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December 2016

5 Things Recruiters Should Never Say to a Candidate

When job seekers prepare for an interview, they focus on what to say and what not to say in order to represent themselves in the best light possible. HR recruiters, believe it or not, need to do the same. In order to best represent your company and the job in question, keep in mind the following interview ‘no-no's.

Five Things HR Recruiters Should Never Say to a Candidate

  1. “If you were an ice cream flavor, what flavor would you be?”

    It sounds fun, casual, and lighthearted, but what in the world does it even mean? Candidates don’t want to answer this kind of question because it’s simply irrelevant. You might be able to extract some kind of abstract meaning out of their response (Vanilla? This candidate must be boring and unoriginal), but it’s not a good way to find out if the interviewee is a strong fit for your company. It says nothing about their skill set, experience, or ability to function within a business context.

  2. “Tell me about yourself.”

    If you want relevant answers, you need to ask more specific questions. This is an open-ended question that is difficult to answer because the interviewee doesn’t know what kind of information you are looking for.

  3. “This job has a pretty high turnover rate.”

    Human resources consultants know that nothing sends a candidate running faster than the implications behind this statement. It paints a picture of your company as an unpleasant place to work. Obviously, if a candidate asks about turnover, don’t lie, but follow up with all of the positive aspects of the company culture and the job itself.

  4. “Disregard the job description.”

    Your candidate probably tailored their cover letter to highlight their strengths in relation to the job description you posted. They are interviewing because they felt that they were a good fit for that particular job. Why would you want to push your candidate away like this? When it comes to talent acquisition, a human resources department should have a clear understanding of what they are looking for in a candidate before beginning the interview process. A recent survey revealed that one-third of 1,400 executives felt that one of the top factors leading to a failed hire, aside from performance issues, is a poor skills match. The second most common reason (30%) was unclear performance objectives.

  5. “If it was up to me, you would have the job.”

    This leads a candidate to believe that you, as the HR recruiter, have nothing to do with the hiring process. They might start to wonder why they’re talking to you in the first place. Additionally, it puts all the responsibility (and blame, if the candidate is not hired) on your employer. It’s disrespectful and unprofessional.

  6. Just like there are many things a candidate should avoid saying and doing, there are quite a few things HR recruiters should keep in mind during the interview process. If you have any others in mind, feel free to post in the comments section below.