Job seekers sometimes feel anxious before meeting with a recruitment agency because it’s their first time or because they aren’t applying for any specific job and don’t know what to expect.
Others, on the other hand, feel too relaxed because they believe it’s not a “real interview” and end up being late or not preparing at all.
The recruiter is the person who will present your profile to the client, if he/she believes you could be a good fit for the company. Showing yourself in the best possible light is the first step to land your dream job!
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your interview with a recruiter.
– Check location and time beforehand
This might sound obvious, but candidates showing up late – or not at all because they get lost on their way – is a common occurrence. Make sure to check where the interview will take place and make arrangements to be there no less than 10 minutes beforehand. Being late could ruin your first impression immediately. If you arrive too early instead, wait for a bit before calling the interviewers: having a candidate unexpectedly coming 30 minutes earlier might interfere with their plans and does not put them in a good mood.
If taking public transportation, verify connection time and any possible delay. Lastly, if you are expecting to be late, make sure to let the recruiter know what time you will be arriving.
– Wear appropriate interview attire
Although recruiter interviews are less “formal” than interviews with their client company, it is recommended to wear at least business casual attire. If in doubt, it is better to err on the side of dressing too formally, rather than too casually.
Your attire – as well as your smile – is the first thing they will see, and the most important part of a job interview is the beginning. That’s when you have an opportunity to make a great impression, so don’t miss it!
– Don’t go unprepared
Even in the case you aren’t applying for any specific position, don’t meet the recruiter without knowing anything at all. Take time to look at the company website, so you know what type of industries they are in. Browse through their job posts to check if there is any specific job that you would be interested in applying for. Double-check your resume and send it out before the meeting. Be prepared to talk about your work history thoroughly, knowing that they might ask you questions about any tiny detail written in your CV. Be ready to explain past job changes.
That being said, it is not the recruiter’s intention to make you feel uncomfortable or under pressure. However, it’s their job to ask you as many questions as possible to help you find a job that matches your skills set. If you did apply for a specific position, review the job posting and feel free to ask if you need any clarification.
Lastly, being prepared also means thinking about your career path as well as your ideal working conditions.
– Be honest about your answers (and questions)
If you don’t have much work experience or don’t have a clear career vision, be honest about it. Think about your priorities: career development? More stability? Salary and benefits? Finding an employment immediately? Company culture? Consider the various aspects of a job and realize where you can be flexible or where you cannot.
Additionally, do not hesitate to request further information regarding the job opportunities they recommend you, or ask when other suitable job openings may arise.
– Keep in touch
Follow-up if you don’t hear back from the recruiter regarding the results of your application. If they don’t get back to you immediately, it is most likely because they haven’t received any feedback from their client company yet. Follow-up about once a week, inquire about the next steps and express your interest in the job.
If you didn’t apply to any specific position, keep track of their job posts and let them know if you find anything that may be of interest to you.
Let the recruiter also follow-up with you, especially in case they give you assignments, resume revisions, etc. A lack of response for more than 5~7 days would mean that you have given up on your job search or have found employment elsewhere. If you are genuinely not interested in the job, be clear about it.
Remember, a recruiter’s job is to get as many placements as possible, so he/she wants you to fill that position as much as you want to get it. To achieve that, recruiters will guide you throughout the application process. Make them an ally, treat them with respect and let them help you.