I was recently contacted by an "Executive Recruiter". On return of their call I had a brief phone interview. It was explained to me that if I passed this first hurdle, the person's boss would contact me for a more extensive interview. I passed and the boss called the following day and spoke with me for over an hour. The call ended with John explaining that he would speak with the company's internal panel and they would decide if I was worthy of their firm. I passed this test and was invited in to meet in person with the company.
The face-to-face meeting was a sales pitch explaining what the company could do for me. They had two "member companies" that had profiles they wanted to submit me for. The recruiter was going to clean up my resume, coach me, give me inside information into the hiring company, and even negotiate salary. Then the hammer dropped. I could have all this for only.... $3K up front, non-refundable.
I walked away... Did I make the right choice? I am almost always a decisive, don't look back, decision maker. I can't help to think that there may have been an opportunity lost.