October 2 2018

3 Things You’re Doing In the Interview Process That Are Hurting More Than Helping … And what to do instead


Saying Yes, When You Really Don’t Agree

Lately I’ve seen a more and more candidates stating they are comfortable with a certain salary level throughout the interview process, and then suddenly making additional salary asks in the offer stage.

When I’ve inquired about the last-minute shift, most candidates told me their initial goal was simply to get a foot in the door and develop a relationship, so they were agreeable in the upfront and figured they could straighten it out once we hit the offer phase.

This is not a good way to build a relationship.  It may hasten the early stages of a job application process, but will only slow or potentially derail final negotiations.

Help me, help you. Be honest with about your needs so I can help make recommendations that could eventually land you the job. Every recruiter has a different style, for me I look to discuss compensation requirements in our initial conversation. From salary to relocation, I want to get it all on the table to ensure we’re moving forward with a mutual understanding of both your needs and our offerings. When Talent Acquisition teams are given time, we can usually find solutions.


Sarcasm + Resumes = Misunderstandings

Across many facets of the marketing and advertising industry, candidates have an opportunity to express themselves via their resume. From colors, to personalized fonts, to images on resumes, and resumes that aren’t even a document — this is an industry where you can truly flex your creative muscle. In an effort to stand out, I think candidates can run the risk of crossing that professional line. For example, I recently came across a resume with “borderline OCD” in the interests section.  OCD is a mental health disorder, and hearing it used to describe neatness and organization can be off putting to recruiters, potential managers, and others who may suffer from it.  Tip: if you need a winking emoji after a line on your resume, you should consider a re-write.


Too Many Follow Up Emails or Calls

Step aside Beauty and the Beast, the real ‘tale as old as time’ is not hearing back from a recruiter. I promise you that is not the intention. At Octagon, we strive to close the communication loop in a timely manner, but sometimes the process takes longer than expected, approvals are slow, or the job needs change. There are many factors in the hiring process, and we do our best to keep candidates up to date.

Every recruiter has their own way of managing candidate conversations. I recommend asking recruiters  how they would like to receive follow up communications and how often they want to hear from you.  In short, create a communication plan and stick to it. It will cast you in a positive light as a good communicator, a respectful candidate, and a thoughtful (potential) colleague.



Octagon’s Talent Acquisition team has a blast engaging with talent interested in the field of sports and entertainment marketing. We are always on the look-out for ways in which to match them with our great opportunities.