So, you’ve typed in “job recruitment agencies near me” and found a list of the top job placement agencies in your area. Maybe you’ve already been in contact with recruiters from a few of the firms. You’re officially on their radar. And, just like that, phone calls and emails about openings start trickling in.
Like all job interviews, though, there’s an etiquette to mastering the art of a recruiter interview, whether that’s a phone pre-screen, an in-person meeting, or even a Skype interview. But there’s an added complication: when you’re working with a recruitment agency, one embarrassing misstep could mean that they don’t approach you about jobs in the future, either. With that in mind, here are a few bad-taste moves that will put even the friendliest recruiter off. Avoid them at all costs.
1. You Don’t Take the Pre-Screen Seriously
Often recruiters ask to schedule a 15- to 20-minute pre-screen call, which is dramatically shorter than your standard interview. That doesn’t mean that you should wing it from a busy Starbucks while you’re waiting for your venti flat white.
Come prepared to talk about your resume and with a clear and concise personal pitch. Be professional, courteous, and make sure you’ve planned to take their call somewhere quiet. If you’re talking on Skype or Google Hangouts, dress like you would for a standard job interview. And please, oh please, plus in headphones with a mic to cut down on background noise. (Even the quietest places still have an AC running most months of the year.)
2. You Try to Avoid Talking About Salary
Maybe you haven’t really thought about your salary requirements or maybe you’re afraid that asking too much will mean the recruiter won’t move forward with you. Maybe you’re just uncomfortable discussing money. Either way, recruiters will ask you your salary requirements and when you avoid answering, it’s A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G.
When the company in question hired this recruiter (or, really, the job recruitment agencies the recruiter works for), they gave her a salary range for the role. She needs to know your salary requirements so a) she can make sure it’s not a complete waste of your—and her—time but also b) she can take that information back to the company. Even if your salary is higher than the ideal range, if she thinks you’re a great fit, there’s likely some wiggle room. In the very least, the recruiter will probably transparently tell you what they’re budgeting and you can decide if it’s worth adapting.
And remember: even if this particular role isn’t the right fit, knowing your salary range means that she can circle back the next time she has a client who does have the budget for you.
3. Or You Avoid Scheduling a Phone Call
Recruiters are on tight deadlines and often reach out to dozens of candidates at a time about different roles. If they invite you to hop on a phone call about a job, and you respond instead with five or six questions via email, they likely won’t get back to you. It’s not personal—it’s just that 15 minutes on a call will teach them much more about you (and you about the role) than spending 30 minutes typing out answers to your questions.
4. You Don’t Say Thank You
It’s job interview best practice to thank everyone you interview with, including, yes, your recruiter. They’ve blocked time out of their days, coordinated around your schedule (sometimes even when that means calling you outside of working hours to avoid awkwardness at your current company), spent time digging into your job history. So, thank them for considering you, ideally in an email follow-up no more than 24 hours after you speak with them.
5. You Lag on Sending Your Resume
If a recruiter expresses interest in moving forward with you, they will need your resume to share with their client ASAP. That shouldn’t be a problem if you’re actively job-searching, but if you’ve been headhunted by a job recruitment agency (i.e. a recruiter reached out to you even though you’re currently employed), your resume might need some updating.
We’d recommend doing this before you even get on the call since 99.9% of the time (alright, alright, that’s not science-backed but we still feel fairly confident), the recruiter is going to ask for it. If you don’t have it ready to go, take the time to update it and get it to them by end of day.
Again, recruiters are on tight deadlines, and continually hitting refresh on their inboxes to see if you’ve gotten back to them yet is never fun. I mean, is it?
At Star Staffing, we make your job search easy. With one application, you’ll gain access to dozens of local employers. We’re the leading employment agency in Northern California and experts at showcasing talent. We simplify the process and know how to make the right match between companies and employees. What are you waiting for? Apply today.
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