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How to piss off your recruiter / hiring manager


How to piss off your recruiter

I should title this “how to keep your recruiter happy”, and make this a positive piece, but this is a passionate rant that all recruiters share, so to make a point, I am purposely titling this article and taking this specific angle.

It amazes me in this day and age with the Internet and all of the information available, how many people come to the interview and have done no research on the company. If you want a sure fire way to piss off a recruiter or hiring manager, arrive unprepared for an interview. The most insulting thing you can do to most recruiters: not be able to answer the question “Tell me what you know about our company” or “Tell me what you know about our industry”.  You know this question is coming.  How can you NOT some form of this question? A few reasons why this pisses me off:

  1. If you REALLY want something or are remotely interested in something, it is human nature that you would do something about it. In the words of a good friend of mine, “make a move son!”  “No move” to me signals you are either LAZY or Uninterested. If you are going to buy a car, you will do some research. If you were going to buy a 300.00 TV at Target, you will probably do some sort of research or price comparisons. In the least, when you get to Target, you are going to compare models. You aren’t going to just pick up the first TV you lay your eyes on.
  2. LinkedIn, Google and Yahoo Business Pages,, Facebook, Twitter, and company blogs. Within 15 minutes, you can have access to recent PR announcements, management team, products, company philosophy/culture, and competition, etc. You could do this on a mobile phone in the parking lot!  ARRRHHHHHGGG!  Did I go through 50 resumes for this?
  3. If you are not going to do any proactive research that will benefit YOUR career, you are probably not going to be a proactive hire.  You signal no initiative and need to be told what to do along the way. We are running a business people, not a daycare.

Example Given:  If our CEO asks me to schedule a meeting with a candidate and that meeting is in another city or out of the office:

  1. I am going to research a place where the two can meet that is conducive to both.
  2. It will be easy to find, reasonable in price, and provide a comfortable, relaxed environment.
  3. I will provide directions to get to the place, a phone number for the place, and a picture of the place with landmarks so that our CEO can find it easily.  30 minutes before that meeting I am going to be available in case something happens to either party or someone gets lost or is running late.
  4. I will text our CEO at meeting time to make sure he made it.
  5. This is the attitude of research I am going to provide and this is what we are looking to hire.  “Make a move son!”

How much time should you invest? If you are not working, there is no excuse why you wouldn’t pour your heart and soul into the research.  If you are working, with kids, and a second job, there is no reason why you can’t stay up for a couple of hours, or get up early and come prepared.

  1. Talk with people who work with the company or worked at the company in the past.  Pick their brain on what they liked, disliked, why they left.
  2. Talk with vendors of the company or clients of the company.  These people can often get you introductions to people listed above.

Top things you SHOULD research about a company AND its industry:

  1. Read about the management team on the “About” page. At the very least, find out what their background is and then do a Google search on the CEO, and the C level executive of your discipline.
  2. Recent PR:  Learn about new product offerings, money raised, etc.
  3. Who are the competitors, what are their products? What differentiates each of the players in your industry?
  4. The big public company? Where is the stock?  Market Cap? What Alexa ranking do they hold?
  5. Private company? Who was the VC?  How did they fund?
  6. If you are talking with a recruiter, Google them.  If you are interviewing with a hiring manager or a member of the team, ask the recruiter who you will be meeting with.
  7. Find a reason why you want to work there.  Give the recruiter a reason to believe why you would be interested in their company whether it is personal or professional, but make a sincere connection.

Armed with this information, don’t be a passive fish. Get your information out there and show them that you took an interest in the opportunity. Just because they don’t ask you “what do you know about our company” doesn’t mean they don’t care. Trust me, they care. “Make a move Son!”

See you at the after party,


nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

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