Headhunter Trick – Lead Fishing

Here’s a sleazy trick that headhunters use.  They say “Tell us where else you interviewed, so we can avoid double-submitting you.”

Superficially, that seems reasonable.  What’s the problem?

The headhunter is fishing for leads.  You tell the headhunter where else you interviewed.  The headhunter finds out who is hiring.  Then, the headhunter is going to call them and try to sell them.

There’s an easy workaround.  If an interview doesn’t go anywhere, mention it when headhunters ask.

4 Responses to Headhunter Trick – Lead Fishing

  1. Anonymous Coward April 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    > There’s an easy workaround. If an interview doesn’t go anywhere, mention it when
    > headhunters ask.

    I think I must have misunderstood what you said.

    If an interview doesn’t go anywhere for you, it must go somewhere for a new candidate submitted by the headhunter.

    So you are still telling the headhunter of where the hiring companies are.

    This isn’t a new trick. I first found out about this first-hand in 2002.

    • I don’t feel guilty, if the interview didn’t go anywhere for me. I don’t mind if the headhunter cold-calls someone who didn’t hire me and wasted my time.

      I noticed that the more-competent places tend to not use headhunters. Most of my interviews through headhunters have been pretty lame.

  2. Anonymous Coward April 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    > it must go some

    Sorry, a typographical error on my part. I meant “it *might* go somewhere for another candidate submitted by the new headhunter”.

  3. Anonymous Coward April 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    While we are on the topic of wasted time and interviews, about a decade ago I visited the office of a hedge fund in London three times for a set of interviews.

    And they went on and on with technical questions. One interview consisted of a monologue that went on and one about garbage collection. I should have said that I learn better from reading rather than an endless monologue. Anyway I got the questions he asked correct. But boy did he go on. There is a difference between knowing how the runtime works and being able to write software on top of it, but I do concede the more you know the better and you do need to know some of the underlying.

    Anyway like a lot of other places they asked lots of lots of technical questions and I had to interview with the whole team!

    But it was all pointless. In the last interview, the interviewer casually dropped the fact that they work 60 hour weeks. I don’t think I replied or commented on what he said. He made a comment. It wasn’t a question directed at me.

    Anyway after the interviews the recruiter telephoned me. I think I queried the fact that they said they worked 60 hour weeks.

    A few hours later the recruiter phoned me again and said I didn’t get the job, because I had failed their trick question about 60 hour weeks. The recruiter told me they don’t really work 60 hours weeks, but it was a trick question and I had failed it!

    But what a stupid waste of time. I had to make three trips to their offices and had to answer multiple technical questions. And they say at the end of it, I didn’t get the job because I failed to say anything after a casual comment about 60 hour weeks that wasn’t phrased as a question.

    What a bunch of time-wasting idiots!

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