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.
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What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career.

    Sherri Balzer is an excellent job recruiter. I had been working with her for more than 3 months where I had multiple job interviews with different companies. She is always very detailed, caring, patient, and most of all very professional. I turned down multiple job offers because they were not a good fit for me and Sherri understood my reasons. Instead of losing hope in me she kept working hard looking for other companies that suited my skill set and knowledge. We found the perfect company and I got the best job offer available. I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career. Respectfully,

    Andrew Figueroa

    I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career.
  • I referred a friend to Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment

    Kim Marzett has been great! Alongside her professional demeanor, she answered all of my questions freely. She has a very welcoming personality, and helps you every step of the way! I referred a friend to her. I was impressed and appreciative! I referred a friend to Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment
  • Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency.

    I just wanted to say thank you to Corina for setting me up with Redstone American Grill. I appreciate all the time and research you and your team have done to make sure that I was prepared for my interviews. Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency I’ve worked with in my 25+ years of experience. I’ll be your client for as long as I’m in this field. Alexandre Vincent Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency
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    Thank you Fajar and Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment

    From the first time we spoke, til the time I landed the job and even now - days after I have started the job, Fajar has been absolutely outstanding! She constantly checked in with me to answer any questions, provided valuable information and tips for my interview and updated my resume for me. I truly appreciate Fajar's commitment to ensuring I had everything I needed to successfully transition into a new career. I am more than happy with her work and would be more than willing to recommend her services to anyone looking for a new career path. Thank you once again Fajar and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment for everything you all have done. I am truly very grateful!
    Thank You, Brandon Chase Thank you Fajar and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment
  • Working with Jillian and Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment was an amazing experience.  First of all, the work Jillian did on my resume before presenting me to the client was outstanding.  I really feel that it presented me in the best light for the client (and it worked because I got the job!).  I’ve worked with a lot of recruiting firms before and the level of service provided by Jillian was far and above the rest of the industry.  Jillian was always available to talk any time of the day and really made me feel like she wasn’t just concerned with placing a candidate - she also cared about my happiness and well-being throughout the process. Dennis Brown My recruiter cared about my happiness throughout the process.