I’ve been patiently waiting for a track to explode on
You can stun if you want and your ass will get rolled on
It feels like my flows been hot for so long
If you thinking I’m fucking fall off your so wrong – 50 Cent (2003)


Let me tell you a story about the most strategic interview approach I ever experienced.

I was new to Auckland. I met with a global name in recruitment one Wednesday morning, to register and hear about a job in Business Development. After turning up on time, being made to fill out a pile of manual forms, not being given warning they were gonna make me do their bullsh*t typing and skills tests, and then finding out the job was selling Rentokil products into hospo, I was already vaguely unimpressed and back grinding my teeth at the whole recruitment industry. Recruiters are such dicks.

Whilst at the interview, the consultant (based on my background) suggested I give recruitment a shot myself, as they were looking for Associate Consultants. I had no idea wtf I was gonna do after my move here from London, and it was better than the Rentokil thing…. Big corporate, brand I knew well, very distinct career progression and training, so I didn’t straight up reject the suggestion. He booked me a formal interview with their Recruitment Director for that Friday at 10am.

In the meantime, I had also applied for a job doing BD for an FX business. Handled by another agency. On the Thursday evening, this consultant called me. We talked over my background, she gave me a bit more info on the role which was definitely more up my street than Rentokil, and asked when I was free to meet her.

During this conversation I mentioned that I was actually meeting *Big Global Corporate Agency* the next day at 10am, as they had suggested a role with them doing recruitment, and so could come and see them after. The consultant immediately suggested I come to her at 9am (offices in walking distance). I wasn’t keen, as I f*cking hate mornings, and wanted to be prepared for this other interview, but I said fair enough and there we were. She was awesome, but I still was a bit blah, as the job search process is shit, we all know it.

Next morning, I get an email asking me to fill in ‘other’ agency’s online application, which I did in 5 mins, from my phone. I waited patiently in reception and was greeted by a huge smile, a warm handshake, a lot of energy and no lengthy documentation – or testing. We went straight into a room and got down to business. We ran over my resume, and when I asked her to tell me a bit more about her position, she told me that if she was honest, she knows the client and environment and that she felt I wouldn’t enjoy it. But, that they needed a new consultant – not Associate, full consultant, in her team (she was a Team Leader).

She asked if I was keen, (I was open…) then went and got the Business Manager, who came in and gave me all her history, info on the company, again with a ton of energy. Then they took me a tour of the office to show me a bit more about the environment. I felt like a f*cking queen. They effectively courted me in an hour.

By the time I got to the next place. Gross. Skyscraper office, never saw a single person beyond a receptionist. The Director was a smart lady, she asked me a bunch of dry competency-based questions, some of it she just seemed totally blah over my answers. She said that if I wanted a job I could have it, but that they didn’t have a desk right now (physically) and so would be like a month to 8 weeks before I’d start. But she’d let me know more, ‘by Tuesday or Wednesday’.

At no point did she engage with me. At no point did she seem to even like me. She didn’t seem like she gave a sh*t if I went to work for them or not. And she made no effort to sell me the company. Super arrogant, super corporate, super bullshit.

The decision was easy.

I was sent testing by the other agency to do in my own time. I was called back for a second and more formal (but still fun and energetic) interview early the next week. They couriered a same day contract to me. They sent me a card handwritten telling me how excited they were for me to join them. And the best is? They did it all on purpose, right from making sure I saw them first.

They knew after what they laid on that anyone else would look shit. And they were right. They knew they wanted me, they knew they had stiff corporate competition, and so they rolled out the f*cking red carpet.

They didn’t keep me waiting, they did everything they promised when they said they’d do it. And it wasn’t a façade. From my first day I felt welcome, included, trusted and fully backed. The only reason I’m not back there now is because the support they gave me gave me the confidence to start my own business. That’s how you hire someone.

So, the point of this is… if you’ve ever lost a good candidate, have a think about a few things:

  • Who do you have representing you to the candidate market?
  • How much effort did YOU make personally to get that person on board?
  • When you say you can’t meet someone, because you’re too busy – do you WANT this position filled or not??

Make the f*cking time. Do it before/after work if the person is stand out to you, especially if you know they have other interviews. Candidates will buy into your energy. Likewise, with your recruiter’s.

– Choose wisely, work smart, and don’t keep good people waiting.

PS – Rentokil, I don’t hate you or your jobs. It just wasn’t the right ‘fit’.