How to Interview with a Recruiter

general interview 9

Sitting down to discuss your employment opportunities with a recruiter is a bit different than interviewing in a traditional manner with the company itself. A recruiter is generally an outside third party that serves as a manager for the candidate and a sales person to the company. They obtain a commission either from you or the company depending on what type of arrangement you have with the recruiter’s organization.

Keeping in mind that it is their job to get you into a position to obtain their commission, here are a few things that you should be sure to ask when interviewing with a recruiter.

  • What type of organization and position(s) are you considering me for?
  • What is the general culture of the organization? Are they very conservative or are they progressive and flexible?
  • Do you understand what my salary range is and what my minimum requirements are?
  • What are the travel expectations for this position or even the interview?
  • Tell me about the specific job duties for the position that you have in mind for me.
  • Do you think my skill level is in line with my expectations of a position or employment?
  • What do you think about my resume and cover letter? Should I have it professionally edited?
  • Is there anything that is on my resume that is outdated and/or unprofessional?
  • Knowing the company, do you believe that I am a good fit for their corporate culture?
  • Am I a good fit for that particular department?
  • What is the management style of that particular department and the organization as a whole?
  • How do you think that I have presented myself in the interview with you today? Was there anything that I could improve on before meeting a representative from the company?

The same Do’s and Don’ts as with any job interview apply to interviewing with a recruiter. For example:

  • Always arrive on time or no more than 10 minutes early. Being even one minute late is not acceptable so be sure to give yourself plenty of time.
  • Ensure that you do not have any errors on your resume and cover letter.
  • Do not speak negatively about your previous employer or colleagues. Be positive.
  • Ensure that you dress professionally and conservatively. Do not wear perfume/cologne or heavy make-up. You are going on an interview-.not a date.
  • Be prepared with your answers to general interview questions such as, “What type of work are you looking for?”
  • Be sure to turn your cell phone completely off. Having your purse or pocket vibrate is just as bad as ringing.
  • In this day and age of technology, remember that a recruiter or potential company will most likely look on all of the common social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. During your job search, it is highly recommended to remove anything that is suggestive and/or unprofessional.