How to Best Work With a Recruiter
As a job applicant, navigating the interview process from first call to first day can be a daunting and, let’s be honest, tiring process. There’s a ton of research to do (but where should you focus your research?), people to meet (but what are their personalities like?), and stories to tell (but what parts should you focus on?).
But fret not, reassures Tanya Stewart, Talent Acquisition Manager on Perficient’s Corporate Talent Acquisition Team. “Turn to your recruiter,” she says with an encouraging smile. A recruiter is there to help guide you through the process.
“At the end of the day we want you to get the job. If we thought you were good enough to present the job to, then we thought you might be a good fit, so we want to do anything we can to help you get that position.”
— Tanya Stewart, Talent Acquisition Manager, Perficient
Tanya sat down to share what she has learned from over a decade spent in the world of technical recruiting. The biggest takeaway? Use your recruiter as a resource. To find out exactly what that means, keep reading.
How to Build a Relationship with Your Recruiter
First things first; one thing that is a fundamental truth across all professional engagements and a small, but very important tactic that anyone can apply: be nice.
“The quickest way to be put into the ‘no pile’ is having a bad attitude,” Tanya reveals.
While this is common sense for most people, it’s a friendly reminder we can all use at times. Job transitions can be full of self-discovery and rewarding in ways beyond just acquiring a new role, however the other side of that is they can also be stressful and time-consuming, leaving people anxious and impatient. “Applicants can be tired of explaining about their experience, might view me as the middle-man, or think I won’t understand what they’re talking about,” she explains.
Look at Your Recruiter as a Partner
Instead, Tanya recommends a different and more strategic approach. “Treat your recruiters as your partners because they are the gateway to the hiring manager, so you want to win them over.” Furthermore, if the opportunity at hand doesn’t pan out, that’s not the end of the road. “If you win me over, I’ll look for other opportunities within our company and keep you in mind for next time.”
Look at Your Recruiter as a Resource
The interview process is not a one-sided concept; it’s there so both parties can determine if this union is a fit. That said, your recruiter is there to be your resource.
Use your recruiter to their full capacity. Tanya plainly states, “I’m a resource to help you find a position or other role within the company.”
What Do I Ask a Recruiter?
After providing an overview of the role and the company, your recruiter is there to help you with anything you need to prepare you for the interview.
Three questions you might consider asking your recruiter:
- Do you think there are any areas I’m light in that I should brush up on before the interview?
- What’s the hiring managers personality like?
- What is the dress code for the role? (Hint: Tanya recommends always leaning towards business professional for your interview, regardless of the role, but the recruiter can help you understand how formal to take it.)
Three Truths About Working With a Recruiter
You Don’t Have to Be an Expert, but You Should Be Honest
Don’t fear, you don’t need to be an skilled conversationalist to complete a successful job interview. What’s most important is to be honest about your skill set and know how to present yourself to that recruiter. “A big turnoff is if people just agree they can do anything but don’t have the experience to show it,” shares Tanya. “Be honest about your experience and if you don’t meet the exact qualifications, show you’re willing and eager to learn.”
Time is Valuable — Don’t Waste It
“Before you get too far in the process, you need to know if you even want the job,” warns Tanya. If you know deep down the job isn’t for you or if you have another offer that’s better for you, take it. Don’t waste people’s time; don’t keep interviewing just to interview.
Recruiters Favor Enthusiastic Candidates
However, if you know you want the job, share it! Help the recruiter know where you stand. “If this is a role you really want, then go for it! If you are really excited about this role, you need to project that, especially over the phone,” Tanya explains. Talking with a smile, being prepared, and following up quickly are all ways to show you are excited.
Remember, recruiters are there to help coach you through the process, so the better the relationship you have and the more they know about what you can best contribute will only help you and aide in your success coming onto to new role.
Were you surprised by any of these points? What questions would you ask a recruiter? Comment below and we will answer them in an upcoming post.
“Ask a Recruiter” is a special series by Perficient that explores an insider’s perspective on all things recruiting and hiring.
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