Remember that the interview starts from the first call and that the client makes the decision
First impressions count and it is no different when you choose to take a call from a recruiter. It can be tempting to dismiss an opportunity out of hand or moan about your current workplace and remuneration but neither is likely to mark you as a professional with high standards. Talking with a recruiter can help you assess your worth and potential as well as give you good practice for future interviews.
Whether it’s an initial call with the recruiter, a phone screening or an in-person interview with the prospectus employer you should always conduct yourself with highest level of professionalism. Perhaps it’s not the right opportunity for you right now but you never know what is coming in the future for the recruiter or the hiring manager. How you present yourself is key to building a strong relationship.
After decades as an in-house Vice-President of Finance and a recruiter in the finance sector I am still regularly surprised by the number of senior level candidates who fail to prepare thoroughly for interviews. At TALTRAN we focus on ensuring that we provide as much detail on job descriptions, company briefings and interview technique as we can. But the onus is on each candidate to set themselves apart by analyzing information, asking us questions and providing compelling reasons at interview about their suitability for the role. The correlation between sufficiently prepared candidates and those who are selected for roles is profound.
It is not unusual for the search and selection process to take more time than candidates expect. There are usually a number of candidates involved and managing the diaries of senior executives who are reviewing resumes and interviewing can be tricky. There are many other reasons that a client company might slip behind their intended timetable. A good recruiter will keep you up to date and be happy to take your calls even when they have nothing to report, but their ability to accelerate proceedings can be limited.
Delays can often occur after interview and it is not unusual for clients to want to keep candidates in reserve while they are trying to finalize an appointment with the preferred candidate. It’s a tricky time for the recruiter but you should expect them to be honest and transparent about the situation. It is for you to decide whether you are comfortable with being second or even third choice but many careers have blossomed when individuals have taken a role under those circumstances.
Understand that there is only one position to fill and usually several other candidates shortlisted. At TALTRAN Global we always want clients to have a choice because candidates have every right to decide a role is not for them even if they get an offer. This means that recruiters are often the bearer of bad news but the best of them do it with constructive feedback and a discussion about your future. Do not take it personally and do not blame the recruiter if you haven’t been selected for the role or for progression. Over time you will find that interview practice and dipping your toe into the labor market is rarely a waste of time.