Quinnox Blog

No. 1: Attitude Problem

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve No. 1:  Attitude Problem

2016 marks an employees’ market, especially for those with skills that are in demand.  We understand that recruiters can sometimes be aggressive and relentless to get you interested in a job opening.  That is part of our job.   If you are getting frustrated from the impromptu calls try to keep calm, be polite and appreciate the fact that you are in demand – for now.

Recruiters may not remember your skills, but we will surely remember your bad attitude.  Many different attributes make up a bad attitude and that includes haughtiness, inflexibility and being disrespectful.  Candidates with bad attitudes will surely be remembered and marked in the recruitment system.  These negative remarks may never be erased.  This may be irrelevant if you are not interested in the organisation proposed to you?  Think again.  Recruiters move from company to company.  One day they may be hiring for the organisation that you most coveted to join…

So, work closely with your recruiter and help them earnestly so that they could help you in return.  Many times, the hiring decision is hinged upon the candidate’s attitude.  With these unpredictable times, you never know when you will need the help of a recruiter friend.

No 2.: Applied for jobs but never available for interview

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve No 2.: Applied for jobs but never available for interview

Making a career move inevitably means that you need to invest time and effort in attending rounds of interviews, filling up application forms, sitting for aptitude/technical tests and facing rejections. 

When your resume is updated in the job portals, you are sending an “I-am-available-for-a-career-change” message and you will be the target for recruiters.  When you apply to a job – with any company – you should be genuine in wanting to seek out that role.

At this point, it is good to take a reality check.  If your profession and/or skill are in demand, you may receive calls from numerous sources.  This means that you will need to allow recruiters to talk to you about new opportunities, taking leave and time-offs to go for interviews …and more interviews… before getting the right offer and finally accepting the right job.  The whole process can be tedious but it is to be expected. 

If you are half-hearted about making the move, it shows.  Not picking up calls, changing of interview appointment again and again and generally not being cooperative will really leave a bad impression.  In a niche industry, this may be more harmful to your career than you realise.  Thus, if you are ready to look out for new opportunities and make the move, please be ever ready to take calls and attend interviews.

No 3: Late or No-show for interviews

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve No 3. Late or No-show for interviews

Which is worse: to be late for an interview or just not turn up?

Sometimes, fresh graduates or junior executives go missing in action on the day of the interview.  They may not be too keen on the job to start with, or they could find it a hassle to travel to a certain location for interview.  For whatever reason, they are usually not polite enough to give the recruiters or the interviewers a call to say that they are not attending the interview.  They will likely be avoiding phone calls when recruiters follow-up with them.

Particular to this group of candidates, they are likely to be the one to call in about 10 minutes before the interview to say that: they had met with an accident; their car broke down;  they are not feeling well to go for the interview; or that their uncle/aunt/grandmother/grandfather is in the hospital and they cannot go for the interview.  Do not be surprised as we do hear this excuse a lot.  We are unsure why these people have to “curse” their family members when they are the ones who cannot make it to the interview.

Please note:

If you are late for an interview, it is alright to call up and explain why you are running late.  If you have decided not to go for the interview it is only polite to call and inform of your decision.  Remember, when looking for a new job, your work professionalism starts from the interview.

No 4: Following up too closely on application/interview status

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve No 4: Following up too closely on application/interview status

1. Do you call the company after submitting your resume to the job advertisement?

2. How soon should you follow up after your interview?

These days, most companies do not reply to job applicants who are not shortlisted.   The most you get is an automated response when your resume is received.  Usually, if you do not receive a call within a certain period (say 2 weeks) it is likely that you have not been shortlisted.

If you think that you are the right candidate for the job and wish to talk to someone regarding your application, you may call in to enquire.  Once you know that someone has taken a look at your resume, you should just leave it as that.  The company will notify if you are selected for an interview.  There is no point to call again.

After an interview, it is good to follow up with a “thank you” note to the interviewers.  If you have their name card, drop them a simple “thank you” message.  If you do not have their contact, you could send the message via the person who had arranged the interview for you.  You could follow up with the interview results after a week or so.  This is to show your interest with the position, as well as to remind them that you are still available.  However, calling in to check every other day will be over doing it.  You may be deemed to be trying too hard, or getting too desperate for a job – any job.   The final outcome could well be a negative one.

No. 5: Unrealist Salary Expectations

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve Number 5: Unrealistic salary expectations

A higher salary package or what most candidates discretely term it as “better prospects” is usually the main reason for a job change.  One of the first question that some candidates may ask will be “How much will I be offered?”.  Recruiters are usually wary of candidates who ask this up front.  It does not give a very good first impression.

There is always a salary budget tied to each position.  This budget will be based on the years of experience, industry domain, roles and skills required.  If you meet all the requirements from the job description and is able to value-add to the company, naturally you may expect a good offer.  Depending on the location, market forces and technology demand, this “budget” will fluctuate.

In the technology sector today, one of the important consideration for hiring managers or HR when selecting candidates for interview is usually their salary expectations meet the budget.  Thus, if your expected salary is placed too high, you may not get a chance to be interviewed at all.  When it comes to putting down your salary expectations on your next job, give it a range.  Instead of saying “I want at least a $6000 basic for my next job…” say something like “I wish to look at 10-15% increase to my current pay package, but I would like to consider the role and overall benefits too… ”


No. 6: Incomplete or Falsified Resumes

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve Number 6: Incomplete or falsified resumes

Years ago, recruiters will share horror stories on how they have received 2 completely similar resumes albeit with different names.  More than 80% of the projects experiences, dates, and skills are the same for 2 different people.  It cannot be a co-incidence.  These days, we see less of such “outright forgery” cases but falsified resumes can still be found.   

There are many reasons why resumes are incomplete.  Job seekers may black out a certain ex-employer or combine the periods of employment in their cvs.  Candidates may think that it is not a big deal to round up/down the dates or skip 1 or 2 ex-companies that they would rather disassociate themselves with.  However, this is strongly discouraged.   

Many companies conduct reference and background checks on potential hires and most of them have a zero-tolerance policy to inaccuracies.  If you are still puzzling over a potential offer that was dropped at the last minute, this may likely be the reason.  At this point, you will have no chance to explain yourself.

No. 7: Uncooperative/Withholding information

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve No. 7: Uncooperative/Withholding information

Many job seekers understand that an external recruiter could help them to get a job.  They are willing to share experiences and information with us so that we are able to match them to the right roles and highlight their best aspects.  However, not all candidates are cooperative.

Scenario 1:          When we call an applicant for a chat, many will say: “Please go through my cv, you can get all the information there”.  With that, they wanted to cut short the conversation and probably thinking that we are so silly to call.

Scenario 2:          We also meet candidates who simply refuse to divulge current or expected remuneration packages.  They feel that it is simply too early or are uncomfortable to reveal such confidential information.

Scenario 3:          This is rare, but some of them think that if the next employer treasures his/her experience and skills, they will offer a good package even without knowing his current drawn salary.  They do not mind going through many interviews and hassle to find that good employer.

Scenario 1. Please go through my cv…
Candidates’ reasons:
  • No time to talk
  • Rushing for a project
  • Feels irritated after receiving numerous calls from recruiters
  • Simply not interested to explore new opportunities anymore.
What you should do:
  • If the recruiter calls you at the wrong time, let them know that you cannot talk at the moment and ask them to call you back.
  • If you have found a job, simply tell them so.
  • In order for recruiters to “sell” you well, it is important that you address all questions (other than personal ones) that they have.
Scenario 2. Refuse to divulge current or expected remuneration packages
Candidates’ reasons:
  • Do not trust the recruiter
  • May be either too highly-paid or too under-paid and do not wish this information to get into the way of securing a higher pay or a job.
What you should do:
  • Do not worry about confidentiality as there is an unspoken rule that we need to keep all job seekers’ information confidential.
  • If you think that you are under paid, try asking the recruiter to help you bring your salary to the market level. Experienced recruiters will be able to advice on this.
Scenario 3. Waiting for a good employer
Candidates’ reasons:
  • These job seekers have a notion that if they find a good employer, without knowing his/her last drawn salary, the employer will be fair and pay him a good market rate.
What you should do:
  • This is an idealistic thought.  HR departments would require salary information such as pay slips to be presented when they work out a package.
  • HR could also do reference and background checks on you.
  • It is almost impossible to get an offer without revealing your past experience and information.

Whatever the reasons, it is very important for recruiters to know our candidates well before we can confidently recommend them to our clients.  When candidates withhold information, we will be puzzled and feel uncomfortable representing them.  In most cases, we will choose to drop them from our list.


No. 8: Applying To A Job That He/She Is Not Looking For

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve No. 8: Applying to a job that he/she is not looking for

We welcome all job applications – the more the merrier.  But sometimes, we get applicants who qualify for a job but do not want the role.  For some reasons, these applicants responded to a job advertisement with a notion that the job scope could still be changed. 

For example, the advertisement for a software engineer attracted an IT graduate.  He applied to the job.  When he was called up for interview, he told the recruiter that he does not like to do programming i.e. software engineer role and prefers Business Analyst or Project Coordination roles.  Another candidate applied to an IT specialist role.  He was well qualified for the job, but when called up, he rejected the role, citing that he wish to progress to a higher level such as a Project Manager. 

If the motive of these candidates is to attract recruiter’s attention, then there are better ways to do it:

1. Have a clear career objective in your resume.  This objective should tell us your areas of interest as well as how you think you could contribute in those areas.  Recruiters will pick up these points.

2. Instead of applying to that particular job which was advertised, if you think the recruiter may be able to help you in getting a related job, indicate your intentions – upfront – in your application.  Most recruiters would be able to keep a look out for you.


No. 9: Lack of Preparation for Interview

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeve N0. 9:  Lack of Preparation for Interview

Recruitment agencies will generally prepare candidates before interview sessions with clients.  No matter how much we try to prepare our candidates in advance, some of them will still say foolish things.   For example,

Client: “How much do you know about our company?” 

Candidate: “Not much.”

Client: “Then why do you apply to this job?”

Candidate: “The agency sent me and so here I am.”

This may be an exaggeration but the implication is there.

The onus is on recruiters to put forth the best candidates to our clients.  However, these candidates may be in demand due to their skills or industry domain experience, and may not be fully appreciative of the interview opportunities given.  This could well explain their “disinterest” during interviews.  Some candidates had gone through so many rounds of interviews and feel so “jaded” that they do not put their best self forward each time.

If you have decided to turn up for an interview, please do not waste your time or the interviewers’ time.   Put in your best effort during that 1-2 hour session.  Even if it means that you have to answer the same questions all over again, do it with oomph!

The IT industry is small and a negative impression you gave during an interview may haunt you in future.  Interviewers will remember you … and most companies have a recruitment system to help them keep track of all interview records.  You have been warned…

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeves (No. 10)

Top 10 Recruiters’ Peeves

We have compiled the top 10 “recruiters’ peeves” to provide some insights as to what annoy us and our struggles with impossible candidates.  If you are a candidate and reading this, this will be your “Top 10 not-to-dos”!  Here is the countdown:

Number 10:  – Applying to every available job

We have a list of job openings in our website (http://quinnox-solutions.com/career-page/).  These jobs are mostly technical, but each requirement is very different.  Often, there will be a single candidate applying to at least 6 to 10 jobs in that list!

So why can’t you apply to as many jobs as you like?

  • It shows that you do not have a clear career goal.
  • It suggests that you are a desperate job seeker and your cv had probably been mass-sent to many other job agencies as well.
  • We wonder if you are in the right state of mind.

 As a fresh graduate, you would probably know your areas of interest and then apply to jobs that are best suited to you.  You could apply to junior positions or openings that welcome fresh graduates.  A fresher applying to a Project Manager position will most definitely be rejected – this is a no brainer.

 For candidates with working experience, you will probably have some idea of where you stand in your career and the possible career paths ahead of you.  Thus apply to positions that you are able to contribute to or aim for something that is one-level up from your current role. 

Whatever you do, remember not to send in your cv to a “system engineer” job and in the next breath, apply to a “software engineer” position… you know what we mean.