Interviewing With a Recruiter

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A feature written by: Zach Mayner, Recruiter

interview“You’re sitting at work and you receive a call from a number you don’t have programmed in your phone. You answer to find a recruiter on the other end telling you they’ve come across your resume online and think you’d be a great fit for a position they have available. The position sparks interest and you schedule an interview for later in the afternoon. Below is some advice on how to interview with a recruiter over the phone:

1. Check the Recruiter’s LinkedIn page and find common interests to build rapport during the first few minutes of the phone interview. This will show the recruiter that you took the time to look them up, and you will instantly have a leg up on other candidates they are interviewing.

2. Don’t be long winded during your interview. As a recruiter there is nothing worse than being stuck on the phone with a potential candidate for 45 minutes to an hour for a phone interview that should only take 20-25 minutes. Make sure your answers are clear, concise, and to the point.

3. Don’t have a chip on your shoulder when talking about past experiences and qualifications. Yes, you were sought out by the recruiter because your resume jumped out to them and your LinkedIn profile showed experience they were looking for. The recruiter knows that, you know that; so be humble. It’s off putting when a candidate thinks they are God’s gift to Earth, and we won’t find another candidate with their qualifications and experience.

4. Ask about the recruiting process for the staffing firm the recruiter works for. Every staffing firm has different processes. Find out their processes and ask questions on timelines. Ask the recruiter how long it typically takes for one of their candidates to get a job offer after the initial phone interview. The recruiters you want to work with will know. This shows they’ve been successful at placing candidates with their clients and keep track of their success. The fastest direct hire job offer I’ve had after my initial interview is 8 days (Maintenance Technician), the longest is 40 days (Operations Manager), and my average placement takes 21 days.

5. Be Honest when asked about your job history and reasons for leaving positions. If you’ve been charged with a felony or misdemeanor in the past, be honest. If you’ve been charged with a crime it does’t mean the client won’t hire you. If a recruiter finds that you’ve lied on a past conviction or reason for leaving a past position they usually can’t recommend you to their client.”