Meeting with recruiters, can be as painful as buying clothes after Christmas. Nothing seems to fit and the experience can leave you feeling somewhat depressed and like you need to make some serious changes to yourself.
Take my experience here for example, which metaphorically speaking was just like a wet fart in white jeans- something not to be revisited again.
It got off to a bad start.
Firstly, there’s nothing like feeling judged for making an effort in your (smart) appearance whilst the two people opposite you wear boho trousers and floaty shirts, who looked more ready for bed than they were for work.
‘You look smart’ said recruiter Agatha, as though she thought I hadn’t been given the memo that discussing my future prospects had been cancelled and we were instead going to go upstairs and eat hash brownies.
I was embarrassed that I suddenly felt very unhip next to my two 50 year-old recruiters, Agatha and Sal.
On reaching upstairs, it became apparent that a meeting room hadn’t been booked and we were therefore going to discuss ‘my future’ in an open-plan hot desking office.That being said, I wouldn’t have been overly shocked at that point if they had rolled out a blanket…
Being in an open plan hot desking area wouldn’t have been particularly awful, if:
- Someone I used to work with wasn’t sat smack behind us
- Trying to sell yourself whilst people are quietly working around you is somewhat off-putting
- Bigging yourself up should by law only be witnessed by a select few (prospective employees, your parents or your Uber driver) and done in small contained spaces, not for the ears of absolutely everyone thinking you’re a wanker.
With these two very major factors at play, I found it very hard to relax and not be self-conscious. It didn’t help that at various points where I finished a mini monologue about working at X or implementing Y, we would all fall into silence, until either Agatha or Sal would raise their eyebrows at one another, as though they were signally that perhaps it was time for ‘the next question’. As you can imagine it didn’t make the process feel particularly natural or fluid. This was then made particularly awkward when Sal reminded Agatha about an in-joke they had.
Now, honestly, what does one do when an in-joke is being had and you haven’t got a clue what the context is about?
- Are you meant to laugh along as though you had been there? (I started with this)
- Are you meant to smile politely and wait for ‘this rudeness’ to subside? (I swiftly moved onto this).
- Or finally, are you meant to avoid looking monumentally fucked off when the joke just doesn’t stop being funny. (Strong finish by me- message received by Agatha and Sal).
The few experiences I have had with recruiters in the past have generally been good because there has been an equal amount of respect from both sides and the recruiter at hand was invested in who I was and what I was looking for in a job role. Sal and Agatha on the other hand, had me questioning how they could afford their office space. When you make the effort for someone and they don’t give it back it can be somewhat deflating, however don’t let that perturb you from pursuing the things you’d like to succeed in. Recruitment services aren’t for everyone and I have had plenty of success applying through Linkedin, on company websites or building freelance clients through word of mouth. Ultimately, meeting with a recruiter isn’t supposed to make you feel shit.
If you don’t connect with your recruiter, knock it on the head after the first meeting. If they can’t be bothered to get their arses into gear with you, then move on and find someone who will. Not everyone is going to waste your time, there are good people out there and you will get to where you are going.