Congrats! Your resume and cover letter have done their jobs and landed you an interview with a recruiter. But don’t think it’s a done deal just yet. You may have a foot in the door – and working with a recruiter is a great way to find a great job – but don’t let your foot off the gas just yet. Here are a number of valuable tips for interviewing with a recruiter.
Treat It Like a Real Interview
A recruiter’s job is to find candidates who are best suited for a particular job, or type of job. They may be working with one client who has an opening in your area of interest, or many. The point is to take an interview with a recruiter as seriously as you would an interview with your potential employer. That means doing your research on the company and the position, dressing appropriately, and prepping yourself to present your skills and experience in the best light possible. Show up on time. Come prepared with good conversation points and smart questions for your interviewer. Act professional and present yourself as a knowledgeable and skilled candidate.
Recognize Recruiters as a Valuable Resource
An interview is your chance to seal the deal, even if you are not speaking directly with your future manager. Many companies use staffing agencies as they would a human resources department. They are there to screen candidates to save employers time and money. They are also likely to be very familiar with the industry and companies that you would like to work for. Consider a recruiter to be like the gatekeeper to your dream job. They are not only the front line of defense in the recruiting process, but can also be a valuable resource for you in your career. Keep that in mind, and strive to make the best impression possible.
Dress for Success
Dressing for an interview is one of the ways you will show your interviewer you mean business. Your choice of clothing in an interview says a lot about your professionalism and your personality. Like it or not, an interview is a situation where you will be judged by your appearance. Be sure to present yourself in the best light possible. In most cases, men should wear a suit and collared shirt. Consider wearing a tie as well. Women have a wider variety of choices in their professional attire. Suits, professional dresses, simple skirts, and polished blouses are all good options. Avoid too many distracting accessories or jewelry. The key is to look pulled together and professional.
Know Your Resume
It’s one thing to dress the part, but recruiters are trained to quickly see past outer appearances. You need to know your resume inside and out. If you are not prepared to speak well and present your experience and skills in a positive way for the particular job you are applying for, then you are doing yourself a serious disservice. But if you are prepared and able to communicate your value, you are sure to do well.