The phone rings. You have no idea who it is but when you say hello you realise it’s a recruiter on the other end of the line.
How you handle yourself in that moment can make the world of difference to whether you get through to a face-to-face interview. This is THE moment to make an excellent first impression.
So you don’t get caught off guard, take time to think through how to represent yourself to a recruiter who might have that perfect job opportunity for you.
Here are some tips from face2face Recruitment on what to do when a recruiter calls.
Tip #1—pick the right time
Can’t talk when the recruiter calls? That’s OK. Thank the recruiter for calling and explain that you’re in the middle of something important and would appreciate arranging a new time to talk. Explain that this will enable you to concentrate and give your all.
Tip #2—use our free application tracker
It’s important to be able to remember what position you applied for with the recruiter, to avoid awkwardness and embarrassment.
This won’t be a problem if you use an application tracker. We have a free template on our website that is quick and easy to use.
- Also keep a list of job criteria handy, and notes on your response to each. This will ensure you speak confidently to the recruiter.
Tip #3—be prepared
Think through answers to the most common questions recruiters ask. Examples:
- Why are you looking for work?
- Why did you leave your previous job?
- Why do you like this position?
- How does your experience and qualifications relate to this position?
- What are your strengths?
You’ll make a greater impression if you’ve thought through your answers to these types of questions. You’ll speak more confidently, be more efficient and not keep the recruiter on the phone for too long.
Tip #4—assess why you want the job
Recruiters like to understand what attracts candidates to positions. It helps them determine the best match for both candidate and employer.
When a recruiter asks what attracted you to a position, don’t utter something shallow or lame like ‘I need a job’, which is obvious to a recruiter anyway. Say something more constructive such as ‘It’s a great fit for my skills.’ or ‘I feel I have a lot of experience to offer to the position.’
Tip #5— be ready to handle your nerves
Recruiters get that it can be nerve wracking looking for new work and they’re used to some people being nervous when they’re screening them by phone.
You can get a grip on how you sound by speaking slowly, pausing when you need too and remembering to breathe.
Tip #6—be professional
Listen to your work and mobile voice messages to make sure they’re courteous and professional. On your mobile don’t have loud music playing in the background, or kids screaming or dogs barking when recording your message. Don’t use curt phrases like ‘Not here. Call back.’ Try ‘Hello, this is <name>). I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now. Please leave a message.’
Tip #7—listen carefully
Listen carefully to the questions the recruiter is asking and answer them directly. It’s frustrating for recruiters when candidates wander and don’t get to the point.
Tip #8—be honest
When asked why you left your last job, be honest. Never speak negatively about your previous employer or colleagues. Simply state that the job didn’t suit you.
Our Managing Director, Kate Prior, has written a book on how to win that perfect position. Resume Success Secrets also includes bonus tips for interviews. You can buy it online.