Dealing with a Recruiter: 5 Simple Do’s and Dont’s for Landing the Final Interview

Aisha M. Taylor, coach and co-founder of TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting, shares tips

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With the average cost of $4,000 to fill an open position, and the average amount of time to do that being 52 days, time and money are of the essence.

Companies are taking more strategic, cost-effective strides to find qualified candidates either through using a service or a hiring a recruiter. This means, if you’re interviewing for a job, you might likely first interact with someone the company hired to vet you before they take out the time to even consider you for a position.

Below, Aisha M. Taylor, co-founder of TAYLORMade Professional Career Consulting, shares five do’s and don’ts for candidates going through job interview rounds with a recruiter:

1. DO have a top-notch, professional and printed résumé, as it is still needed even in today’s realm of LinkedIn and social media. “The standard résumé document is one of those tried and true things that will never become obsolete,” she says. “You no longer have to mail it in, but you still need to be able to submit a great one. That’s truly the first impression, and we realize, even more now as recruiters, how important that standard résumé is in finding and connecting our clients with top talent.”

2. DO your research on the organization. “This has been one of the most unfortunate things we have seen: A top candidate who is really great but they didn’t take the time to do their research, so when they’re asked a specific question about the company, they fall flat,” Taylor says.

3. DO: Be timely in your responsiveness to a recruiter’s correspondences. “We’ve had instances where we’ve reached out to a candidate and they never responded, or they may wait much too late and say, ‘Hey, are you still looking to fill the position?’ she says. “Those candidates can miss their opportunity. It’s a very time sensitive task to fill these positions, and when recruiters don’t hear back from a candidate, they will move on to the next.”

4. DON’T underestimate the importance of the recruiter’s role. Treat that recruiter as you would treat the direct person you’re seeking to work for,” she advises. “Give them the same respect, enthusiasm, and eagerness. The client really trusts the judgment and insights of the recruiter they’ve hired. We are the vetting agent before you get to the manager or executive who will be making the final decision, so be very mindful of that.”

5. DON’T be too aggressive or eager in your follow up. “Use the interview as the opportunity to ask, ‘When can I expect to hear back from you?’ or ‘What is the next step in the process?’  Taylor says. “If you can’t get a date, wait two to three business days after the interview to follow up. If they gave you a time period, wait until that time. You may think you’re being proactive by not following their directive but it may reflect negatively on you as a candidate.”