A candidate is screened for submission and determined as fully qualified to be submitted to my downtown Chicago client. The candidate is told how the interview process will work. There will be a submission, a phone interview, followed by a mandatory face to face interview. For these particular reasons, and the speed of this interview process, I limited my recruiting efforts to local candidates only. The candidate is local and expresses his understanding to the position details and the expected interview process. He has a phone interview scheduled and he interviews very well over the phone. My client expresses positive feedback and that they would like to move forward with a face to face interview. They offer multiple times for later in the week.

I reach out to the candidate to find that he can not make the┬áinterview times offered later in the week. That’s unfortunate but this is OK. Most of my candidates hold current positions and they can not always make the first desired interview date. I ask if early next week will work better and then I hear the hesitancy in his voice.

“Well you see, I am out of town for some training and knowledge transfer. Is there a possibility of a video conference?”

I immediately shoot down the possibility of a Skype interview. I dive into the details of the training and his story seems to hold truth, but it still leaves me with a missing candidate. I ask when the training ends and he doesn’t seem to have a concrete answer. I ask if we are able to move the interview back a week, can he make the interview? He doesn’t give me a promise, but he leads me to believe he will be back in time to make that interview.

I give him a day of silence. On the second day I follow up providing him with specific interview times for next week. He tells me he will run it past his employer and get back to me but I never hear from him the rest of the day. On the third day, I demand a confirmed date that he can be in Chicago for the face to face interview. He avoids the confirmation and asks again for a video conference call. At this point, I let him know that I need to pull him from the opportunity and focus on a new local candidate that can make the interview.


The candidate interviews and earns the position. That is a simple fact. But my firm earned the opportunity for he or she to interview. Our team developed a relationship with the client, and we have that relationship to maintain. The candidate’s quality and professionalism represents our company. The candidate represents our recruiting efforts.

Typically, I prefer to give candidates the benefit of the doubt. How can I expect candidates to trust me if I don’t trust them? People are going to burn you in business. It doesn’t mean they’re good or bad people, they’re human. As a recruiter, I need to recognize and determine the best move for me and my client. It’s important to not let poor experiences with people affect your next interaction with a new person. Just be smarter. Notice the red flags. Notice the warning signs.

As soon as the candidate didn’t confirm a specific return date, I should have withdrawn the candidate. No rescheduling, no pushing back interview times. This would have saved me 5 days. 5 DAYS! 5 Days of recruiting the next candidate.