Can You Believe They Said This?

Jan 6, 2015

Laughing man - stockimages - freeI thought it would be fun to share some of the more absurd things that both candidates and clients have said to me.

No Words Can Explain

When I told a candidate about a potential job:

Do they have private offices? My lease is up soon and I may have to stay at work for a while.


Said by an HR director at J. Walter Thompson when giving me a job order to replace a departing account person who was going to Margeotes, Fertitta, Weiss (one of the best and most successful of the small agencies in the 1990’s):

Imagine, leaving here to go to an agency whose name you cannot pronounce.

Unfortunately, she was serious.

Sore Loser

Said by a candidate who did not get a job after four weeks of intensive interviewing and going back too many times to count:

Well, I didn’t like them, anyway.

Sore Loser, Too

Said by a candidate who did not get a job at Chiat/Day in their earlier days:

I guess it is a good thing.  I don’t look good in jeans.


The reason given by an account supervisor who wanted to leave Chiat/Day after only a week (I had not placed her there):

I have to do my own Xeroxing.

She Doesn’t Get It

The entire email sent by a candidate who instead of returning my call to tell her about a potential opportunity wrote:

I no longer require your services.

An HR Director Who Didn’t Get It

The trouble with you recruiters is that you want feedback. I don’t have the time for that s­­%@t—

A Hiring Manager Who Didn’t Get It

Said after  I sent three really great candidates:

I don’t want to use you any more.  You only send me two or three candidates and I need to interview at least 10 or 12 people.

Quantity over quality.


When I first was recruiting in the 80s, I worked out of my living room. I was interviewing a woman while my wife was in the bedroom. I swear this is true.

What can I do to get you to get me a job? said she, as she was unbuttoning her blouse.

Well, it was the 80’s.

Get Over It

When I asked a candidate about a potential job, she asked me if a certain gentleman worked there. When I answered yes, she told me that he was an “ass” and she wouldn’t work at any company that would hire him. When I asked her why, she said, simply, “I was once engaged to him.”

I guess that is as good a reason as any for passing up an opportunity.

For Real?

The reason I use you is because you know the business. That saves us the trouble of writing job specs and descriptions.

Compliment yes. Direction no.

The Wife As Unseen Client

I can’t hire her. She is way too pretty.  I will have to travel with her.  If my wife ever met her, she would castrate me.

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