The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.Last week, I wrote a Friday Funny called “20 Quick Ways to Annoy an Interviewee.

It revealed the following common, but totally avoidable interviewer habits…

  • Answering the phone mid-interview. (Seriously, come on.)
  • Intimidation. (Why, why, why?)
  • Blatantly Lying. (Honesty is the best policy…)

Anyway, a couple of people flagged up that many candidates could be accused of the very same things… which of course, is true!

In fact, there are a variety of unacceptable behaviours that both candidates and recruiters are guilty of. Let’s take a look at the worst…

1. The Spammer.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.So you think you’d make a great…

  • IT Director?
  • First-Line Support?
  • And Graphic Designer?

That’s probably NOT the case though is it?

So why exactly HAVE you applied for all of the above, with a completely irrelevant CV?

Recruiters are pretty good at remembering names and they’re obviously going to feel negative towards someone who wastes their time.

Recruiters do it too!

Of course, some recruiters are guilty of the “spammy” approach too; sending “relevant” job vacancies to candidates in the masses – just hoping for a bite.

“This is the perfect opportunity for you…” is it though?


If you focus your energy on who you actually want to speak to or a job you actually want to get, then you’re much more likely to be successful. And you won’t p*ss as many people off.

2. The Walking Cliché.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.Do you have a “strong work ethic?” Are you “self-motivated?” And do you “work well in a team?”

SNORE. Who doesn’t?

Recruiters can probably put up with a couple of small clichés, but packing your CV full of them is an immediate turn off and kind of frustrating – we just want to see the real you!

Recruiters do it too!

Yep, recruiters are guilty too…

Are you looking to hire a “dynamic” and “innovative” “self-starter?” *Shudders.*

We really need to ban these clichés for good.

3. The Liar.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.So, you want to big yourself up a little bit during the interview…

That’s ok, it’s almost impossible not to tell a couple of white lies.

But some candidates take it to the extreme:

  • We’ve had (multiple) candidates who lied about having a degree.
  • A candidate that once lied about being “half-French.”
  • And one even told us “Pokémon” was his idea.

The recruiter will find out eventually.

Recruiters do it too!

Yes, unfortunately, some recruiters do feel the need to lie to their candidates…

  • They might exaggerate the opportunities for progression. (“There are endless possibilities”).
  • Or embellish the company culture. (“We all get on really, really well”).
  • Or even lie about the job role itself. (“Duties may vary” the oldest trick in the book).

But in the long run, for both parties, honesty is the best policy.

4. The Flake.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.We’ve all probably experienced this one before.

At their best, the flake will apply for a job and when contacted about it, say they’re no longer interested (they realise they don’t really want to leave their current company).

At their worst, the flake will go through the entire process, accept a job offer and then bail at the last moment (perhaps accepting a counter-offer or maybe just because they can’t be bothered with change).

Recruiters: I know how annoying this can be, so we came up with a four-step process for weeding out your timewasters earlier.

Recruiters do it too!

Blowing hot and cold certainly isn’t just something candidates do.

Have you ever been getting along really, really well with a recruiter, but then they just suddenly stop contacting you? (Unfortunately, they probably have a new “favourite.”)

Be fair, be professional and don’t leave people hanging.

5. The Gift.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.Arrogant and high-maintenance candidates are the bane of the recruitment process.

Especially when they’re actually really great for the job, (but they know it). Thing is, they come across badly and it’s really hard to hire or represent someone who does that!

These kinds of behaviours include…

  • Demanding a higher salary for the role (why did you apply in the first place?)
  • Attempting to call the shots with the interviews (“I can do Friday at 1pm; that is all.”)
  • Just generally being haughty. (“Why wouldn’t you want to hire me?”)

A little bit of humility goes a long way!

Recruiters do it too!

On the other side of the table, recruiters who think their job and company are the bee’s knees and that anyone would be lucky to even get an interview with them, are just as annoying…

  • Asking daft, mean interview questions. (“Would you rather be superman or batman?”)
  • Refusing to budge on salary, or lowering it mid-process. (“They’re not worth it.”)
  • Being unreasonable about interviews. (“Come in tomorrow, or never.”)

Recruitment is a two-way process that requires mutual respect.

6. The Complete Let Down.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.The moment you find the “perfect” candidate for a role, is magical.

Skills; check. Education; check. The ability to string a sentence together, check. Experience, check.

What isn’t so magical is when that same, “perfect” candidate ruins it all by looking scruffy at the interview or being totally unprepared.

Or of course, just failing to show up, altogether.

Recruiters do it too!

Of course, from the candidate’s perspective, it’s just as frustrating when you make the effort to go to an interview, only to find out the recruiter is horrible, the company isn’t what you expected and/or the role is completely different from the one that was advertised.

Just be honest. You’re only wasting your own time if you don’t.

7. The Angry Ranter.

The 7 Most Annoying Things Candidates (and Recruiters) Do.Speaking for myself and my clients, I can tell you; not all recruiters are w*nkers.

Despite the bad name a few bad eggs have given us, we do actually care about our candidates.

We take a lot of time to work out whether someone will fit into a specific role and company and there is a process to be followed.

On finding out that you’ve been unsuccessful, the worst thing you can do is throw your teddy out of the pram, send an angry email or have a rant at us.

I know it’s disappointing (usually we’re disappointed too) but we will try to find you another job. There’s no point burning bridges.

Recruiters do it too!

Of course, recruiters have been known to lose their cool too (usually when they find out a candidate has accepted a counter-offer or has been lying to them).

But it’s silly and completely pointless.

Circumstances change and things happen and ranting and raving isn’t going to change a damn thing, is it?

Keep your cool and move on, else you’ll end up seeing a nasty review about you on Glassdoor (or goodness forbid, social media!)

Let’s keep it professional, people.

Recognise some of these?

I’m sure you have come across these behaviours (I know I have, from both sides of the table).

Thing is, the recruitment process is about give and take, mutual respect and professionalism.

Both candidates and recruiters will make mistakes (because everybody does) and it’s important that we learn from them and move on…

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 Happy Friday folks.

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