How Not to Talk to Recruiters


Sometime, we have to be tough to be kind. This is one of those times.  😕

As part of our support for job-hunters, we need to share a tip that might not be easy to hear. But it can be a game-changer for you.

But first it’s important to know, all of us at The Bagg Group care deeply about our work.  We know that each time we help someone land a position in which they’re happy, they spread positivity to others at their work and to their families. We call this the ripple effect, and it’s why we love what we do.

For us to make these happy placements, we listen very closely to candidates when we interview them. We’re genuinely interested to learn about their experiences, objectives, skills, and hopes, as they relate to their career.  When we interview you, all ears are on you.

But here’s the reality:  We listen as recruiters, not as therapists or best friends.

It is not unusual for job-hunters to mistake a recruiter’s interest in their career as an invite to let it all out and chat as they might to a therapist or a close friend.  And that is a terrible idea.

We really do understand that it’s not easy to look for a job. If you’re feeling worried, frustrated, rejected, disappointed, you’re not alone. Just about everyone feels that way at times. And remember, just about everyone experiences unemployment at some point in their lives.

That’s why all of us at The Bagg Group urge  job-seekers to reach out to trusted friends, family and/or therapists when discouraged or upset.  We agree entirely with wellness experts who say that to seek emotional support at a difficult transition time is a smart, healthy, and strong coping skill. With more than 46 years of experience in helping people find jobs, we know this to be true.

But don’t turn to an interviewer for anything but work-related information. You simply can’t afford to get too familiar and mistake your interviewer for a therapist or a close buddy.

 Here’s why it matters to stay professional in interactions with recruiters, hiring managers, and work contacts:

  1. Expressing negative feelings and emotions may get you sympathy, but will never sell you as a candidate.
  2. To place you, recruiters  and hiring mangers need to see you as the person you would be in a workplace —  professional, optimistic, showing initiative, interest, competence, enthusiasm.
  3. To do well in an interview, it is essential that you be the person you want others to know you as.
  4. Feel bitter about your past work for whatever reason?  Stay away from anger and indignation.  Don’t vent about what didn’t work, just focus on what you want moving forward.   Talk about what type of team, boss, environment and/or expectations would be the best fit for you.

Tips to help you stay positive for an  interview when you’re not feeling up

  • Recognize that whatever the outcome, the interview is a chance to make a new professional contact.
  • If an interviewer starts off by asking “how are you?”  instead of answering, “worried and frustrated,”  try “I’m happy to be here today.  How are you?”
  • See the interview as a way to learn something.  For example, you could learn about a company or the possibility of doing something different, like taking a contract or temporary placement.
  • If you don’t have a job, remember a job-hunt is a journey.  Every journey has twists and turns.  All you need to do is keep going, you will arrive somewhere new and interesting.
  • Perspective helps.  You may think looking for a job is the worst thing ever, but there are many who would change places with you. There are people who feel stuck in jobs they dread, and they can only dream of looking for other opportunities.
  • If you don’t get a position you interviewed for, trust the process. If you’re not selected, it likely wasn’t a good fit, not a place you’d be happy. When it’s right, things fall into place.
  • Celebrate yourself for getting an interview in the first place.
  • And celebrate yourself for having had a positive professional exchange.  That’s something to feel really terrific about.

Above all, when looking for work, never  give up!  Keep networking, keep sending out resumes, keep visiting job boards, including our  job board.  Every  resume received by Bagg Pro, Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg@Your Service, Bagg Managed Resources, and Turn Key Solutions is read by recruiters.  And importantly, keep up your optimism and your confidence because when positivity walks in the room, people notice. It makes you a much stronger candidate.

Gene Hayden, author of The Follow-Through Factor: Getting from Doubt to Done (Random House), is a career coach who has helped hundreds successfully put their best foot forward at interviews and in the workplace. She is also writer-in-residence for The Bagg Group.



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