There are many possible reasons that recruiters do this. Some are valid and then there are the others.
I want to answer a question someone sent to me.
Why is it that recruiters ask me about the places I’ve interviewed at?
There are many reasons why recruiters do this.Some of them are completely innocuous… And then there are the others.
Starting with the innocuous ones, they want to find out how active you are in research and whether you had a lot of interviews been rejected by employers and how far along you are in your search.
What they are trying to find out here is have been on 15 interviews and been turned down, been on 15 interviews and are close to an offer. After all, if you’re close to an offer, the likelihood is that the client is it to be able to move fast enough to compete with the offer that you are about to get.So they’re trying to do that kind of reconnaissance right out of the box in order to see if it’s worth their time to begin this process with the client.
They also want to find out whether you’ve interviewed with the client. They would prefer not to mention the client’s name to you proactively for fear that you will steal that information and apply directly.
I know that’s happened to me quite a few times and I now make it a policy not to give away that information so freely because, although you may be trustworthy, and although you may be honest, not everyone is. I know I can attribute more than $100,000 in lost fees to people with stolen information from being been hired by clients. So I’m not forthright about it and would rather hear from you whether you have been on an interview at my client.
They also want to see if you’ve received any job offers yet.
What you like and dislike about the firms you’ve interviewed with. Asking what you like and dislike about firms you’ve met with allows them to learn from your experiences how you evaluate job opportunities so they can apply it to their own client.
The last thing I want to bring up today is that they want to get leads of firms that are hiring. This is one of those slippery situations where firms take that information to go out and get clients and compete with you to fill those jobs. Like job hunters who steal information from recruiters, some recruiters steal it from job hunters.
If you want to avoid that from happening, you can simply say, “well, I interviewed with the financial services firm. I was talking with them about such and such type of position, it seemed interesting but…”
You get the idea.
If they asked which firm it was, you can respond by saying “I prefer not mentioned who it was. No disrespect, I’ve had instances where I’ve mentioned firms I’ve interviewed at two recruiters and they had probably gone out and tried to get the job to recruit for.”
If they start to debate you about this, simply say “I’m not Going to tell you who the firm is. It certainly doesn’t benefit me and I’m not going to tell you the hiring manager is either”
So these are the reasons why recruiters do it. Some are completely innocuous and then there are the others.