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Ex-Google recruiter says these 'shocking' job interview mistakes made him rescind offers—'I've only done it 3 times'

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Rescinding a job offer is extremely rare, but it happens. In my 13 years of recruiting, I've only done it three times.

The biggest reason was that the candidates' negotiation styles were egregious and not aligned with the employer's company culture. Continuing the process would have been a huge disservice to the team that we wanted them to join. 

As an ex-Google recruiter and the CEO of staffing firm Continuum, here are the shocking red flags that made me pull job offers:

1. They acted like an entitled jerk

Hiring managers pay close attention to your experience and skills during the interview, but they're also observing your professional etiquette.

I once interviewed a candidate who, at first, showed no signs of questionable or off-putting behavior. They seemed like a good fit. After we extended a job offer, we invited them back to answer some additional questions.

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When they returned to the office, they were extremely rude to our front desk personnel, left trash on the table, and came off as disrespectful to the hiring manager. We rescinded the offer the next day. 

Job interview tip: Remember that you are always being evaluated, even after you accept an offer. Show respect to everyone you interact with before and after the hiring process.

2. They responded way too slowly 

Once you receive an offer, it's a good practice to show excitement for the opportunity and ask for some time to think it over — but don't take too long. Even if it isn't your intention, dragging your feet can imply a lack of enthusiasm and commitment. 

A candidate that we once extended an offer to took three days to respond. They negotiated for a higher salary, and we countered with a best-and-final offer. The candidate then took an additional four days to respond.

The time between their responses made us wonder if this was how they would communicate once they joined the team. We pulled the offer because it didn't feel worth the risk.

Job interview tip: Once the ball is in your court, respond within 24 hours. If you need more time, send a brief and professional note explaining why. I call this a "no update, update" email, and it's critical if you expect the conversation to be difficult.

Reducing time between responses for tough conversations is always the better approach.

3. They asked for an outrageous salary

Employers expect you to negotiate, as long as you're realistic about it. Asking for 40% to 100% more than the original offer is a red flag to a recruiting team.

We extended an offer to an entry-level candidate who then asked for double the salary. We rescinded the offer because it was a ridiculous number that wasn't backed by any data. It was clear that the candidate didn't do any research.

Job interview tip: Be reasonable and informed. Try to understand what level the company is placing you at. Then present them with data, either from your current role or a verified source like FairComp, that justifies your request.

Asking for a 10% to 20% increase is generally safe and within the realm of reality. 

Nolan Church is the founder and CEO of Continuum, a talent marketplace revolutionizing how companies hire executives. Previously, he was, Chief People Officer at Carta, where he hired over 1,000 employees. He was employee number 50 at DoorDash, where he led recruiting and hired 800 people in three years. He began his recruiting career at Google.

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