After I got an offer after interview with the company (from a NON RECRUITING site), I feel that the recruiters nowadays is doing something really... tricky.

Every time, after the interview, the recruiters will do many of the following: 1. Ask how it goes and what questions have been asked during the interview 2. Ask you to send Thank you letter to the recruiter instead of the company directly 3. Ask you to send your Coding Test to them instead of to the company directly

Then something, bring me to my attention, there are recruiters who are able to offer you detail like, oh yea, the interview will ask you xx,xx,xx, or some even offer you a sample of other candidate's work (maybe not the one competitive with you, as the person did not mention that)! Like if they went to the interviews, then I asked myself, "how they got those info???" Yea, as you guess, clearly enough.

So, I wonder do the actual recruiters kinda using the rest of the candidates as kinda of stepping stones for the ones that "they" think that has the most potential that able to make them the commission by using the information gathering from previous candidates, not illegal (maybe), but mostly, immorally? Are these the things they suppose to be doing?

  • 5
    It sounds like you are dealing with an unethical recruiter. I would encourage you to find work through different methods or a different recruiter.
    – Eric
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 22:14
  • sadly, it has been COUPLE of them like that
    – Ezeewei
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 22:15
  • from different companies
    – Ezeewei
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 22:15
  • I wouldn't go as far as saying unethical recruiter was a tautology, but it is shockingly common and there are worse tricks than this.
    – Nathan
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 1:13
  • @Nathan Cooper I really wonder if you could share them with us? So we all be aware of such if ever we encountered them! :) Thanks ahead!
    – Ezeewei
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 21:27

4 Answers 4


I work for a small company. We don't have a dedicated HR function, but what we do have is a recruiter who we do a lot of business with. As such, he is in possession of our coding test, gives that to candidates, gets the results back from candidates and sends it on to us. I've had a similar experience with technical tests and coding tests when applying to other companies, even some moderately sized ones.

However, if we found out that our friendly recruiter were giving out answers to the coding test to other candidates, letting them know about what questions we might ask or anything like that, he'd very rapidly stop being our friendly recruiter. As you've already realised, that's completely unethical - as a company, we expect every candidate to be on a level playing field, not that some of them have been given the answers.

It's probably also worth reading What is the proper way to deal with an unethical recruiter?, and in particular Jacob G's answer - if you find yourself dealing with a recruiter acting like this, just go straight to the hiring company and let them know.


Let's suppose that a hypothetical recruiter is trying to get as many of their clients hired as possible. (That's certainly not an unlikely assumption.)

So company X tells them they're looking for someone. They send candidate A. After the interview, they ask candidate A about his experience -- what questions were asked, tone of the interview, etc. They pass this information on to the next candidate, B. Now B has an advantage over A because he has the benefit of A's interview experience. That would be unfair to A, IF A was always the first person sent to interview at any given company. But if when X calls they send A, then B, and B gets the job; and then Y calls and they send C, and then A, then with the second company A gets the benefit of C's experience.

That is, if the recruiter sends you as the first person to be interviewed by every company they work with, and then they "de-brief" you and use your experience to help other candidates, then yes, maybe they're taking advantage of you. But if sometimes they send you first and sometimes they send someone else first, well, SOMEBODY has to be first. Besides, I doubt it helps all that much to know what questions were asked and that sort of thing. Most companies ask pretty much the same sort of questions. Once you've been on a couple of interviews, you tend to know what to expect. I suppose if X has some unusual, tricky questions, it might help to have the advance knowledge and be able to think of good answers in advance.

Now if they're giving out answers to a technical quiz, that's just plain cheating and unethical. There's a huge difference between, "You'll be given a quiz where they'll ask about your knowledge of databases. You should study up on SQL indexes" and "You'll be given a quiz about databases. The answers are a, c, b, and a."


None of the things you have mentioned are unprofessional of the recruiter to ask for. They should want to be aware if the company is using any unsual interview techniques or if there were any question you felt were unusual. They should want to make sure you send in your thank you letter and test results and making themselves a part of that exchange allows that. While it is possible that they are using them for nefarious purposes there is a business case for doing any of them.

  • Why does the recruiter need to be aware of the interview questions asked?
    – Masked Man
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 4:40
  • You raise a good point. If there's a legitimate reason for someone to do X and also an unethical reason for a person to do X, it's just paranoia to jump to the conclusion that they are doing it for unethical reasons. It makes sense to be careful and to protect yourself, but not to the point that you are making wild accusations about everyone you meet. Like if I'm borrowing money and the bank asks for my social security number, they have a perfectly legitimate reason: so they can run a credit check. It's POSSIBLE that the loan officer is planning an identify theft ... but probably not.
    – Jay
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 13:39
  • 1
    @Happy If they are trying the latest and greatest new interview technique and it throws the candidate for a loop, it would be fair to give the candidates a heads up to expect this style of interview. Also asking the candidate about the questions asked is a good lead in to help them with their interview technique for any questions they had problems with.
    – Myles
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 14:18
  • 2
    @happy If the recruiter can tell candidates what questions to expect, that may give candidates they send to this employer an advantage over candidates from other recruiters. If you know the questions in advance, at least in theory you might be able to think of good answers at your leisure rather than being on the spot during the interview. If they share this sort of information among all the candidates who come to them, they all benefit. Yes, if they use one guy as the point man to get information to help everyone else, and the same guy is always the point man, that's unfair.
    – Jay
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 18:08
  • Thanks for the responses. I learned something new today. :)
    – Masked Man
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 2:48

The problem is whether or not the recruiter is being up-front, open and honest with their client (Which by the way, isn't you.). If the recruiter discovers that the client has a very traditional professional office and tells all her candidates to wear a suite, tie, dress, etc., is that unethical since those candidates who "come in off the street" don't have that kind of information? I don't think clients would object.

Testing is a little different. Knowing the nature of the test is one thing, but giving specific questions and especially answers would be another. Personally, I would want candidates to know that I expect them to understand object-oriented programming, but would prefer they not tell the candidate I'm gong to ask for an example of polymorphism. Providing answers, is just plain wrong. There are websites where questions and answers for certifications and job applications are posted for all to see, so I don't know how I feel about this being "fair" to other candidates.

There is a risk in hiring and if a recruiter is short-sighted and is willing to risk a long-term relationship with a client just to fill one position, that's there problem. Theoretically, a recruiter could provide the answers to a test, but that doesn't mean the candidate wouldn't be the best choice anyway.

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