As someone who went through interviews as a candidate and later on, as a recruiter planning and preparing these interviews, I quickly realized that there were lots of preconceived ideas going on in the recruitment industry. Recruiters with prejudice, and candidates with unrealistic expectations. (Yes it’s going both ways…)
In this article, I will break down 3 clichés about recruiters, and what they really want from you during a first job interview. Don’t forget to check my complementary video at the end, there’s a link in the video description to a free document with typical questions and important things to research before an interview !
Cliché #1 : The recruiter has all the power.
Most of us think that in the power balance during an interview, the recruiter is the strong, powerful one, and the candidate is the weak, powerless one. This is all wrong. Yes, the recruiter is going to be the intermediary who’s going to allow you to go through the different steps of the recruitment process which may lead to you getting the job. They can push you in the right direction, and give a voice to your application.
But look at the other side now. A recruiter’s job is to find the right candidate. They have managers behind them, they can have clients behind them if they’re recruiting for another company, and it means weekly meetings and reports where they have to show that they did their work, and they found and talked to people who could be a right fit. By doing this interview, you are allowing them to have something to show and talk about when they have to report. Interviewing people and finding good candidates is what makes a recruiter a good performer for their company. So in the end it’s 50/50, don’t you think ? They need you, and you need them.
Cliché #2 : Recruiters are here to trick you with difficult questions.
Again, this is wrong. The goal of a recruiter is to assess whether you would be a great fit for the job (and the company) or not. Nothing more, nothing less. They will want to check your professional experience, if there are any gaps they will want to know why, they will want to know about your current situation, what you would be interested in for a next opportunity, what is your mobility, availability, salary expectations… It may sounds like a lot of questions, but this is the only way to have a better idea of what you want, who you are and whether you might fit or not with the job opportunity and the company.
During a first interview, a recruiter will try to check with you everything professional but also some personal aspects linked to your job : if you live far away from the company for example they will want to know if you’re okay with commuting, if there are business travels involved they will want to make sure that you’re okay with it, etc because the worst fear of a recruiter is a candidate who says yes during all the process, get selected, and then reject the offer at the last minute because of something they had already discussed or something they could have talked about together before. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen this happen : a candidate rejecting the offer or withdrawing from the process at the end. So please, keep in mind that communication is key. You want a better salary ? Say it. You’re not that interested ? Say it. You have other processes with other companies ? Say it, it might speed up this process.
This is just about you, who you are, what you can do, and what you want. The rest ? Just basic interview preparation : researches about the company, and the job. Let’s be honest, if you don’t have in mind what the company does and what are the details of the job offer before going into that interview… What’s the point ? You’re just going to show that you’re not interested. And what is important here, is to show that you’re truly interested in this job and this company. This can make the difference between two candidates with similar background.
Cliché #3 : A job interview is all about you trying to sell yourself.
Well for this one I would say yes and no. Of course you have to show your best side, but don’t try to be someone that you’re not, thinking you can sell yourself better like this. Even if you got the job like this, it would only mean that you would have to play a role while working there. How could that be satisfying ? You would be wasting your time if you have to quit the job or if you’re fired 1 month later just because you’re not what you said you were. Job searching is all about finding the right company for you, not about finding any company that would be okay with having you. You have to be excited about working there and they have to be excited about having you in their company for this to work.
As long as you did your research well to prepare for the interview, the rest is just you knowing yourself and being able to talk about yourself. We are all responsible for the way we improve in life, the way we decide to make efforts and get better at something so of course if you struggle with talking in a clear and concise way about who you are, what you did, and what are your goals, I would recommend you to practice as much as needed, and don’t hesitate to search for ways to improve your public speaking skills because it’s going to be useful in every aspect of your life. Knowing how to express yourself and your thoughts accurately is a highly underestimated skill.
What do you think ? Are there any other cliché that comes to mind ? Would you be interested in getting more tips about how to prepare for an interview ?
You will find the corresponding video on this topic below, with the link to the free document in the description !
Thank you so much for reading, and see you in the next article next week !
Have a lovely day ~