WASHINGTON — Corporate "headhunters" complain that people applying for executive positions often are unprepared for their initial job interview and sometimes play games by acting coy, cocky or nonchalant.
Many corporate recruiters, known as headhunters, said in a revealing survey by the National Association of Corporate & Professional Recruiters that they also save and read unsolicited resumes for future reference.
Survey answers from 65 search consultants and 50 corporate human resources professionals provide valuable information for the sometimes painful hunt for employment.
"Candidates too often are so unknowledgeable about the company, industry, the situation of the culture that they cannot ask the right questions" in their initial interview, said association chairman Allan Stern.
"Other frequent complaints were that candidates do not listen enough to questions, fail to discover the hidden agendas, answer the wrong questions or talk too much," Stern said.
"Candidates also play too many games, often acting coy, cocky or nonchalant," he said. "They have the mistaken perception that if they come across aloof or hard to get, their value will be enhanced. Usually, the opposite results."
There also are people who "embellish responsibilities, exaggerate accomplishments, cover up shortcomings and brag too much" during job interviews, Stern said.
The survey disclosed the role of resumes remains important.
"We found that resumes, particularly those in certain functional areas, are saved for a certain period of time, depending on the skills, quality and executive status of the job seeker or forcasted future need," Stern said.
"Some executive resumes may be kept for two or three years," he added, noting chronological resumes are preferred over functional and accomplishment resumes, and that letters without resumes are frowned upon.