Recruiting is a roller-coaster: it can be thrilling, rewarding, complicated and sometimes, entertaining. Here are our top cringe-worthy recruiting nightmares to help you avoid these candidate mistakes.


Number 1: TMI.

One recruiter interviewed a self-proclaimed witch. She had a bracelet made of hundreds of buttons, from what appeared to be of children’s clothes. The recruiter asked her to tell her about herself, and she began reciting the 200-year history of her family.

Number 2: Creepy Candidate.

This recruiter had a candidate comment on a social media profile picture online after they had submitted the candidate’s resume to the government. After a professional dialogue, the candidate’s comment on the recruiter’s physical appearance made them frustrated and blacklist the candidate.

Number 3: Attention to detail.

After confirming a phone call, this recruiter was confused when the candidate showed up in person at the company’s office for an interview. The calendar invite stated ‘phone screen’, to ask a few technical questions, verify timelines, salary requirements, and security clearance. After the candidate informed them they were onsite to interview, it was clear this candidate didn’t pay attention to detail.

Number 4: The Bait and Switch.

There are veterans that are unable to land cleared jobs and one recruiter works hard to get their clearance reinstated. One of the most frustrating situations is when they do the leg work to get their clearance sponsored, but they eventually decide to “go another route.” After this happens, hiring managers are unwilling to do it for the next uncleared candidate.

Number 5: Ghosted.

A candidate this recruiter had worked with for years at former companies was a great fit for a position but was deployed. After interviews, government acceptance, and a signed offer, the recruiter was surprised she was not hearing back. After texts, calls, messages and calls to his family there was still no response. They were concerned something bad happened on their deployment since it was unlikely the candidate was ghosting. After his start date came and went, the recruiter eventually stopped reaching out. About 6 months later, the candidate popped up on social media, but acted like the whole situation never happened.



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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 7+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸