The term "Bunny Boiler" according to the Phrase Finder is: "an obsessive and dangerous female, in pursuit of a lover who has spurned her."
The expression 'Bunny Boiler' derives from the 1987 film Fatal Attraction, written by James Dearden and Nicholas Meyer. The plot centres around Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) obsessively pursuing her ex-lover Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas). The phrase comes from the plot device whereby Forrest, in a fit of frenzied jealousy, boils her erstwhile lover's daughter's pet rabbit. Any needy, possessive or even just mildly annoying woman is now liable to be described as a 'Bunny Boiler'.
However, it's not just women who become "Bunny Boilers", but candidates can also take on this title.
“Bunny boiler" candidates can be identified by these typical characteristics:
- They call you prior to sending their CV in response to your advert just to let you know that it will soon be arriving in your inbox
- Once you inform them that you’ve sent their CV to your client they call you every 48 hours for an ‘update’
- After being interviewed and given some initial client feedback they continue to try and close you down for a decision / second interview date
- They offer to lower their salary expectations thinking this will sway the client to favour their application
- They suggest the client might like to employ them on contract basis instead of permanent
- They refuse to accept that they have been rejected for the role and insist that you get some more in depth feedback from your client
- They ask for another interview to ‘prove themselves’
There is a fine line between going from an "interested and enthusiastic" candidate to becoming a "Bunny Boiler" candidate. Our advice therefore is:
- Never contact the clients direct - that's what agents are for ! (Clients pay agents to save their time and stop being harassed by the bunny boiler candidates !)
- Ask the agent for guidance on when to call again for an update.
- Accept that a ‘no’ is a ‘no’ and that you just weren’t right for the role !
It's simple, communicate not over demonstrate !