How to ruin an interview with a recruiter network

March 15th, 2007 by The Imagination Factory

Five sure steps that will take you out of the running

What do you do when a recruiter calls?If you ever get a call from a Recruiter – take it!How you handle the ensuing call could greatly energize your career prospects.If the recruiter has an assignment where your background could have some possibilities, you might get an interview.

Here are five great ways to defeat this important process:
1. Be blas about the meeting. After all, this is not a job interview – it’s okay to go in dressed less than your best, slouch during your meeting, and be sure to say, “I would never say that during a ‘real’ job interview.

A more realistic approach is to consider that this is a ‘real’ interview.Dress your best, come prepared including a clean copy of your resume and use good posture and diction.Generally, recruiters are working on un-advertised positions that are ‘prime’ in nature, and great next steps for a career oriented candidate.How you “come across” to the recruiter may have a great influence on your career prospects. It can be through this assignment, future assignments the recruiter works on, or referral of you to his recruiter colleagues.

2. Be defensive or unprepared when asked a question.A top notch recruiter generally asks pointed, direct questions to ascertain your skills and accomplishments.A great way to be sure they don’t find out about the real you is to evade the question or tell them to refer to your resume.After all, it took you 2 hours to prepare it and it’s all there!

A far saner position is to answer a question in a clear, concise manner and follow up with a question like, “Have I made myself clear on that now or would you like me to go on?” Never, never, refer to your resume other than to use as a reference tool.This approach requires a great deal of personal preparation starting with an inventory of your skills and a list of things you have done, during your career, of which you are most proud.

3. Don’t hesitate to fudge on your resume.After all, it’s common knowledge that everyone does.Some good ways to do this are:Show you have an advanced degree (even though you never finished your thesis); take full credit for those accomplishments even though you were only part of the team; or be liberal with employment dates.

Keep in mind that it is a no-no to exaggerate on your resume and could even be cause for job termination later on down the line.Tell it like it is.Be conservative rather than liberal.Resumes are marketing tools, and you must be able to back up what it says to enhance your credibility.It is also an excellent idea to get professional counseling on preparation of this marketing tool.

4. “What do you got – I can do that!”After all, I need a job and the recruiter wants to fill it.Just tell him to get you the interview and you’ll do the rest.

Rule #1: Be focused on what you do best, and don’t be too nosy!Recruiters work on a pre-qualifying as well as confidential basis – with both client company and candidate.Generally he will not identify either the client company or the candidate until he is sure there is a good match.Be patient, you will find out all the details when and if the time is right.

5. Don’t be realistic about your salary, next job title, and responsibility requirements.After all, don’t we want the most money, best job title, and responsibilities?Does it really matter that the money you require is well above what a superstar with a proven track record could generally command?

Don’t take the chance of blowing yourself out of the water by not being realistic. If your background and skills warrant the money, title, and responsibility – you will get it. It is in everybody’s best interest. If you are unrealistic, the recruiter could legitimately question your judgment.

Experienced recruiters can be an invaluable resource for a candidate – but first they have to be sold on you.Your credibility says a lot for them with their client companies.Generally the recruiter is very knowledgeable of the industry/discipline he works.On a month to month basis, they may evaluate and prioritize from any number of candidates with similar skills, experience, education, and references.It’s up to them to determine which candidates get to meet with their client.

How you present yourself will determine their interest.

By Mark Fierle, prior to his career in executive search he was CEO of a large Service Company. President of two National Trade Associations, and Treasury Executive in two Fortune 50 companies and an International Trading Company. He acquired a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Gannon University in Eric, Pennsylvania.

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