6 Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You

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Recruiters want what’s best for both the company and the candidate. It’s all about building and maintaining positive relationships and treating each other respectfully and professionally. Here are a few ways to wreak havoc on the process and make your recruiter hate you.


1. Interview the Recruiter on your First Call

Don’t spend time grilling the recruiter on the position beyond what you need to express interest in having your resume sent. The last thing you want is to dominant the conversation so much that the recruiter doesn’t get what they need to submit you.  Obviously before you interview, you will get more detailed information. A good recruiter will get you everything you need to feel comfortable in pursuing the opportunity but that opportunity will go away without a viable give and take and will make your recruiter hate you.

2. Be Dishonest

Recruiters are pitching you to the hiring team so lying about your skill set will be discovered at some point and mean not only has your time been wasted but everyone else in the interview process as well. If you aren’t interested in the position or don’t think it’s a good fit, let the recruiter know. Pursuing only those jobs you are interested in and qualified for are in everyone’s best interest.

3. Be Unavailable or Inaccessible

If you take your time in getting back to a recruiter to schedule a call or an interview, odds are they will put your candidacy on the back burner. If you have a slow response to the recruiter, they will be apprehensive to have you interview with their client. If you don’t have time to chat with the recruiter, you don’t have time to interview with a company. Lack of response is interpreted as lack of interest. Be clear on the best way to get in touch with you, and then respond in a timely manner.

4. Don’t Take the Interview Prep Seriously

Your recruiter is trying to help you nail your interview.  The best recruiters will often spend 30 minutes to help prepare you.  Take advantage of this amazing willingness to spend time helping you be successful.  Make sure to be in a quiet place with pen and paper to take notes. If the recruiter gives you coaching specifics, like communication flaws you need to address or talking about reasons for leaving or transitions, make sure to take them to heart. Odds are, the hiring team has already brought up this question and your recruiter is trying to keep it from being a red flag.

5. Go Around Your Recruiter

Going straight to the company to ask questions or request an update will only confuse the process. The company has hired the recruiter to handle all candidate interface, going round them might raise questions about your professionalism and your candidacy. Do not apply to the position directly or through a second recruiter.  You’ll end up making your recruiter hate you as well as the client who at one point wanted to interview you!

6. Be Unprofessional or Unprepared

The recruiter is a direct line to the hiring team. Being unprofessional or unprepared could cause the recruiter to refuse to represent you to their client. Always treat every call professionally, as culture, fit and personality are an important piece of a recruiter’s write-up about your background and fit for the position.


All in all, it’s important to create a good relationship with your recruiter. You basically have a free advocate for your candidacy! Being positive, honest, and professional will only make your recruiter root for you more. Remember that the recruiter is paid by their client, not you. Don’t make your recruiter hate you and, guess what, you could get the job!

Interested in starting a job search?  Contact Smith Hanley Associates‘ Market Research Recruiter, Lindsey Bartlett, at lbartlett@smithhanley.com.



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