Are you meeting with a recruiter and not sure how to prepare?
Athletes don’t just ‘wing it’ when they are playing on Sunday night, they take the time to watch film and prepare. Teachers don’t just show up to school without preparing a lesson for the day. Students (usually) don’t take a test without studying first. You get the gist. Preparation is key for everything you do, so make sure you are also preparing for meetings with recruiters.
Unfortunately, most people are rarely as prepared as they should be.
Whether you are preparing to meet with a recruiter from a firm or preparing for your first interview with a hiring manager, there are several crucial steps you need to take to make a lasting impression on the interviewer.
Our job here at City Personnel, a staffing agency in Providence, RI, is to hire candidates through our agency and place them at a company that has hired us to fill their job openings. The good news for job seekers is that we are a completely free resource to them. However, because we are a free resource, many job seekers don’t take us as seriously as they should.
When we send a candidate for an interview with one of our clients, that candidate represents us. Why would we send a candidate to one of our clients if they weren’t prepared for our interview with them? This is why it is extremely important to prepare for a meeting with a recruiter and make a great first impression. Remember that if our first impressions of a candidate is poor, we will most likely not send them to interview with one of our clients.
To help you prepare and make a lasting impression, we created a list of some pointers on how to conduct yourself when meeting with a recruiter for the first time. These pointers also apply to interviewing with a company for the first time.
How You Should Dress During an Interview
Have you ever been told to dress to impress? Well, for interviews and meetings with recruiters, you should always dress to impress.
Whether you are applying for a part-time or full-time job, always make sure to make a lasting first impression. The best way to make a great first impression is how you dress for your interview.
Business professional attire is always recommended for a first interview. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. The only time you should not wear business professional attire to an interview is when you are explicitly told not to. However, this rarely ever happens.
Keep in mind, preparing for an interview with an employer is the same as preparing for a meeting with a recruiter, so make sure to look presentable, neat, and organized.
Being dressed professionally will never negatively affect your application, but dressing too casually will, so always wear your best outfit. If you need help selecting a tie color for your next interview, check out our article on what tie color you should wear on an interview.
What You Should Prepare for an Interview
The best thing you do for a job is to do your research first. Most of the time, recruiters will not tell you their client’s name until you register with them, but if they do, make sure to do all the research on that company beforehand. Knowing the company’s mission, vision, and basic overview of what they do will impress the recruiter and give you a better chance of getting hired.
If a recruiter happens not to give you information about their client, you could instead do research about the recruiter’s company, usually a staffing agency. It is important to do research in both cases because companies and recruiters want to hire candidates who are willing to go above and beyond. A company or recruiter will most likely not ask you to check out their website or social media pages before meeting with them, but if you do, that shows that you want to work for the company more than the other candidates that showed up unprepared. Always do your homework.
Research isn’t the only thing you should do to prepare for an interview. If a recruitment agent asks you to bring in anything for the interview, do not forget. Being prepared will show that you have a good memory and are organized and ready to go.
Even if the recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t mention bringing in anything, always bring in a notepad to write on just in case you need to take notes on the details of the position. Additionally, you should always bring in two extra copies of your resume, one for you and one for them to review. Even though you may have already sent them a electronic copy of your resume, it is important to also bring in a physical copy for them just in case.
When in the interview or meeting with a recruiter, be attentive. The more attentive you are during the meeting, the more likely the recruiter will recommend you to their clients.
Update your resume, know what is on it, and bring a couple of copies of it to your meeting with a recruiter or interview with a hiring manager. Your resume is the most important piece of your job search, and knowing everything on it is crucial to your success.
Instead of having to review your resume after every question a recruiter asks you, memorize your work history so this does not happen. You should remember all the tasks, dates, and job titles of your previous positions.
Another thing you can do to help you stand out from a crowd of candidates is to ask questions in your interview. Candidates who do not ask questions in an interview come across as uninterested in the job opening. If you have a question, ask. However, don’t interrupt the interviewer with your questions. Instead, when a question arises, write it down and ask it at the end of the interview.
Never leave an interview or a meeting with a recruiter without asking questions. Even if you do not have any questions to ask, make sure to at least ask, “What are the next steps in the interview process?” This shows that you are interested in hearing back from them.
Also, make sure to review the top questions asked during interviews to make sure you are fully prepared. If you are preparing for a group interview, stay on topic and try not to be overwhelmed by the other individuals there.
What is the Proper Etiquette In an Interview
Being nice and courteous during a meeting with a recruiter will go a long way. Recruiters are the first to meet you and the first ones to recommend you to their clients. A positive interview or meeting starts with the right attitude, so make sure you enter the interview with a smile and a positive attitude.
One of the rudest things you can do in an interview would be looking at your phone while the recruiter or hiring manager is talking. Even if they aren’t talking, checking your phone at all during an interview is rude and should be avoided. Using your phone on an interview is a deal-breaker for many recruiters, so ensure that is is turned off or put on silent to avoid any temptation of using it.
The only reason for you to take your phone out during a meeting with a recruiter is if was an absolute emergency.
What Not to Being to an Interview
Do not bring food or drinks to an interview. Meetings with a recruiter do not take long. On average, a meeting or interview can take around an hour. In most cases, you can wait one hour to not eat or drink on an interview.
What may be a good idea is to bring a quick snack in your car and eat it right before you go in to avoid the urge to snack. Either that or keep the snack in your car and eat it after your meeting.
Most of the time, a recruitment agency will offer you water during your interview, but if you are worried about being thirsty during an interview, bring a bottle of water, stay away from smoothies or coffee. It may seem fine to bring a coffee to an interview, but it can come across as unprofessional. Wait until you get hired to show your co-workers your caffeine addiction!
Always Go To an interview Alone and Stay on Track
Going alone to a recruitment agency meeting may be self-explanatory, but we just wanted to remind you not to bring a friend or family member with you. Sometimes you may have your kids with you, but try and avoid this or keep the car running with them inside.
Make sure if you are coming in for a meeting with a recruitment agency, don’t have anyone come in with you. Even if you came with someone, have them wait outside until you are done.
Most importantly, whether it is an interview with a company or a meeting with a recruiter, make sure not to go off track about why you are there. Answer each question as detailed and concise as possible. The recruitment agent doesn’t want to hear every detail about your life, they just want the highlights. Avoid talking too much.