As a Senior Recruiter, I interview candidates (and prospective clients) on a regular basis. And let’s face it, no matter how much of an expert you are, no one loves to be interviewed. It is most definitely an acquired skill.
I’d love to share some of my tips with you now so that you too, Mr/Ms Candidate, will be able to Interview Like A Recruiter.
1. Read and re-read your own resume before your interview. You can bet that when I am talking to my client about you, I have your resume open on my computer OR I have re-read your resume before heading into my meeting. It may seem silly, because out of anyone in the world, you should know your ownexperience. By reviewing your resume, you can start thinking about your experience chronologically, your achievements within each position, and you are less likely to leave out important details about your experience. This is a great refresher and way to pump yourself up – you have some awesome experience under your belt!
2. If possible, creep the interviewer on LinkedIn before your interview. Do not send messages or engage in any way, but be sure to look up the person you will be speaking to. This will help you familiarize yourself with their background, experience level, position within the organization, and give you an idea of where they’re coming from. It will also give you some insight into career progression within the company that you’re applying to. Before meeting with a new client or prospective candidate, I always look them up on LinkedIn. Who knows, you may find that you care about similar causes or are part of the same alumni group. The more personal connections you can make, the better.Recruiting trick: if you don’t want someone to see that you’ve viewed their profile, log out of LinkedIn and type their name into Google. Their public LinkedIn profile will come up and you can look at it without showing up in the “Who’s viewed your profile section”. Disclaimer: use these tips for good and not evil.
3. Google the company that you are interviewing for. Before meeting with a new company, I will look them up through various social media channels to see if they have been mentioned in the news, magazines, blogs, or press releases. Most companies have a section on their website called “in the news” where you can get tons of information on what they’ve been up to. This can give you insight into what people are saying about the company and/or their products, plus you will have more to talk about in the interview when you’re asked “what do you know about our company?”.
4. Know your bottom line before going in. When you go in for the interview have an idea of what your target salary range is, and know what the minimum you will accept will be. When I present a candidate to my client, I always outline the anticipated salary range for the candidate, so that there aren’t any surprises for either party involved. Keep in mind, the first interview is not a time to discuss benefits, vacation, or salary – but if the subject comes up, have a prepared answer. Do your homework! As a Recruitment Consultant, I provide my clients with market trends and insight into salary ranges for similar positions. To Interview Like A Recruiter, know your worth and do your homework.
5. Ask about next steps and ‘go for the close’. As a Recruitment Consultant, at the end of any meeting I set action items. I want to find out what the next step in the process will be including setting the expectations between myself and the client. I need to know what documents I will need to send, whom I should be following up with, and when a final decision will be made. In closing the interview, ask the interviewer what the next step will be and when you will likely be receiving feedback, and who will ultimately be making the final decision. Perhaps there are other people in the organization who are invested in this hiring initiative which will involve shaking hands with other decision makers in the company. You can ask how many candidates are being considered and what an anticipated start date would be. The more information you have about the hiring process, the more insight you will have into their recruitment process.
6. Celebrate! No matter what the outcome, interviewing is tough. It puts you in a vulnerable position (do you like me? check box yes or no) and you should take time to reflect on what went well and areas for improvement. You took a huge leap of faith and took control of your career. Relish the moment and enjoy the ride!
That’s all for now. I hope you find these tips useful and I would love to hear in the comments section what your favourite interview tips & tricks are. Best of luck to anyone going through the recruitment process right now – Go Get ‘Em Tiger!
Consultant – Information Technology
@KylieMcCready on Twitter