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

  • And I couldn’t have done it without R. Whitney Davis

    I needed to make a change in my life. I was stuck in a series of jobs that weren’t satisfying monetarily or weren’t moving me forward in my chosen career. I could get a new job. I could even find one that paid me slightly more, but it would be more of the same monotonous job I was doing and eventually I’d be unsatisfied, looking for something else.

    I needed a new path, a new direction, but how could I take my skill set and go places I’d never been before? That’s when the recruiter at Patrice and Associates, R. Whitney Davis stepped in. He helped me to see I could use my skills in a related, but altogether different job that would not only challenge me professionally as I would be entering an entirely new field, but would be a considerable pay bump.

    To begin with, thanks to his guidance, I could see I was not presenting myself and my talents at their best in the previous interviews, not just now, but my entire working life.  And I’d always felt I had no problem getting jobs I wanted!  Following his advice, I could instantly see the difference in my interview technique and how the people interviewing me were reacting far more positively than they had been in the past. I was even seeing my own skills in a different way than I ever had.  And I notice how I could now apply jobs I never thought I was qualified for, much less even considered trying to attain.

    As a direct result of his help, I acquired a new and challenging job that charts new paths for me professionally and the salary bump is sizable. I am so thrilled and excited about my new job. It literally is going to change my life in such positive ways.

    And the relationship doesn’t end there as they are keeping track of my path and advising me as I continue to grow, helping me to move along even further.   I can’t encourage job seekers enough to enlist the aid of Patrice and Associates. They’ll help to open doors you didn’t even know were closed to you.

       

    Thanks!

    Anthony D. Langford

    And I couldn’t have done it without R. Whitney Davis
  • Scott Meyer puts his heart into finding people jobs

    Hello, my name is Scott W. and I would like to tell anyone who will listen about Scott Meyer.  He doesn’t treat you like a paycheck, he treats you like a friend.  Anyone out there looking for work get Scott Meyer is on your side!  He listens to what you say and puts his heart into it.                   Thank You So Much! Scott W. Scott Meyer puts his heart into finding people jobs
  • Darryl Jackson did not leave my side!

    When I finally decided to leave my last endeavor and move on to a better opportunity, I trusted Darryl Jackson with helping me find the best fit career for my future! Darryl not only would lend a listening ear, he also gave encouraging advice because he listened! The follow up after each interview gave me high hopes! When I got the call for an offer, he was the first person I called! He was just as excited as I was and I appreciate everything he has done thus far!         Warm Regards, Darling Mack Darryl Jackson did not leave my side!
  • Patricia got me the interview within one day and a job offer with career growth in a week and a half.

    It is my honor and pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Patrice & Associates' Executive Recruiter, Patrica Mayorca. I am so grateful for the way Patrica Mayorca  gave me the courage to dream again (even during a pandemic) and helped me put my career goals back on track and get my professional life back in order. When I came in contact with Patricia Mayorca, through a website connection; I wasn't seeking a new job; but was grateful to even have a job during this pandemic.  But, what a great chance meeting and opportunity; it was that Patricia shared with me.  Patricia was there to assist with my resume and find my best avenue to move forward with this opportunity. I am now excited about this next step in my career and have Patricia Mayorca entirely to thank.  Therefore, I recommend Patrice & Associates' Executive Recruiter, Patricia Mayorca wholeheartedly for anyone who is seeking help finding their own career path.                   Sincerely, Lauren Watkins Patricia got me the interview within one day and a job offer with career growth in a week and a half
  • I greatly appreciate all the outstanding service that Gary Tietz provided.
    I am looking  forward to starting my new job soon.  I would like to thank Gary Tietz for his help on my search for employment.  He made the process simple and provided me with outstanding service.  I am very happy to be employed by a great company in such a short period of time.  I personally had been searching for a very long time, with no luck on finding a job.  Gary’s dedication and efforts made this process simple, helpful and fast for me.  I highly recommend his recruiting service for anyone that is needing help in finding employment.  I am looking forward to starting my new job in a week, thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Shahid Channan
    I greatly appreciate all the outstanding service that Gary Tietz provided.