It can be overwhelming to go it alone when searching for a job. The internet is saturated with advice about how to land the perfect job—and sometimes it’s hard to know what steps to take, direction to go in, how to pursue an employer, or how to prepare for an interview. Recruiting firms are meant to be your mediator between your skill set and an employer’s “wish list”. Most recruiters only get paid when a candidate is hired by a company, so it is their primary goal to make sure candidates are prepared. WorkSource wants you to understand what recruiters can do for you and how they can help you better prepare for an interview.
Understand the Role of a Recruiter
Candidates do not pay recruiters to help them seek out job opportunities—the employer clients do. However, it is in the best interest of a good recruiter to care about their candidates needs as much as the clients. Most recruiters are highly trained to assess candidate’s skill levels, resume writing, work attire, and how to negotiate for top candidate choices. If they feel you are a good match for a current client, they will take a face to face meeting with you. Understand, however, that this is not a job interview, and does not guarantee you a job with an employer. The interview with a recruiter gives them a better idea of who you are, how you present yourself, and how you handle speaking with someone in person. This is also the time for you to ask whatever questions you have regarding the process. For example, if you aren’t sure what to wear or how to behave during the official interview, ask your recruiter, and expect blunt honesty in return.
Getting the Official Interview
If you are fortunate enough to get an official interview with an employer, the next step will be preparing with your recruiter. Recruiters understand the industry in which you are looking; they are thorough and know how businesses work. They will meet with you beforehand to help you prepare. There are two crucial questions that you will need to prepare for: The opening question, and, selling your strengths and weaknesses. The recruiter knows this, and will prepare you the best they can. He/she should send you a link to the company’s website, and possibly, any related news articles. This provides you with the tools to learn as much information about the company as possible. Second, it allows you to ask an important opening question: “Thank you very much for meeting with me. I am somewhat familiar with your company,” (leading into what you know about them, and what more you’d like to know). This shows the interviewer that you have taken the time to get to know the company. Lastly, a recruiter should run through your strengths and weaknesses with you. Discussing this affords you the opportunity to hear yourself list your strengths and weaknesses and get feedback from the recruiter. Verbalizing these traits with the recruiter gives you time to cross any stumbling blocks you may have ahead of the official interview. Because, inevitably, we have all walked out of an interview only to remember a strength or skill set we can bring to the company after the fact. Doing this mock role-play beforehand helps you prepare for the actual interview.
A good recruiter should always take responsibility for preparing a candidate for an official interview. It not only helps you come out stronger than the competition, but it establishes a great working relationship with a recruiter—something that is important in the recruiting industry.