reply
    1. Kat in VA

      This comment from the recruiter is SO untrue and unfair. I work for four incredibly busy executives, and one of the things I do is work with our in-house recruiters to schedule interviews with the execs if the candidates make it that far. Family emergencies and rescheduling are just a fact of life; just because my execs are super busy doesn’t mean a candidate should feel guilty for having to reschedule for circumstances beyond their control. I have never had an exec go, “Oh, well, their kid is super sick but *I* took time to set up an appointment with them, I don’t think I want to hire them…”

      Reply
    2. Sweetie

      If someone is looking for a job and changing interview times, it looks bad. A telephone interview is pretty easy to set up quietly somewhere instead of giving it a week because the daughter has influenza. Surely OP can spare thirty minutes in another room in the house to do a telephone interview. I feel sorry for the recruiters – having worked with hundreds of staff from recruiting agencies and having to train them, I have found almost all have behavioural problems. Most cannot use a computer.

      Reply
      1. Me

        For any decent company asking to reschedule once for a family emergency is in no way a bad look. A company that doesn’t understand they’re hiring humans who have occasional unexpected issues should be a company people pass on working for.

        Reply
      2. Lavender Menace

        It depends on why you’re changing the interview, but changing once for an unavoidable emergency doesn’t necessarily look bad. My team once scheduled a full-day interview for a candidate who injured herself and was unable to interview. We rescheduled it to a different day, she interviewed and did fabulously, and she’s one of my teammates now and she’s great. I’m glad we didn’t look negatively on her because she’s a human who needed a bit of grace.

        I don’t know if you’ve ever had the flu, but it’s not just a cold – it’s very uncomfortable. A kid with the flu is also unpredictable and you don’t KNOW if the daughter is going to interrupt her or not. Plus, who can concentrate on an interview when their daughter is sick with the flu? I’ve also never had a 30-minute phone interview. I’d much rather a good candidate take a week and do the interview at their best then try to force them into a specific time frame and put them at a disadvantage (or worse, lose a good candidate).

        Reply
        1. Antilles

          The unpredictability is a key point here – you can’t really “schedule” a time with the flu, because you have no idea whether it’s going to be “major issue that I need to make sure she’s okay”* or “asleep for a couple hours”. This isn’t like a doctor’s appointment where you can specifically schedule a time you’ll be free; there’s no way of knowing whether that’ll be a good time or not until shortly before it gets there.
          *Most people don’t realize it, but influenza is the eighth leading cause of death in the US, with over 50,000 deaths annually. Also, children are specifically called out by the CDC as a group with high risk of developing serious complications due to influenza. I’m sorry, but if my kid has influenza, that’s my priority…and as I said, any company which isn’t okay with that is a company that I’m just as happy to cross off the list.

          Reply
      3. OP

        “Surely OP can spare thirty minutes in another room in the house to do a telephone interview.”

        Sweetie – Do you have your own kids? my daughter is less than a year old. I definitely can’t guarantee she wouldn’t be crying during this time. Plus she’s normally clingly, even moreso when she’s sick. The only way I’d get through an interview is if she was napping. Once again, definitely not guaranteed as I’d be home alone with her at that time.

        Reply
        1. iglwif

          Yeah, no, rescheduling was absolutely the right thing to do! And even if your daughter *wasn’t* so young, “home alone with a sick child” is in no way a thing you can schedule around.

          Reply
    3. PhillyRedhead

      Yeah, I’d have cut ties right then and there. I had to reschedule an in-person interview with a company (that I got on my own, not through any recruiter) because I got stick, and not only were they happy to reschedule, I ended up getting the job!

      Reply
    4. Argye

      A friend was interviewing for faculty positions, and got an in-person interview. They requested a certain date – which just so happened to be the day she was to be induced to give birth. She asked them to move it back a week, indicating her willingness to get on a plane and interview a week post-partum! No deal. It was that day or never. She turned them down.
      Talk about a red flag!

      Reply
  15. voluptuousfire

    She totally is a pain in the ass–also sounds like she’s a rookie agency recruiter. When I was job hunting, I met with a handful of those. One was fresh out of college and in the job for 2 months and told me my resume was formatted incorrectly (which it wasn’t and it got me plenty of interviews just fine), that I should wear a suit and heels to interviews (which I was wearing at the time I met with her). She really wasn’t paying attention and she just kept droning on. When she mentioned the suit and heels, I was like “like what I’m wearing now?” and got up and did my little turn to show her what I was wearing.

    I was so happy to cut that meeting short. She wanted to introduce me to another few of her colleagues and a bunch of other stuff and I was like “nope, can’t! I have another meeting with an agency in half an hour. You didn’t mention anything else other than meeting with you. Don’t assume anything!” and excused myself. It was one of the better moments of my life. LOL

    Reply
  16. MissDisplaced

    “We’ve invested a ton of time, and if you decide to not take this offer we want you to know we really frown on this.”
    Yeah lady. You can go pound sand and frown all you want, because if the offer isn’t right you’re not forcing me to take it.

    Sorry, but how annoying.

    Reply
      1. Kat in VA

        Yes, Botox is wildly expensive for those frown lines. /snark/

        On second thought, frown away!

        That’s some seriously guilt-tripping BS right there.

        Reply
    1. Bulbasaur

      I think I would have been inclined to push back on this right away, unless I really had my heart set on the role (“Sorry, I really can’t say whether I will want to work at this place until I’ve had a chance to discuss the role with them in the interviews, and since it seems you’re looking for a commitment over and above that I can’t agree to this.”) Then see what they do. Part of dealing with recruiters is agreeing (explicitly or implicitly) on the rules of engagement. If you’d like to assert yourself it’s best done early, and this would be the perfect opportunity.

      Reply
  17. Eillah

    I’m a young woman and felt like I was fighting a constant uphill battle by asking for salaries before I’d agree to interview. Not sure if my age or the positions I was applying for (sr admin, EA type roles) had something to do with it….

    Reply
    1. Close Bracket

      I’m a young woman and felt like I was fighting a constant uphill battle by asking for salaries before I’d agree to interview.

      That’s independent of age, gender, industry, position, anything. Nobody wants to tell you want a position pays, and there’s a ridiculous stigma against wanting to know. This will always be an uphill battle for you. You can get better at phrasing the question, but you will still experience push back.

      Reply
    2. Kat in VA

      The role has something to do with it – sr admin/EA positions can be such that one company will think nothing of paying $90-$100k for someone really good because they know it’s worth it, and another company will act like you’re the greediest gold-digger on the planet because you respectfully decline interviewing for a $40k position*. All in the same region, no less.

      *I’ve noticed a sharp uptick in those $40k positions wanting not only an EA, but someone to handle AP/AR, office management stuff (like ordering kitchen supplies and keeping said kitchen clean), and receptionist duties. I started out as a receptionist oh-so-long ago…no way am I going to handle exec(s) who are ostensibly busy enough to require an assistant *and* be chained to the front desk while simultaneously scrubbing coffee off the kitchen countertops and eyeballing the Keurig pod numbers.

      Reply
      1. Michaela Westen

        IMHO that’s not a good sign. It could mean the employment market is going down and employers think they can get away with paying high-level experienced people a lower salary. I hope they’re wrong!

        Reply
  18. Worklady

    If this is an external recruiter, call the recruiting firm and ask for the hiring company’s account manager. Tell that person what you told Alison. A decent firm will be glad to know this is happening so they can correct it.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Thneed

      This. This this this, so hard. OP, if you do get interviewed, mention it to the hiring company, sure, but YES mention it to the account manager. They’re the ones who interact directly with the hiring companies, and they are, well honestly, they’re not salespeople, which is what recruiters are.

      Reply
  19. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss

    I’d only tolerate this type of behavior if it was a recruiter external to the company AND I wasn’t desperate for work. I’d let this recruiter know how I want to be treated, and make sure she adheres to it. And if she doesn’t change or treats you worse, then withdraw.

    Reply
  20. Close Bracket

    Only addressing this part of the question:

    for example, that I should find a quiet place for the phone interview, that I should do background research on the company beforehand, that I should sound interested in the role, and other basics.

    Based on what I read here and on my own experience, it seems like recruiters commonly cover interview prep, and candidates commonly take it personally. I would just let this go. If you’ve got it handled, just say thanks and move on. Yeah, you could argue that since you are in your 30s/40s/whatever that they should assume that you know interview basics, but the recruiter doesn’t know you. You are Schrodinger’s Bad Interviewee to them, and they want to make sure the cat is alive before the interview starts.

    Reply
    1. The Man, Becky Lynch

      I agree.

      However I get the feeling if the recruiter wasn’t a solid PITA in other ways, that would have been so much easier to just let slide off the OP’s back. If someone only does one kind of annoying thing like offers you prep when you don’t need it but otherwise respects your wishes and is easy to work with, meh easy to shrug off. But this recruiter is such a difficult personality to deal with, every little thing, every little cracker she eats, nope nope nope!

      Reply
        1. The Man, Becky Lynch

          No shame at all in that, when someone is that obnoxious and overbearing, it’s bound to drive you up the wall even with the littlest things! That’s on them. She’s bad at her job, she needs to tailor herself a little at least to her clients.

          Reply
    2. Jennifer Thneed

      Give me interview prep by telling me what the actual hiring manager is most interested in. Tell me which part of my resume to play up. Tell me they went to the same school as me, even. In other words, share the info you have and I don’t. But don’t f$cking tell me to “act like I really want the job”. Don’t talk down to me. You’re placing me in a professional position that is not entry-level. You can assume I have done this already. Are you going to remind me to brush my hair, too?

      Reply
  21. Jennifer

    I don’t understand why the OP answers her calls. I would ignore the call and send her an email. But beyond that, yes, this woman sounds like a nightmare. She must be desperate for the commission or the OP is her only client.

    Reply
  22. A Pinch of Salt

    Ugh. I once had a recruiter coach me in (among other things) hiding cleavage for an interview. “If you look down and see any of it, your shirt is too low.”

    Uhhhhh…..why are my boobs coming up in a profrssional call?

    Reply
    1. The Man, Becky Lynch

      Oh my goodness, I wonder what the story was that lead them to needing to throw that in their spiel o.O How awkward and unnecessary, if someone doesn’t know that already, they’re in for a world of hurt and I doubt that they’ll take the advice that’s so casually flipped out there.

      Reply
    2. Lavender Menace

      Um, if I look down my shirt, I’m going to see my breasts because they’re there and my face is directly above them. I don’t think that’s the best barometer…

      Reply
  23. Esme

    I’ve had a couple good experiences with external recruiters – one found me the job I’m about to convert to FT that only hires through recruiters and I’m very happy with the position.
    Another recruiter I interviewed through took my concerns about a particular interview seriously, heard me out on reservations I had, and found one of their former clients that had worked adjacent to the position to let me ask questions of. They were disappointed when that led to me declining the job and they missed out on the commission but they didn’t berate me for it. I felt they’d provided me an excellent service in my job hunt and would recommend them to others even though I didn’t end up taking a job through them.
    But, I have encountered other recruiters that are more similar to what you are describing. Very focused on the commission and over-invested in closing the deal at any cost. It’s much easier to cut them off when there’s not a potential job on the line, so Alison’s advice is great for your situation. If there is no job on the line, I remind everyone there is no need to hesitate – they are offering to provide you their services and you can decide that you don’t want them to “serve” you if they aren’t enhancing your job search and making your life better.

    Reply
  24. lnelson in Tysons

    Recruiters, especially external, are a dime a dozen. But the really good ones are few and far between.
    After working for a few decades, unless one is really switching career paths, a true professional knows: be on time, dress up, do your homework, put your cell phone away, etc.
    I know that the freshly out of college recruiters need to gain experience. But there have been times (granted I am in HR and have done some recruiting myself) I have really wanted to say “May I have a grown-up please”
    I do like it when recruiters coach in telling me know exactly what the clients are looking for. For example: that you have international experience, worked x-years with this software, etc.
    Ghosting is annoying. But the opposite is annoying too. Calling me three times in a row. Not leaving a voice mail message. You know there might be a valid reason why I didn’t pick up the phone those three times in less than three minutes. Then texting two messages demanding that I contact you, is not going to motivate me to reach out any quicker.

    Reply
  25. Klingons and Cylons and Daleks, Oh My!

    Ignore her calls and send her an email. If possible, send a copy to the head of the recruiting firm. Review her and her firm on Glassdoor, stating everything that you included here.

    Reply
  26. voyager1

    I don’t necessarily disagree with AAM and the commenters but my experiences with recruiters has not been good in they haven’t ever really found me a good job HA!

    I personally would like a touch base call, but that is me personally. Also the interview information while redundant doesn’t really harm you. And to be fair if you did cancel a interview (even with a sick kid) it does look like you aren’t interested…

    But most importantly I think you need to separate the recruiter from the job. Judge the job by the interviewers since they are the deciders.

    Reply
  27. Rebecca

    Oh, this sounds familiar. I think some recruiters are just like this. I worked with two in my recent job search – one independent, one large firm – and both were annoying. Let’s talk 15 minutes before the interview, let’s talk 15 minutes after the interview. Let’s talk the day before and then let’s also talk the day after, etc. With the large firm I was told to arrive for my 9am interview at “8:45am SHARP” as if I don’t know this after a 20-year career. I was also told to wear a suit (wildly out of step for the company I interviewed with) and not to wear jeans or tennis shoes (no kidding?). The independent recruiter wanted to talk to me for an hour about how to answer bog standard interview questions. I don’t think I’d work with a recruiter again, to be honest!

    Reply
  28. Free Meerkats

    If you back out because of her behavior, there are two emails you need to send after the process is over; one to the recruiter’s manager and one to the company HR explaining why you backed out. If you ever want to work for the company, maybe not the one to HR.

    If you get the job, definitely clue in HR and tell them they almost lost you because of that recruiter.

    Reply
  29. Leela

    I really hope this recruiter just has a terrible manager who’s instructing her to act this way, and internally she knows how ridiculous this is.

    Reply
  30. Bubbles McPherson

    I once got an offer from a company that I turned down before hearing the salary solely because the recruiter was an ass.

    He wouldn’t share details about the benefits and he demanded to know my bottom-line salary number so he could negotiate on my behalf. Sorry, bub, the first is critical information, and the second is a no-go. You don’t work for me, and I’m the only person who negotiates for me.

    I got a call from the hiring manager after turning it down – I’d figured out his email and sent him a thank-you note independently of the recruiter – asking why I turned it down. I told him flat-out it was because of the recruiter they had representing them. I appreciated the offer, but wasn’t interested in working for a company that would do business that way.

    I have no idea why any company would ever use a recruiter. A total waste of time and money.

    Reply
    1. Lavender Menace

      Recruiters – good ones, anyway – aren’t actually wastes of time and money. My company has an in-house recruiting office, and good recruiters can actually save you lots of time and money because they focus on finding your talent while you focus on doing your job. They can take care of the early steps of the process for you, leaving you to do just the parts that require your expertise.

      Reply
      1. Niki

        I moved from a brief stint in agency to years of in-house recruitment and there is a huge difference – as an in house recruiter you’re far more conscious of representing the employer and giving candidates the right experience on that basis. You’re also more invested in finding people to be successful in the role long term, as opposed to somebody who will get through interview and probation period in order to get your commission.

        There are good agencies (or, more likely IMO, good individual agents) out there – particularly those who have long term relationships with clients who hire often; they have some of the same incentives to provide long term staff that in-house do, but there are a LOT of shady ones out there. It doesn’t take much initial investment to set up as a recruiter so you get a lot of cowboy operations.

        It’s not surprising that many bigger companies have set up internal recruitment departments – pays for itself quite quickly once you have the hiring numbers. I do still think there’s a place for consultancies but I think it’s mainly at the high volume/short notice temp/contractor level where you get the benefit of them taking care of payroll etc. or at the v high end head-hunter level where you’re dealing with candidates who don’t expect to actively job search

        Reply
  31. Cows go moo

    Whatever you decide, please consider giving feedback to the employer. I would definitely want to know if a recruiter (who was representing me and my company) behaved this way.

    Reply
  32. PersephoneUnderground

    Question – if you’re given bad instructions by the recruiter (such as showing up in a suit for an interview because the recruiter said “business professional” dress, only to see your interviewers are wearing UGGs and sweatpants), should you explain that to the interviewers or is it better to just roll with things?

    Reply
    1. Aspiring Chicken Lady

      Roll with it, unless the interviewers say anything. Most people show up to interviews one step “over dressed” because that’s what you do. If a company knows that they’re already one step “under dressed”, then the calculation still sorta works out. And as the candidate, you simply adjust through behavior, language and stories so they know you’re not a fuddy duddy. You don’t want to waste good interview time blaming someone else about the technicalities of getting there.

      However, if it turns out you were supposed to wear something different because they were going to take you on a tour through the sand pits, then throwing the recruiter under the bus would be just fine.

      Reply
  33. Niki

    As somebody who did a (mercifully short) stint as a recruiter at a not-that-reputable consultancy straight after graduating, I think this behavior is incredibly annoying but I have some sympathy with her. If she’s not very experienced and you’re one of her first candidates she thinks is in with a real shot of getting the role she might just be over-excited and getting overbearing out of desperation to make it happen – same if she’s had a bad couple of months in billings and her job rests on getting somebody over the line this time.

    And on the constant calls front, there are quite a lot of agencies where recruiters are held to KPIs on total number of outbound calls or minutes spent on the phone each day – I’ve seen people hounding candidates who are pleasant/responsive to get out of the horrible task of cold calling businesses.

    None of it is your problem to solve, but having spent some time on the other side of the fence I tend to feel sorry for this type of recruiter more than annoyed. God, I hated that job.

    Reply
  34. pretzelgirl

    This is so common in recruiting. Recruiting is an interesting field and some places have an incredibly high turnover rate. I worked at one right out of college, I was let go after 2 weeks and so was the guy I started with. Even though its recruiting and some think “HR” its really more sales.(I realize there are some recruiters not like this, not trying to generalize).Its likely that this lady was new or close to being fired, hence her desperation.

    Also on the “what to wear front”….you’d be surprised that some college grads, people with tons of professional experience still can’t seem to grasp appropriate interview attire.

    Reply
  35. Rust1783

    I am pretty advanced in my career, and I have worked for several well-known leaders in my industry. I have never proactively worked with a recruiter to find a job; I have only occasionally worked with them when a potential new employer was using a firm to handle their search. Every single one of those occasional experiences has been horrible. I don’t understand why these firms even exist, so uniformly terrible have my interactions with recruiters been. I have to image they add value, somehow, to some industries or organizations, but it’s turned into a purely academic question. I fear that as I get further into my career and start looking more seriously at executive level/leadership jobs, I will get to a point where recruiters are unavoidable.

    Reply
  36. Greg

    I want to echo what Allison said in her last paragraph. I think everyone should, at some point in their career, proactively reject an employer/recruiter rather than passively waiting for their decision. It helps keep them honest and can also be a nice ego boost for yourself by reminding you that you retain agency in what can often feel like a very stacked process. Obviously, you should only do it if you are in a position to turn them down, and you should be as professional to them as you would want them to be to you.

    I don’t know enough about OP’s situation to say whether she should do it here. But if she genuinely doesn’t care about the job, there’s no reason not to.

    Reply
  37. moneypenny

    I can relate to this. I had a recruiter insist on phone calls and voicemails instead of emails, which took forever for me to respond to due to bad cell reception. In spite of asking her to keep it to email, she’d email then call anyway. She submitted me for a position that was a terrible fit, and she knew it, and given the weekend to think about it I decided to decline. She was very snippy on the phone about it, told me I clearly didn’t know what a good opportunity was when it was in front of me, then hung up on me.

    I ditched her shortly after and found a new recruiter who abided my wishes. These are red flags for the whole relationship, and it’s better to move on if at all possible.

    Reply
  38. Morgen

    This is so interesting to me b/c I’ve been working exclusively with staffing agencies for the past few years (I’m a contractor) and ALL the recruiters/reps act like this now!! My current rep (who I’ve worked with before) said it’s an initiative to better connect and stay in touch with the talent and that they’ve been instructed to call EVERY 2-3 DAYS whether there’s new info or not!!!

    I wonder if that’s the advice being doled out across the board to recruiters now? I’m over 40 and have had plenty of professional jobs–I just landed a new role through the agency I’m using, but the process has been painful and, like the OP mentioned, incredibly annoying, time-sucking, and oddly disorganized given the number of conversations we’ve had :(

    Reply
  39. Big Biscuit

    I think over my career, I’ve had much better experiences with internal recruiters, external recruiters seem to be operating off of a recruiting “playbook” most of the time and it’s not one size fits all. Internal recruiters are part of the company culture and when it’s a good company that comes through in the recruiting process.

    Reply

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