Attitude: The Reactions That Lose You The Job

Attitude: The Reactions That Lose You The Job

Last post   I talked about how your attitude is fundamental to the success of your job search and how you needed to focus on what your attitude reflects upon mainly; 1- yourself, 2- the recruiter and process, 3- the search itself.

This week we are looking at your opinions of the Recruiter and the process.

The Recruitment Process:

Some form of selection must take place. You will be judged in some way.  Only one person will get the job and so winners and losers are created. It’s also subjective. Disagreement over the best candidate will occur and mistakes will be made. How you cope with rejection will influence your attitude.

The assessment skills and demeanour of the Recruiter also vary dramatically and can affect the whole feel of the process, from warm and encouraging through to uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Everyone’s reaction to the process is different. Yet, if you are one of those who get very defensive when asked questions, it’s going to be particularly tough.

You may have every reason to react in such a way if you feel discriminated against. The discrimination laws have tighten up and if you feel you are being asked anything ‘dubious’ do not be afraid to challenge and question its relevancy and seek further advice. Know your rights. Understand them better by visiting:

In the main, you need to get across a vision of your abilities, motivations and personality regardless of how well you relate to the person asking the questions, testing process or timescale involved.

The Recruiter:

The person may not be someone who you will be working with directly should you get the job. This has a strong bearing, yet, remember, if they are part of the process their opinion will count for something (however big or small) and therefore could affect the outcome. Try and keep a check on any emotion. If you do feel defensive or uncomfortable try and ascertain why. Could you be reacting to something irrelevant? Do they remind you of anyone in particular or are you assigning them to a prejudice? Is it the sense of authority you are objecting to, or the process itself? By limiting your reactions you are also limiting theirs.


I have yet to meet anyone who loves the testing process. In my experience they have never been taken in isolation as the reason to hire anyone. Everyone in the process will go through the same and you must remember that it is your reaction to stressful situations, as well as your performance, that are both being tested. This may make you more nervous; anxiety will affect the outcome more than anything else. It has been proven that the adrenaline released at such a time of stress can help you to perform, however you must try to relax. Resigning yourself to the fact that it is something you have to go through, and all you can do is your best at the time, can give you a better sense of perspective.


The timescales involved vary dramatically from organisation to organisation even within the same company depending on the role applied for. If things are taking a very long time, or the communication is poor, it is easy to become frustrated and believe this to be indicative of the company as a whole. Sometimes there are too many varying factors to really be used as an indicator for how long other processes within the structure may take. Recruitment is certainly influenced by timing. I have known strong efficient companies of all sizes and industries have their best-laid plans scuppered by external forces. As long as communication is open, which in itself is no mean feat depending on the length of the chain (hierarchies, departmental management lines, internal recruiters, onsite consultants, externally agencies etc.) try and learn all of the intricacies before you pull out.

Given you any food for thought? Of course the timescale may be outrageously long, the selection over complicated and a real hoop jumping circus, the recruiter could be arrogant, incompetent or a problem to overcome (another post to follow) yet, having an insight into your attitude could still make all the difference.


Whether that’s avoiding self sabotage or saving yourself a costly career move to the wrong organisation.


Next week your approach to the search itself.

Photo Credit

Posts you may like:

Attitude: Your Biggest Job Search Advantage

Psychometric Testing

Time And The Jobsearch


 Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket

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