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These Are The 10 Habits That Drive Recruiters Crazy


When it comes to interviewing, there’s no such thing as one recipe for success–what a recruiter is looking for will largely depend on a company’s needs, job requirements, and culture fit.

But even though the things recruiters like to see in a candidate aren’t widely agreed upon, the things they don’t like to see often are–few recruiters, for example, would disagree that being late is a turnoff. And if you’re hoping to ace the interview, the more of these pet peeves you avoid, the better.

We reached out to a handful of career experts to see which traits and habits drive recruiters crazy–read on to learn more, and avoid them like the plague.


When evaluating candidates, recruiters want to get into the nitty-gritty: metrics that illustrate the results you’ve achieved, specific ideas you have for the company, anecdotes from your previous work experience.

“The interviewer is trying to gauge your skill and ability level from a short meeting–not an easy task,” says Jessie West of West Coaching and Consulting. “If you cannot provide examples and stories that prove you really have the abilities you promoted on your resume, they will not believe you are a good fit for the role.”

Make sure to “prepare examples from past jobs that will highlight what you can do for the company and the type of employee you will be in the position. Practice telling the story of a past accomplishment to a friend and get their feedback,” West recommends.


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: even if your former employer was really, truly awful, trash talking them will get you nowhere.

“It’s never a good idea to bash your old employer or throw your former boss under the bus because it just makes you look petty… Employers are looking for versatile and adaptive employees, so harping on the bad things at your prior company will only make you look like a Debbie Downer,” says Wendi Weiner, resume writer and career transition coach.

Beyond that, “being a jerk will make us question whether you’ll do the same if someone asks you about us,” adds Bill Kennedy, senior recruiter at AWeber.

Instead, if asked about why you’re searching for a new opportunity, “rephrase the negative into a positive. Consider focusing on the things [about the current company] that elicited you to search for a new role, such as a solid work culture, better growth opportunities or even work-life balance,” Weiner recommends.

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