Like any industry, recruitment has its fair share of unscrupulous operators which sometimes gives it a bad reputation. Fortunately, there are also plenty of great recruiters who genuinely care about helping progressing your career.
When using a recruitment agency, you have two important choices to make:
Choose a recruiter you trust to help you find the right role for you
Treat your recruitment consultant like a potential new employer
Before meeting a recruiter
Once you’ve decided that using a recruiter is the right route for you, it’s important to have the right mindset and attitude – the most successful candidates always treat recruiters like an employer. In the initial phone or email communications they are professional, friendly and responsive.
Before investing time meeting a recruiter take the time to be clear on your objectives. What are your life goals? What are your longer-term career goals? What skills do you want to develop to get you closer to your objectives?
Meeting a recruiter for an interview
If you treat your recruiter interview like an employer interview it will come as no surprise that you’ll need to prepare accordingly – in fact go the extra mile, it’s worth it. This starts with researching the agency and understanding what live jobs they have and if any they currently have are suited to you. When you meet your consultant make a positive first impression - a firm handshake and good, natural eye contact always build trust. Ensure you’re dressed appropriately. If you’re hoping to work at a more traditional company it’s likely you’ll need to be smart. If it’s more modern, then they will expect you to be more casual. It’s down to you to do the research and judge it accordingly but, whatever you’d wear to the employer, make sure you wear to the recruiter interview.
During the interview maintain positive body language - slouching or crossing your arms send out unconscious signals that you’re not engaged or perhaps have something to hide. Keep your answers concise and back them up with tangible, real life examples and achievements - this helps paint a picture for the consultant and it’s what all employers want to see.
By the end of the interview you want to have given your consultant the confidence that you will represent yourself and them in the best possible light once they put you forward to one of their clients. Each time consultants put a candidate forward to a client they are risking their reputation – a few poor judgement calls can result in them losing a client.