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Working Wildcat: Five hiring manager mood-killers

Ariel Hernandez

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Knowing how to interact with recruiters can be the difference between a job offer or a continued job hunt. Though some actions to avoid are more obvious than others, certain deterrents can be confusing.

Here are five things to avoid when interacting with recruiters:

1. Asking about money first

When looking for a job, money is definitely an important factor, but you should wait to bring up the question. Asking right away indicates that you’re more focused on how much money you can make than on the actual job. Instead of jumping into a conversation about salary, ask about the company, position and opportunities to grow. Wait until you are offered the job before you bring up salary.

2. Not doing your research

Almost all companies have websites that offer basic information. If you’re asking questions that could have been easily answered by a little research, it shows that you didn’t properly prepare. Not only does it reflect poorly on your interest in the company, but it also wastes valuable time that could be spent asking more specific questions.

3. Displaying a strength as a weakness

When a recruiter asks you what your weakness is, they are looking for an honest answer. While it’s important not to give the impression that you are incompetent or an undesirable candidate, you need to answer the question honestly. Telling a recruiter that perfectionism is your weakness isn’t really identifying a weakness. Although being a perfectionist can be a hindrance at times, it’s more of a strength than a weakness.

State an authentic and honest weakness and follow up with how you’re trying to overcome it. The recruiter is looking for your ability to identify problems and strategize ways to overcome them, which is much more desirable than perfectionism.

4. Being too casual

It seems obvious that from the moment you meet a recruiter up until the last interview, you should always be professional. But some applicants fail to do so. It’s common for recruiters to open up with basic questions to break the ice, but make sure to keep your answers professional. If they ask what you like to do for fun, refrain from answering, “Doing keg stands while wearing a sombrero.”

5. Taking too long to reply

A recruiter understands that you have a busy schedule with school, activities and possibly a part-time job. But if they call or send an email, they are looking for a relatively prompt reply. If you’re in the process of trying to find a job, make sure to check your email and voice mails once or twice a day.

Before you reach out to potential employers, re-evaluate your job-hunt strategy. Make sure to hold off on the money talk, do your research and be honest and proactive.

Ariel Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @aj7uriel on Twitter.

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Working Wildcat: Five hiring manager mood-killers