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  • Writer's pictureChris Bloomquist

How you failed the "real" interview before it happened.

Ah, the old "interview tips, how to land a job" post. We've seen them all right? How to land a job, how not to, etc. This post however was inspired by something I heard in the streets of Seattle today by a short sighted job seeker to his friend. Does this sound familiar?

"I had an interview today, but it was just the recruiter so it didn't count."


I can't begin to explain the flawed logic in this, but let me try, to every job seeker's benefit.


The job seeker wants to talk to the final decision maker, the final decision maker wants to find the candidate quickly, and "voila", you're hired! If only it worked that simply in today's job market. Consider that (according to The Ladders):

  • The average recruiter spends a mere 6 seconds reviewing a resume.

  • 43% of hiring managers will disqualify a candidate from consideration because of spelling errors on a resume (and this number jumps to 61% for recruiters).

..and according to my own observations as a technical recruiter:

  • 99% of recruiters won't work with difficult/disinterested candidates.

  • 51% of all recruiters really don't understand the roles they serve as well as they should.

  • 34.88% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Ok, so my observations are clearly a bit of humor, but the point is that the recruiter, right or wrong, has an immense amount of power in regards to your job search! You need to show your qualifications quickly, positively and effectively, often to a "less than qualified" audience, so that you land the final interview with the final decision maker before the next qualified candidate does.


Treating that recruiter well, and treating their call or meeting as a "real" interview, can go a long way to getting them to be your ally. Even if you discover you know more about the role than they do, the more allies you make, the better odds you'll land the role quickly. It's that simple.


I could write an entire article on how to distinguish a great recruiter from a poor one (and I likely will). For now, I'll end with this: treat every recruiter interaction as "real" and lead with your well-communicated qualifications.


Having a recruiter as an ally could be the difference between landing the best role or never hearing back.


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