In the staffing and recruiting business, we come into contact with avid, hungry new grads ready for their first job post-college, job seekers who are unemployed but experienced and eagerly looking for an opportunity to get back into the game, or currently employed applicants who are seeking a position that offers career advancement opportunities. It’s a joy getting to know each person, their career history, their personal and professional needs, and in the case of the out-of-towner, what brought them to the capital district.
Amidst all of the great relationships we develop with our candidates, we will, on occasion, come into contact with an individual who is overtly negative (regardless of employment status/situation.) And while we know it’s a tough market out there, it’s a challenge to be understanding when a candidate arrives at the office with a chip on his/her shoulder, omits a negative, sarcastic or sour tone throughout the interview, and leaves the appointment with little (or nothing) to say that’s positive. Especially when much of the negativity is geared toward past or present employers, supervisors, and/or co-workers. This is hard to look past, regardless of the qualifications and experience that lie on the resume, staring back at us.
So, maybe it’s simple; the individual is just having a bad day. The combination of outside stressors (family, health, etc.) and the nervousness and anxiety that an active job search warrants is enough to make one edgy, especially when poked and prodded with a number of questions recruiters ask in a formal interview. But what happens when, in trying to sooth our tense and frustrated candidates, the negativity geared toward others just won’t subside – if even for just a few minutes?
We try our best, and keep working with the person; however, it’s extremely hard to market someone with a negative, even aggressive, tone about those in her or her professional past (and present.)
A candidate’s best bet? Maintain a patient, positive, and pleasant persona throughout the application process. If, during the interview, it feels necessary to air some work-related issues regarding supervisors and co-workers, do so without an aggressive, negative tone. “Our personalities clash”, or “we have different approaches to job tasks and problem solving which is somewhat of a barrier” are nice ways of saying, “I can’t stand working with him! He’s a jerk!”
Quite simply, show respect. If you are respectful of your current or past work situation, we’ll be respectful of you, and will enjoy doing all that we can to lead you to a great career.