7 Things Recruiters Wish to Tell Candidates During Interviews

Ever wonder what recruiters truly have in mind during interviews? Here are 7 things recruiters wish to tell you as a candidate.
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Some companies use recruiting agencies to get access to talents that they’re unable to find on their own, reduce their turnover rate, and save time. Therefore, recruiters are responsible for finding the best possible candidates — the faster, the better.

If you have an upcoming interview with a recruiter, keep in mind that they’re an expert at this. That person has done this many times and is able to tell if you’re going to be a good team player in a few minutes.

Here are 7 things recruiters wish to tell candidates during interviews:

1. Don't complain, save it for your friends

Never complain or say negative things about your current employer, colleagues, or office culture during the interview. This screams “negative attitude”, and most employers are less likely to hire or promote employees who point fingers. 

If the question is somehow directed to this (for example, ‘why do you want to leave your current job’), be neutral and tell them what you learned from the experience. Show the recruiter that you’re positive and willing to take accountability.

2. We'll inform you about the salary, be patient

Here’s another important point recruiters wish to tell candidates. Recruiters understand that salary is one of your biggest questions. However, please don’t bring it up within the first five minutes of the interview, making you look pushy. 

Show your enthusiasm for the role and company, ask questions about the job description — anything that could add extra points for you. The recruiters will inform you about the salary range, so be patient.

3. Stay focus, keep your phone away

It may be hard for you to be detached from your phone, especially when waiting. But when it comes to job interviews, you may want to restrain yourself in order to give an excellent first impression. 

If you need to physically come to their office, keep your phone in your bag while waiting. If it’s an online interview, make sure to join the meeting five minutes before the schedule and strategically position your laptop so the recruiter won’t see any phone nearby.

In addition, be present during the interview and avoid glancing at your phone or wristwatch. It’s a little thing that recruiters notice; they might think you have more important things to do and try to wrap it up as soon as possible. More importantly, you’ll come off as disrespectful.

4. Be prepared, do your research

research for a job interview

Interviews are like dating; there are also red flags and turn-offs. One of the recruiters’ biggest turn-offs is candidates who show up without doing their research. “Candidates often show up to an interview for a specific role having taken no time to research it,” says Suzie McInerney, Director at Six Degrees Executive.

“If we’re speaking about a particular role, read the position description, jump on the company’s website and work out how you will fit in. You should be able to talk about your situation, your current employer and the role you’re going for. Know what your salary and notice period is.”

This is one of the things recruiters wish tell candidates: Showing up unprepared is a sign that you’re not taking the interview opportunity seriously. When you don’t even know or are familiar with your future role and company, you’ll end up wasting the recruiter’s time by asking questions that are supposed to be your homework.

5. Boasting about never take a day off doesn't impress us

During the interview, the recruiter may ask you about your strengths and weaknesses. When you boast about never taking a day off, hoping that we’ll perceive you as a hardworking person, it actually backfired. Being a workaholic isn’t a strength; it’s a weakness.

We’re looking for candidates who can work efficiently while still taking care of their health (mentally and physically). There’s no point in coming to the office when you’re sick and unable to concentrate. Worse, you might pass on the virus to your colleagues!

6. On attire: Remember to wear your pants/skirt

choosing outfit for an interview

This tip will never get old. The first thing that the recruiters notice when they see you is your attire, so make sure that you dress well and appropriately. Yes, that includes interviews for a role in a startup!

No matter how casual the working culture of your future company is, you want to show your best, professional self during the interview. Choose clothes that make you feel comfortable and fit well to your body, polish your shoes and comb your hair.

For men, match the colour of your belt and shoes. For women, avoid heavy accessories and makeup. It’s even better if you choose plainclothes (without patterns), and remember to iron them! Need a confidence booster? Wear a suit or blazer.

If you have scheduled online interviews, please don’t forget to wear your pants or skirt — in case you expose yourself, like the poor ABC reporter who went viral after he appeared on Good Morning America without pants.

7. Asking questions indicates your enthusiasm

I remember this tip very well because I heard it directly from a family member. She’s living in Singapore and holding a high position in the office. Once, when I stayed over at her house, she told me that she’d been interviewing some candidates for a role. At that time, I was looking for a job, so I asked her for some tips.

“I feel it’s weird if a candidate doesn’t ask any question. It shows that they are not interested enough for the role, not proactive, or maybe haven’t done any research,” she said.

I can’t agree more. Like I mentioned before, job interviews are like dating. It looks like a one-sided effort if the recruiter keeps asking questions, but the candidate doesn’t. Don’t know what to ask? I usually find some things to request from the job description. You can also ask about the office culture, dress code, remote flexibility, and so on.

These are the seven things that recruiters want you to know. In my opinion, all of them are rooted in the same thing — appreciation. If you appreciate the recruiter’s opportunity, effort, and time, it’s only natural to do so. 

Good luck with your interview!

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