I'm having two separate issues that kind of go hand in hand and I don't know how to handle them. Generally during my interviews with recruiters; I get told that my soft skills are excellent and for some reason this translates into the recruiter thinking I'm more of a Senior grade professional when my skills are really just Mid level (this is my first issue).

And yes, I do clarify this with my recruiters but they insist on sending me to senior level interviews. The first time this happened I was with recruiter X. Recruiter X had told me that the interview went well but that my skills were more mid level than senior BUT the company really liked me and are trying to find a spot for me in another team so I can grow. Later after not hearing back I found out that they couldn't hire me due to money/budget issues (I guess they couldn't afford my asking rate?)

I was then introduced to recruiter Y and the same exact thing happened where they sent me to a senior level interview; I Got told that I don't have the chops to be a senior but they like me enough to try and find me a spot for more of a mid-level role in another team. As of this time I haven't heard back from recruiter Y.

So now that you know the background, what in the world does "You're not a fit for a senior developer role BUT we really like you and we are trying to find a mid-level position for you in another team" really mean??

I question this because of my first experience where the recruiter didn't want to tell me that they said no in regards to money constraints so I feel like this is a way recruiters say "They don't want to hire you and we don't want to give you the reason"

If they did mean what they said then I can't wrap my head around why it takes days/weeks to find a position in another team. Typically, in the companies I worked for in the past; if we like someone, we bring them on and then find where they fit later which adds to my skepticism as well.

EDIT: Just heard back from Recruiter Y. They are telling me that this is a money based issue because the company isn't willing to pay Senior rate to a Mid Level developer. To which I responded with my rates being flexible (The company is awesome So I'd be willing to take a hit on my rate if it meant to be a part of it)

It's super frustrating that they didn't mention money being an issue earlier. I'm assuming that they now have to go back and tell the company "Hey! We can get you this guy for much cheaper now!".. Either that or It's a play so I can lower my rate lol.

Thank you for the responses!!

  • 2
    I would take "You're not a fit for a senior developer role BUT we really like you and we are trying to find a mid-level position for you in another team" at face value. Them not being able to bring you on immediately has to do with you not being able to fulfill the requirements of the open role and the organizational overhead of creating a new position. In some organizations it's quite easy to create positions, in others it can take months and months of trying. In the future I'd suggest pushing back with the recruiter. They are wasting everyone's time sending you when you aren't qualified.
    – Myles
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:44

3 Answers 3


Recruiters need to put people in for interviews. Some, sadly, will put anyone in any interview in the hope that one works. They are hoping your soft skills will offset the lack of seniority (soft skills in IT can be very valuable) and that they will get a bigger cut as their finders fee is x% of the wage you get offered.

In terms of the reasoning. It could genuinely be the case they are trying to find resource somewhere to hire an extra mid level developer (you) as well as a senior developer but can't sort budget etc. I have been in this situation and a role on another team was created for me.

It could also be an excuse, but generally recruiters will give you honest feedback as there is no reason for them not to. I've never had a recruiter not tell me why I haven't been picked to progress.

I think you need to play a bit more hard ball with the recruiter. Explicitly tell them they do not have permission to pass your CV for roles that are deemed senior level. Email them saying this so you have proof. That way you'll get put forward for roles that are your level, and by the sounds of it you will get a job pretty easily.

Just remember this, YOU should control the recruiter, not the other way round.


There are 2 plausible interpretations:

  1. They don't want to provide feedback on your application and they are trying to pass the responsibility of giving bad news to someone else. It is easier to say something like this than provide constructive feedback:

oh, you're great, but the bean counters are throwing up barriers to us hiring you, so keep in touch, eh?

  1. They may have actually tried finding a post more appropriate for your skills, but the needs and budget of the business mean that they can't offer you something now

"You're not a fit for a senior developer role BUT we really like you and we are trying to find a mid-level position for you in another team"


You're a lukewarm candidate that may get a "pass" with certain clients of ours who barter in soft skills more than technical competency. Please allow us to keep you on a short leash, while you pass up opportunities while thinking that us telling you that we like you means we're actually thinking of you first.


Every recruiting company has some spin to keep applicants from being turned off. This is a "nice" one that hints of some kinship between you and the recruiter, but still it's an industry that's all about placing bodies to make money. Don't get stuck on one person's half-promises!!!

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