Having worked in three different recruitment agencies and been for countless interviews, I think I have a fair understanding of what general companies are looking for in candidates and what they expect. Sure, they want the right person for the job - BUT, what about us, the prospective employees? We're also looking for the right fit, a good and stable company in a pleasant working environment and not just any old job, don't we?
Yesterday, I went for an interview for a position that I really wanted (still do to some degree). I spent the better part of the previous night planning for it - questions I wanted to ask and would answer, etc. I thought I was very prepared for the interview and it seemed to be going well in the beginning. And then, suddenly I'm talking to the side of my interviewers head while he listens (I'm hoping) to what I'm saying, while he's typing away on his computer screen, barely even glancing in my direction. He also took 3 phone calls while in the interview. Now, I ask you why must I get all prepared, spend time getting professionally dressed and groomed and ensure that I arrive 10 minutes before the interview - only to be treated like that? I know that certain interviewers try to push candidates buttons by doing certain things to see how they react, but this was definitely pushing it.
I have another gripe with (some, not all) recruitment agencies. When you have a candidate that comes for an interview with you, and they are short listed to see the client and you tell them you will phone them after the interview to see how it went....please just do it. We make the concerted effort in making sure our CV is just right for the position, spend time on the cover letter and preparing for the interview, driving to where ever we need to go, take time off work if needed to go with some excuse - the very least you can do is follow through with what you say you are going to do. On the other end of the table, I worked for a recruitment agency who regretted every single person who applied for any position, and who wasn't shortlisted. That is a lot of extra admin, but makes such a huge difference! Not so hard actually. Just a little common decency and respect.
Looking for a job is a job all in itself. It's not easy, and recruiters and employers are very strict on some things, things we sometimes have no control over. Yes, jobs these days are hard to come by and we would all like a nice paying job in a good and stable company. However, that does not mean that we are just going to settle for the first average job that comes along. We have standards too and are associated by the type of company we work at. At the end of the day we are also interviewing the company to see who they are, what they have to offer US, growth opportunities, etc. We may come off as desperate, and some recruiters or employers may think of us as just a number, but we are people and we deserve a little respect when it comes to going for interviews and getting back to people at the very least. It's a two way street, and sometimes that's all to easily forgotten.