Congrats! You landed an interview with a recruiter, so you want to leave a powerful first impression and make it to the next step in the application process.
Keep In Mind: This interview is likely the first of several before you secure a job offer. If you are targeting senior management or executive-level roles, you can expect four to five (or more) interviews before there’s a decision.
In this article, I cover how to prepare for an interview with a recruiter, what questions to ask, and how to follow up afterward.
How To Prepare For An Interview With A Recruiter
Interviews with recruiters are different from other interviews. They’re primarily focused on confirming that you meet the basic qualifications for the role. Recruiter interviews are also an opportunity for you to ask questions about the company and culture. I advise focusing your interview preparation efforts across the following three main areas.
First, conduct adequate research on the company. Take time to review the website, social media, and recent press mentions. Additionally, look up the company on Team Blind and Reddit. This research enables you to speak decisively about why you want to work for this employer rather than one of its competitors.
Second, get in the mindset to market yourself and your unique experience to the recruiter. Most recruiter interviews begin with some variation of the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Use your response to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and culture. Moreover, be prepared to speak to your biggest strengths.
Third, come to the interview with a solid grasp of the job posting. Practice speaking to each item in the description. Importantly, come equipped with a memorable example or story for each bullet point (i.e., requirements, qualifications, job duties).
What Questions To Ask During An Interview With A Recruiter
Interviews with recruiters are more than just an opportunity to share your experience, knowledge, skills, and interest in a company. They are also an opportunity to vet the company and see if it is somewhere you can see yourself working. With this in mind, you want to come prepared with questions for the recruiter.
Avoid the mistake of crafting questions for the sake of asking them. Instead, think about what you truly want to know about the company, culture, and position. Then, develop questions that address your genuine interests. The following are a few questions to serve as an inspiration.
- Why did you decide to work for this company over a competitor?
- What professional development opportunities are available to employees?
- How does your organization support work/life balance?
This article I wrote for Forbes includes additional questions to ask during an interview to stand out. I hope it serves as inspiration. Again, focus on asking the interviewer questions about topics that genuinely pique your interest.
How To Follow Up After An Interview With A Recruiter
Demonstrate your communication skills and follow-through abilities by sending a thank you email to your recruiter. I advise sending this message within 24 hours of your interview. If at all possible, try to send it the same day, as recruiters often make decisions quickly.
Your follow-up message does not have to be lengthy. Instead, aim for a handful of sentences that reinforce your interest in the company and role, highlight what makes you fabulous, and express your gratitude to the recruiter for their time and consideration.
If you are managing multiple job interviews, you can also mention this in your email. You want to be honest and keep your recruiter abreast of how far along you are in conversations with other companies.
Important: Do not be afraid to follow up if you interviewed with a recruiter and have not heard back. This can be as simple as sending a quick email asking:
I hope this message finds you fabulous.
I am checking in to see if you need anything additional from me to facilitate the application process.
Recruiters are exceptionally busy professionals. A quick follow-up message can facilitate an update on your job application.
Reminder: Nailing an interview with a recruiter is just one step in the interview process. Landing a job you love is a multi-step journey that takes time, energy, and effort. You’ve got this!