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

  • Francisco Chevez is one in a million!

    I would like to formally thank Francisco Chevez for helping me get this great District Manager position. Francisco was very professional from the beginning. He was persistent in his search for the perfect opportunity. He presented me with multiple job opportunities, all great. He made me feel as if I was his only client and his top priority. Even after starting the new job, he called back to check on me. Francisco is great at what he does and I’m glad I was paired with him.      

    Sincerely,

    Enzo Mera

    Francisco Chevez is one in a million!
  • Matt Lopez nailed it!

    I am thankful for the service that Matt Lopez provided on behalf of Patrice and Associates in finding me and matching me to an excellent job with an energy company in northern Virginia. Matt Lopez discussed the position and the company and advised me on the hiring process. Matt has the intuition to assess me the job candidate, and the employer regarding my personality and the corporate culture to make the match. Matt found a Company that has all the attributes that I have struggled over the past few years to find. I intend to do an excellent job for the Company that I am joining in October 2022. I plan to achieve my immediate objectives, the company’s goals and show that Patrice and Associated backed the right person for the job.                    

    Sincerely,

    Robert Chew

    Matt Lopez nailed it!
  • I can't thank Karl Busch enough!

    I recently relocated to South Carolina from New York.  At first I tried the usual big company name job search engines, I even reached out to a couple of recruiters but, Karl Busch at Patrice and Associates was the guy who got it done!  His guidance and advice along the way was invaluable.  I was able to secure an Executive Chef position at a high profile restaurant thanks to him.          

    Thank you!

    Steven D.

    I can't thank Karl Busch enough!
  • Shawn Hoye was great to work with.

    Super attentive with plenty insight into the local job market which gave me a leg up in making the perfect career move.              

    Many Thanks,

    Sean Giffing

    Shawn Hoye was great to work with!
  • Whitney Davis was incredible!

    I would just like to say what an asset Whitney Davis was in regards to me finding another job. I appreciate all the help and I would definitely recommend him to others.        

    Thank you!

    Larry A.

    Whitney Davis was incredible!