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Recruitment Nightmares & Talent Acquisition Ouija Board Session

Get ready for the “darkest” day of the year? This time, we will join you on the “scariest” roller coaster ride of recruitment.  The Halloween Special Episode of The Tea on Recruiting will walk you through the most “horror” dreams of recruiters, and share with you a couple of “spooky” recruitment stories that will make you cringe and cry. You’ll find the episode and its script attached below. Enjoy!


Welcome… Actually, I was just thinking about you. I was reading my tarots and… the devil came out. When I hear something scary: “Hiring managers”. Just kidding.

It’s that time of the year. Pumpkin Spice is everywhere. We’re all wearing play shirts, 24/7 we’re taking selfies in piles of dirty dead leaves and eating questionable, unsanitary-looking food.

Welcome back to The Tea on Recruiting Halloween Special, where we share insightful and thought-provoking content that can help you shape your recruiting career. This episode’s first part has several sources. The theme? “Your worst nightmares and their antidotes”.

Your Worst Nightmares and their Antidotes

Now, close your eyes and think of those clients with never ending expectations and lists of job requirements. Picture this: You’re trying to fill a role. You consult about 15 sources per candidate, and after around 26 to 34 days, you fill the vacancy. But in less than three months, the candidate runs for the hills and you have to go through it all over again. WITCH PLEASE!!!What if we told you that there is a powerful tool you can use? “Good communication”. 42% of hiring managers would consider a candidate only meeting most of their requirements. So, what are the most important ones? That’s pumpkin to talk about!

And what about candidates who lie? This might make you fall off your chair, but only 8.75% of candidates say they would never lie on their resume, cause the rest of them do either by exaggerating things, which is what about 30% of candidates do, or by blatantly sharing false information. What if you could improve this situation with a polygraph in your basement? No, good communication.

The CandE Crash Horror Show

We consulted the Reddit spirits with our Luigi Board, and they share things that will make your skin crawl with second-hand embarrassment.

Spooky Story 1:

“The memory still makes me cringe and cry. I had a job interview with a CEO in person despite COVID. I was super nervous as per usual, maybe even more than usual because I really wanted this job. I tried to calm myself down, but the time the interviewer showed up, I could literally feel my heartbeat in my throat. He walked down the stairs towards me in his nice suit, but stopped halfway down. I figured the interview would take place upstairs, so I got up to meet him. And as I was walking up the stairs towards him, he put his arm up, and my brain just sort of went error. I suppose it could have only meant two things. It could have meant:

A. Please take my arm, milady, so I can escort you to the room as if we’re strolling down the promenade together, or

B. Please give me an elbow bump since we can’t shake hands, which is really not an uncommon gesture at all in the Netherlands.

So what did I do? Yes, I went with option A. And I eagerly locked arms with the strange men that I never met before in my life, as if saying, “Yes, good sir, let’s go for that stroll.” And then we just stood there, arm in arm, halfway up the stairs, sheepishly staring at each other. I wanted the Earth to swallow me whole. I didn’t know what to do next, and I don’t think he’d fully understood what had happened, so neither of us had moved. When he’d finally gathered his senses, he said “I uh…meant to give you an elbow bump.”, after which I quickly put as much distance between us as I could, and I mumbled “Right! Right, yes, that makes so much more sense.” Because it did. Let’s face it. And then, we had the interview. Why am I like this?”

But there is a happy ending to this story because the Reddit user who wrote this eventually got the job.

Spooky Story 2:

“I’ve had a number of job interviews recently that went poorly and did not result in securing employment. I started to think I needed to do something during an interview to really stand out, be impressive, unique and highly memorable. I thought it could be risky, but might work out. I came up with the following idea: After concluding an interview, after the handshakes, etc. when leaving the room, I’d stop turn around and say: “There’s one more thing you need to know about me.” Then I pull out a bottle of hot sauce down the entire bottle, slam it onto the ground and say: “I can handle the heat.” Nod confidently, leave the room. Boom! I imagine they’d be really impressed and wowed by such a performance.

Well, it didn’t pan out as I thought it would. It was only a small bottle of hot sauce; I figured it would be no big deal to actually do. I should have tested at home first, but I didn’t. I was nervous as a hamster (that’s not what they wrote) during the interview, but I was determined to follow through with the plan. I was leaving, I turned around, maybe not with as much swagger as I’d imagined in my head, and I declared “There’s one more thing you need to know about me.” I pulled out the hot sauce bottle, almost dropped it and started opening it. In my head it was all one quick confident motion like an electric Indiana Jones. But instead, I fumbled around and had a tough time getting it open. It felt like a nightmarish eternity, but it was probably only about 20 seconds, enough for one of the interviewers to ask me what I was doing.

I didn’t answer directly. Instead, I got the bottle open, I repeated “There’s one more thing you need to know about me.” (stuttering) Then I guzzled down the entire bottle of hot sauce. I instantly regretted it. My mouth and throat felt like lava was swirling around inside me. I immediately started to gag and loudly cough. I was crying involuntarily. Tears hardcore streaming down my face. I was sweating like a terrible fool. I desperately kept trying to scream “I can handle the heat”, but just kept coughing before I could get anything out. The interviewers were all standing up, looking at me in horror and confusion.” (Put yourself in their shoes, wouldn’t you?)

That’s when the candidate threw all over the floor, and the spirit said “It hurt as much on the way out as it did on the way in, if not more so. It felt like flaming barbed wire shredding its way through my neck.”  They also added a disgusting note:

“I should mention a disturbing amount of fiery mucus was also leaking out of my nose uncontrollably. I could not bear to look at the interviewers. I hoarsely mumbled an apology and started to stumble as quickly as possible out the door. I have never been more shamed in my life.”

They didn’t get the job. But this also makes us think about when we were talking earlier that active candidates can get really desperate, so really putting them at ease might help. I hope you found this entertaining and cringe-worthy as much as I did at least. Now, “creep” it real and remember to trick and treat yourself.

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