How to commit annoying mistakes in a cold call


I just ventilated some of the frustration about lazy and worthless recruiters in a previous article. To prove a point, today I’ve received the emblematic call, where the caller committed so many of the annoying mistakes, I was not even annoyed by it, it was amazing! (Sorry about misusing the meme)

It started off with a warning. I have a terrible memory for names, so I try to save all my contacts with full name, and company. The calling phone number was already known by my phone, and already had to names associated with it. This usually means it belongs to a recruiter company with a tendency of rapid fluctuation.

These calls I don’t always take seriously, as they very frequently offer positions, that were on the job market for months, and even worse they are trying to fill up pools with headcount.

I was already on my way to a real and quite serious interview, so I answered a bit reluctantly, but still putting my best smile on, after all, people in recruitment do a quite thankless and probably quite frustrating job to start with, why be a pain in their backside?

As I answered the phone, the conversation started up a bit unprofessionally.

– Hi, I’m MZPERX calling on behalf of UJMGR agency – Literally you can’t ever make out their names, and companies. I always ask for the recruiter’s confirmation email, with the position details, just to be able to add the phone contact.

“Hi”?  I’m not planning to act all stuck up, but come-on! Try being a bit more polite, and professional. I’m 15 years older, than your average recruiter, show some respect! After all, you want to make a living off me!

– I got your CV, and I think I have the best matching job for you! – Where did you get it from. It’s best to know who we are dealing with, is it an outdated version from the company database, or is it passed on by a friend?

– I’m sure you’d be well qualified for this job, can we set a date for an interview with our client?  (Yes, I’m currently looking for a new job, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, does it? And pray tell, what job are we talking about?)

So I asked, what exactly is she offering?

– Oh, it’s something you’d be very qualified to do, our multinational, growing, (I fell asleep for a second there) ……. client is offering a variety of jobs, at the moment and I seem to be a great fit according to my CV. (Great, if there is a job that my CV matches, I’m always happy to learn about it. After all enterprise architecture is not a very much sought for job these days)

So I asked a second time, what exactly is she offering?

-We are looking for several junior Java test developers. Would I be available for an interview anytime really soon?

I didn’t know how to explain politely, and was quite hard to keep myself from bursting out laughing. She allegedly had my CV, with all my previous jobs, reading any of it, or just looking at my LinkedIn profile, might have given the slight hint, that it’s not quite the junior positions, that I’d be considering as my next job.

I wished her lot of luck in finding the right candidates, and took a few deep breaths after hanging up.


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