What to Expect From Recruiters During the Interview Process
Question: Help! I got an interview through a recruiter with a new company. I’m not sure what to do next. Will she help me get ready? Will she help me prepare for the meeting with the interviewer at the new company?
Answer: The short answer is yes, of course! Previously, we talked about why it’s important to talk to recruiters when they call and what you might expect from them (“A Headhunter Called Me – Should I Call Him Back?”).
A quick review of the basics is in that post. Here, we’ll examine what to expect from recruiters further along in the process – when you’ve received an interview. Of course, if you’ve reached the interview stage, it means you’ve successfully connected with a recruiter and they believe you might be a good fit for one of their client’s open positions.
If you’re wondering what the most important thing that you, as the candidate, should do at this point, the answer is really quite simple: communicate!
In our previous blog post, we touched briefly upon the importance of communicating about the things you’re seeking, both in a new job and in your career. The same holds true now that you’ve reached the interview stage of the process.
Below are some guidelines for communicating with a recruiter during this stage:
- Let the recruiter know if you have other interviews or if you think you’re close to receiving an offer from another company. Definitely let the recruiter know if you have already received another offer.
- After each interview, call or email the recruiter to share your thoughts. As always, be honest about how you feel the interview went and your thoughts regarding the opportunity and the company.
- Ask questions about the next stage of the process, if applicable, including what actions you should (or should not) take.
Now, what happens if the recruiter actually places you in a job? What should you do then?
First and foremost, thank the recruiter for their help. Although you were the candidate that the company wanted to hire, the recruiter was instrumental in presenting you and your candidacy in the best fashion.
Second, be sure to stay in contact with the recruiter once you start work. Just because you have the job doesn’t mean the process (or the relationship) is over. After all, you’re new to the job and the organization, and the recruiter knows about both, especially if they’ve placed candidates there before.
Now, what should you do if you don’t get hired for the position for which you interviewed?
Then you simply keep moving forward with the process, learning from whatever mistakes you might have made and taking steps to correct them to improve your candidacy for other positions. Once again, though, communication is crucial. The more you communicate, the better your chances of being placed and starting work with an organization you love.
Bottom line, what you should expect from recruiters during the interview stage is plenty of questions and a lot of advice and insight. In return, they expect you to communicate often and be truthful with your answers and your intentions.