Interview Tips: How to Get the Most Out of a Recruiter

Using the industry knowledge and networks of recruiters can be a critical component of any job search. A professional recruiter can offer career advice, inside knowledge of your target industry or company, compensation guidance and “cultural fit” insight on prospective employers.

With the right recruiter you can:

  • Avoid the general inbox: Recruiters have relationships with human resources and hiring managers, so your résumé goes directly to them, not a “job response inbox” containing hundreds of résumés.
  • Access unadvertised opportunities: Recruiters often know about and fill positions well before they are advertised.
  • Gain valuable insight regarding company culture: A good recruiter should be able to tell you about the company culture and what to expect from individual interviewers on your schedule.
  • Get your own advocate: As an advocate, a recruiter can present you in the best way, provide feedback and follow-up, and provide assistance through the negotiation and hiring process.

Different types of recruiters Staffing recruiters work for staffing firms to provide a wide range of candidates to customers. Staffing recruiters may place administrative, professional or technical candidates, ranging from entry level to senior level, in temporary contract or permanent jobs.

Corporate recruiters handle most aspects of the employee recruitment process for their own organization. Corporate recruiters are typically in the human resources division.

Executive contingent recruiters work for search firms that are engaged by clients to perform a specific search for a range of mid- and senior-level positions. Contingent recruiters receive a fee only upon the successful placement of a candidate.

Executive retained recruiters work for search firms that are engaged by clients to perform a specific search for a senior executive position. Retained recruiters receive a retainer (upfront fee) to execute a search.

Make a recruiter shortlist There are many types of recruiters, and each may have a specific industry or area of expertise. Ideally, you should focus on building relationships with the recruiters that can best help you with your career aspirations.

Don’t just engage a recruiter, build a relationship The best recruiter-job seeker relationships are mutually beneficial. A candidate receives access to unadvertised career opportunities and gains an advocate. A recruiter will appreciate reciprocal access to your network of potential referrals as well as specific company or industry insight.

A common job-seeker mistake is to engage with a recruiter only when actively searching for a new job. A strictly transactional relationship — candidate needs a job, recruiter needs a candidate to fill a job — is less valuable for you, the recruiter and ultimately the hiring organization. Be prepared to invest time in building and maintaining a long-term relationship.

Consider these guidelines to strengthen a good working relationship with recruiters:

  • Make a good first impression: Approach a recruiter as you would a prospective employer, and send an email with a professional cover letter or social media message.
  • Make an introduction: Introduce yourself during the first conversation, just as you would in an interview. A recruiter will need to be comfortable with you before advocating for you as a candidate to a prospective employer.
  • Provide information: Let recruiters know how you found them and if you’re interested in working for a specific company or targeted industry.
  • Think longer term: Be prepared to stay in touch over the short, medium and long term to find the right opportunity.
  • Keep your information current: Ensure they never have an out-of-date résumé on file, and update your recruiter when things change.
  • Be open to constructive feedback: A recruiter can share a great deal of information about the company, job requirements and even specific interviewer characteristics before an interview. After the interview, ask for and be open to constructive feedback.
  • Share insights: What did you learn in the interview that would help both you and your recruiter? Was the job as described by the recruiter or has it changed? Was there a new interviewer in the process? Is this the right role for you based on your career goals?
  • Keep the communication open: Maintain a positive relationship for the future, even if you secure another job.
  • Become a resource: Share your industry knowledge and network of contacts who may be interested in learning more about an opportunity.
  • Consider all kinds of work: Short- or long-term project and contract work can often be a steppingstone to a permanent job and allows you an opportunity to evaluate the job and company.
  • Be clear: An open dialogue regarding your work experience, career goals and salary requirements will increase the chances of a successful placement.
Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • I just want to say a huge “Thank You!!” to Margo Kornfeld for all she has done.

    I just would like to say that Margo Kornfeld was instrumental in landing my dream job. I did not know what to expect at all. My thoughts were that she is a regular recruiter trying to meet her quota. But was I wrong. She is not. As a matter of fact she will bat for you 300%. That is what she did for me. She gave me the scope regarding information for the interview and what they are looking for. She provided the confidence and belief that this opportunity is for me and how to wow them. And I did! If you are looking for that perfect opportunity, I would recommend Margo Kornfeld. She definitely has you covered.                       Reginald W. Zephyrin I just want to say a huge “Thank You!!” to Margo Kornfeld for all she has done.
  • Thank you very much Tim!

    I started off with Tim Keith through Patrice & Associates one year ago. Tim was a great help preparing me and coaching along my way to joining my new career. Once accepted into the job, I immediately took focus and started to create relationships. I started off as assistant manager making the bare minimum salary at the time and within three months of being there was given a 10% raise. I further went on to become service manager and then bar manager and then assistant general manager in the next six months. In October, I was given the opportunity to follow my progression into general manager and continue with my training with the company. I then took over as general manager at the end of November. One of the fastest employees promoted to general manager in company history. The company really supports and relies on its managers and sees that they do good work and then they promote from within. Best company I’ve ever worked for, not a high stress environment and when they promise you something they actually follow through. Tim, is a wonderful human being and will work day and night for you. I’ll never use another recruiting agency, #1 - because I won’t need one due to that I found the perfect job and #2 - because Tim worked so hard for me to find this job.   Sincerely, Andrew Marsh Thank you very much Tim Keith!
  • Allison Sullivan was truly awesome in assisting me with obtaining my current job.  

    She was a great listener, showed confidence and passion for her job.  I tell my friends she is my "Recruiter Champion".  I will not hesitate to refer my friends and family to her should they need job placement expertise.
     
    Sincerely,
    Melissa Gustave
    Allison Sullivan was truly awesome in assisting me with obtaining my current job
  • Thank you Vicki Marshall!

    I have been uber busy in my new position as Restaurant Manager. Initially, Vicki Marshall set me up with my new employer which would have been a great position. However after many interviews, we came to the conclusion that I would be a better fit for there bigger busier venue. I cannot express effectively how integral Vicki was in finding me the perfect company in the location I was looking for. She informed me of the companies long renown history and core values. She also helped prepare me for my interviews. I am deeply in her debt and cannot recommend her more highly.                    
    Many Thanks!
    Nicholaus A. Hoover
    Thank you Vicki Marshall!
  • Thank you Carol Bullock!

    Where do I begin? From her initial message to me, I could tell that Carol would not be like other recruiters I had worked with. Her energy alone made me look forward to each call with her. Carol’s knowledge and familiarity with the hospitality industry and the brand made her an invaluable resource for me. Regardless of the need, she was readily available to assist me.  I can only imagine how stressful this process would have been without her by my side.     Thank You Carol!   Tanja Davis Thank you Carol Bullock!