Watch Yourself.

In our business we have the happy occasion of offering a job to a candidate. But we also have to turn candidates down. Most understand, but there is really no easy way to let a person down. I still find it hard to do.

How you react to not getting a job speaks volumes about you and your personality. We have a situation right now where a candidate is not happy that they (I don’t want to assign gender to protect certain people – sorry Mike I am well aware that it is a grammatical error. I would rather you sue me over that than someone sue me if they find out I am talking about them) didn’t get moved on to the next step. In fact they are sure we are wrong and they are the perfect fit.

The problem is that this person hasn’t met our other candidates and doesn’t know anything about them. So this candidate really doesn’t have a reference point. The fact is we have better candidates, stronger candidates, all-around excellent candidates.

Instead of accepting this reality gracefully the candidate has decided to contact the client directly and complain about us.

And I don’t mean diplomatically either I mean all out defamation of character.

I understand that this person is angry and upset and maybe feels that we didn’t assess their talent properly. However there would have been a better way to go about it.

This person could have phoned the client directly and said this:

We haven’t met but I interviewed with the recruitment firm that you retained on this search and they didn’t feel I was as strong as the other candidates.

I respect their opinion but I feel it was wrong. I would like to have a chance to interview with you and prove that I can do the job.

That might not have gotten this person the interview but they would have ended up looking like a professional. Instead they look like someone who doesn’t react well to minor setbacks and then assigns blame to others in the most derogatory manner.

This is not a good message to send about your managerial skills.

Remember it’s not just about how you act during the interview but how you act during all “touch points” during the process. This includes the recruiter, the researcher, the recruiter’s administration assistant…Everyone you have contact with will talk to the other people – make sure they all think highly you. Get them on your side.

You are being watched.

So watch yourself.

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