An Executive Recruiter is often the first gatekeeper to the position you want and to the organization you want to join. Even if you don’t get the first position the two of you speak about, once you’ve met with an Executive Recruiter and made a positive impression, you become an active player on the field of candidates for a variety of positions this same recruiter is seeking to fill.
Is there a difference in an interview with an Executive Recruiter and interviews with other hiring influencers?
Yes. The recruiter is looking to sell you to their client, the employer. They want to know about your skills, talents, successes, and values so they get a good feel for your fit for the position and the organization. There’s fewer behavioural questions, less interest in hypothetical situations and more focus on what you can do for their client.
You’re also expected to know the client. Do your research and make use of your network connections, online searches, and media such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to learn as much as you can. Your recruiter can be a great source of insider tips, but only if you’ve proven that you are interested, passionate, and committed to getting this job.
What’s the same about interviewing with an Executive Recruiter and a potential employer?
Look the part: Dress well, sit up straight, maintain eye contact. Talk about former employers with respect and a positive attitude, and avoid getting too detailed. Be prompt, as this is the interview to get the interview! Do follow up with a thank-you email, and send it the same day as the interview. Listen carefully to the cues you are given, and the reactions you elicit: A recruiter wants to wow his client with great candidates, impressing the recruiter will lead to impressing the rest of your hiring influencers at the employer interview!