English Recruiter Blog Not Hired CategoryScreening questions for a job opportunity by a recruiter sometimes go beyond the normal list of topics you encounter.

This is why I now ask any candidate who has to relocate the following question:

Do you have any pets?

The prospective candidate had listed outdoor sports, golf and horse riding as her hobbies.

One of my follow-up questions was simply”ooh, nice, how long have you been riding?”

The response “oh I have been riding horses for years.”

Nothing wrong here I thought, it was only later when the interview round started did I dig deeper.

I discovered the candidate had 4 horses stabled on a family farm.

No matter what improvement in her salary she would get, the fact she would not separate herself from these wonderful horses, meant she had to be stopped in the hiring process.

It was not something a fix could be found for, because in Switzerland, the cost of stabling a horse is high, no increase in salary or reduction in her monthly income tax bill could compensate for this “life cost.”

The added complication, many stables are not equipped for a client with four horses. They are already nearly full themselves, for them one or two horses is normal business, so stabling could have been at two or three locations in the end.

This would have been madness and a real personal time killer for her on top of needing to invest her energies into her new job.

We had the “four horses or nothing” discussion, the candidate withdrew from the process, the client was happy because of her responsible attitude and action.

The candidate is still in her own country, in another job and the horses have not changed stables as I write.