Background info:

Some years ago when I was job hunting I applied for a position advertised by an agency. The position was on the edge of the space where I could be a good fit, and I was rejected. Few months afterwards the same agency advertised another position for which my profile would have been a perfect fit, and I applied.

The recruiter first contacted me to schedule an interview and asked me to provide some material formatted according to the agency standard. When I pointed him to the material I had already provided for the previous application, he wanted to cancel the interview as "I see now you have already been rejected by us".

I objected that the positions where considerably different and that I felt to be a better fit for the present one. The recruiter replied in a confronting way, and challenged me to send an impressive motivation letter for the position in half an hour, then if he was convinced he might change his mind.

I sent the motivation letter and was scheduled an interview with the agency shortly after. When I went to the interview I found out it was staged by this recruiter just as a practice session for a new hire of his agency to practice his interviewing skills. Then they communicated me I was rejected for not fitting the position.

Since the recruiter had slipped the name of the company in our mail exchange, I decided to apply directly to the company: I was called for an interview by them and was told I was their second best candidate for the position.


Few months ago the recruiter of the agency, through common contacts, has made a cold try to get me to work for his agency. I know I will be meeting him in person soon for a non work related event, and I am pretty sure he will make a direct attempt again.

How can I professionally tell him that I have no interest in working for an agency that, through his behavior, made me feel just like cannon fodder?

1 Answer 1


Just politely decline. You gain nothing by being rude or angry. Yes, I know it feels like you'll get some sense of satisfaction from giving this individual a piece of your mind. But you'll probably end up regretting it very shortly thereafter.

They will probably realize they lost you for that reason anyways. You don't want them to think, "wow, I'm lucky I didn't hire that person, look how they treated me."

  • @NathanielR Would you really get immense satisfaction by turning down a potential job? What if it was a great job? You'd reject it just because it came via a specific recruiter? Sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face. I agree with Glen's answer. Be polite. Don't burn bridges, and don't go out of your way to seek revenge. It's always better to leave doors open versus burning the house down.
    – dwizum
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 13:18
  • This is exactly what you should do. Remember under no circumstances should you engage in unprofessional behavior with a recruiter! You should use these setbacks to motivate you to work harder and become better at what you do @dwizum should have worded that better. reach out to me in a PM, I'll be happy to give you a better context to what I meant. Sorry had to delete my previous comment
    – NathanielR
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 16:43

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