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3 Things Recruiters Should Never Say to Candidates

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When it comes to recruiting, applicants are often the ones under fire. So they should be, considering that selecting people with the right personality and skill set for a position is at the heart of what you do!

Still, your reputation as a recruiter also hinges on your ability to find the best candidates. These are people with such fantastic resumes that they can pretty much take their pick of jobs. As much as you need to be sure that they’re the right people for a position, then you’ll also need to impress if you’re to bag the best.

For the most part, this shouldn’t be difficult. Engaging interview questions and a professional yet personable manner should are often enough to seal the deal. It is worth noting, though, that you should also avoid saying certain things that could paint you in a bad light or even cost the candidate.

You know how it goes; you make a connection and get chatting with a top applicant, the next thing you know you’ve put your foot ten feet in it, and you can already feel them turning away! Make sure it doesn’t happen by remembering NEVER to say these three things. 

#1 – ‘Sorry’

Obviously you should apologize if you run over a candidate’s foot or something similar, but steer clear of apologies otherwise. Never say ‘Sorry I’m late,’ Sorry for the mess,’ etc. It all makes you sound unprofessional, and it’s not even necessary. Recruiters are busy, and applicants know that. Don’t draw attention to the issue by apologizing every five seconds and giving the candidate the upper hand.

#2 – ‘Tell me about yourself’

Snore! This is the most unoriginal interview question in the world. It also gives the impression that you haven’t done your homework. You should already know basics like history, personal skills, etc. so what exactly are you asking? Your candidate certainly won’t know! Clear up the confusion (and boredom) by asking engaging, informed questions. Something as simple as highlighting a point on their resume and asking them to tell you about that instead can make all the difference here.

#3 – ‘Excuse me one second’

Unless the building is burning down, nothing is worth disturbing a candidate interview. Answering the phone to someone else is an especial no-go as it gives a clear impression that you aren’t interested. Why should a top-quality applicant bother with a recruiter who can’t even give them the time of day? Instead, put your phone on silent and the out of office on your emails. Then, give your candidate your full attention from the moment they enter your office to the moment they leave.

You’re a recruiter; impressing clients is what you do. Fail to get this right, and you’re guaranteed to struggle in the industry as you fail to secure the best. You should, therefore, keep these absolute no-gos in mind every time, and remember that you need to impress those candidates as much as they need to impress you. 

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