17 Things recruiters Don't Tell You Which Could Hurt Your Feelings

Irene Kotov Career 2 Comments

things recruiters dont tell

So you’re looking for a job. You’ve applied for quite a few, have spoken to some recruiters and have even interviewed with a couple of them. Then you wait. And you wait. And you wait some more.

“What went wrong? Why isn’t the recruiter calling me back? He/she seemed so lovely when we met. I thought the interview went really well.”

As much as a recruiter may want to help you find a job, their first priority is to ensure their client (your potential employer) is happy. This means that they are looking for candidates that they believe are the right fit and will therefore reflect well on their reputation.

They may not always tell you what you can improve upon, so instead they look for someone who fits the mould.

After all it is easier that way.

To give every candidate constructive criticism can take a lot of time.

And, it can be difficult to give feedback knowing that it might hurt someone’s feelings (even when you know it’s for their ultimate good).

Things recruiters don’t tell you

Here are 17 things recruiters don’t tell you: a list of issues that I’ve heard recruiters complain about but didn’t necessarily bring up with the candidate.

  1. You swore (even though you may not have realised it);
  2. You complained about previous employers and colleagues;
  3. You didn’t present yourself professionally enough, i.e. lack of appropriate dress attire or you looked like you just rolled out of bed;
  4. Your handshake was too firm or not firm enough;
  5. You were chewing gum during the interview;
  6. Your breath didn’t smell good and/or you had bad body odour;
  7. You have a foreign accent, and the client is looking for a local;
  8. Your mobile phone rang during the interview, and you actually answered it. It ringing in the first place is a big no-no;
  9. You told inappropriate personal stories during an interview, or generally were too familiar;
  10. You were late. Not a good start to the process. And will make a recruiter worry about whether they can trust you to arrive on time to the interview with their client;
  11. You lied about your experience, and they could tell;
  12. Your answers weren’t succinct. You were waffling and/or didn’t actually answer their questions;
  13. You had tattoos showing;
  14. You didn’t seem to be prepared;
  15. You use too many filler words like umm, like, uhhh;
  16. You lack expression, are too expressive, acted somewhat cocky, seemed anxious, awkward or come across as insecure;
  17. You talk too fast, too slow, too loud or too soft.

Think back over your past interviews, and you’ll surely find times when one or more of the above issues were applicable to you. Everybody has done it at one time or other.

Now, don’t dwell on it for too long, and look forward.

Constructive criticism is a positive eye-opener, and being made aware of it will mean that you can learn from your mistakes, and then the only way is up from there!

Irene Kotov is the founder of Arielle, where she helps job-seekers create a personal brand through Resume Writing Services Sydney, Interview Coaching, and Social Media Resumes.


  1. Thanks …! Very useful information. I’m sure it will help me for my future interviews.

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