Corporate Recruiting Views – A Couple of Candidate Blunders

Although headhunting is my trade, I do a fair amount of inbound work as well. So when candidates apply on their own to a portfolio company, I help out with corporate recruiting and I’m the first one to review their credentials. You would think though that someone actively looking would be eager as ever to impress. However, that’s not always the case and I just scratch my head in utter bewilderment.

I’m not just talking about candidates who don’t follow up with a thank-you note after an interview (although that does happen fairly often, unfortunately). Recently, I had a phone screen with a candidate applying for a Director-level position. I asked him a straightforward situational interview question to which he responded, “I don’t offer my counsel for free …. nice try though!” And he was being totally serious! I could almost feel him grinning on the other end through the phone. Needless to say, this quick-thinking gentleman was not invited to interview on-site.


There was another candidate who could not bother to submit a real resume. Instead, he sent his Linkedin profile. In this day and age, that wouldn’t be so bad. However, his profile only contained his current job title, when he started, and what industry he was involved with. There was no description at all about his responsibilities or accomplishments. I don’t even know if he took a single college course. This was a shame because he was working at a top company in a very impressive capacity. I didn’t want to give up yet, so I emailed him asking for a resume. “Listen. I’m the rain-maker here. All you have to do is set up a face-to-face and I’ll show you what I’m about!” was the response. Perhaps this guy really was good, but I know the hiring manager would rather die than work with someone with that attitude.

How do things like this happen? Whether it’s from parents, friends, college or the local civic center, haven’t we received some kind of etiquette training when it comes to interviewing or applying for jobs? It may seem obvious to many of us, but clearly there is a disconnect out there. I recruit for expansion stage technology start-ups and there isn’t much hand-holding in these waters. So I suppose catching these types of things nice and early is for the best.

Victor Mahillon
Victor Mahillon
Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at Kamcord. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.
You might also like ...
4 Tips for Setting Your Company's Annual Rhythm

Every company starts the new year with big goals and aspirations. But how many of those companies actually accomplish them?

by Kristin Hillery
Product Marketing
How to Get Your First 100 Customers—Smart, Actionable Advice from Top Executives

Leaders from Twilio, IBM, SurveyMonkey and more share their best tips.

by Casey Renner
Startup Strategy
We Explored 3 Product Positioning and Branding Failures. Here’s What NOT to Do.

B2B brand and product positioning will only continue to become more important with the rise of the End User Era.

by Margaret Kelsey