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Recruiters Share Their Favorite Ways to Set Up Candidates for Success

At Planet Professional, we love making enduring matches between our candidates and hiring companies. But we know job seekers want and deserve more – whether they get a job through us, another recruiter, or on their own. Here, our expert recruiters share some of their best tips for setting up candidates for job search success.

Sara Ferraioli: Getting there

Some of the best insight I can give a candidate before an interview is specific directions and information on how to get to a client site. I know this sounds basic, but being lost can mean a candidate is off their game because they couldn’t find the building or went to a wrong entrance. I thoroughly explain directions and share landmarks so they know they are on track.

Also, many offices have security checks, so I always remind candidates to give themselves plenty of time for check in and to bring a photo ID. The last thing any job seeker wants is to be late and stressed for a meeting because they didn’t plan for security.

I also describe the office space—what the lobby looks like and what the office in general is like. This level of detail allows the candidate to picture the day of the interview and to go in more prepared by knowing what to expect when they arrive.

James Doherty: Personality types

One of the unique benefits we offer our candidates is a deep insight into the people with whom they are interviewing. Because of our long-standing relationships and regular interaction with our clients, we understand their personalities, likes and dislikes, and what they are looking for in a candidate and during an interview. Like all of us, hiring managers have biases, pet peeves, things that get them excited, and things that turn them off.

Once we find the candidates we believe are the right fit, we can take it a step further and coach them on the best ways to present themselves to each hiring manager. For example, we may have a client who especially dislikes being interrupted or spoken over, which can happen inadvertently when a candidate is nervous or excited. This insight helps us coach the candidate by reminding him to actively listen and to breathe before speaking. By knowing these kinds of details and preparing our candidates in advance, they are going in stronger than their competition.

Rae Sanders: Write them down

I always tell candidates going in for an interview to make sure they have their questions written down. I still feel scarred by a very awkward interview I went on when I was fresh out of college. It was very long and thorough. At the end, the interviewer asked me if I had any questions and I looked at her blankly thinking, “We’ve been in here for an hour and a half, you answered all my questions.” All I could do was say no and she took that for disinterest in the job.

If I had written my questions down, referred to them, and then replied, “I had many questions coming in, but I think you answered them,” she would have known I was in fact very interested in the job!

Stuart Coleman: I want the job

The one piece of advice I give everyone is to make sure the hiring manager knows you want the job. In sales, they tell you to make sure you ask for the business. While not everyone is applying for a sales job, you are selling yourself during an interview. I can’t tell you how many times I talk to a candidate before and after an interview and hear how much they really like and want the job. Then I talk to the hiring manager and hear something like, “They were fine…Nice enough, seem like they could do the job, but I really couldn’t tell if they wanted it.”

The candidate was so focused on answering questions and proving that they were qualified for the position they completely forgot to let the manager know they actually wanted it. So make sure that, at a minimum, you close with, “Thank you so much for your time. I really enjoyed getting to know about you, the job, and the company. Not only do I feel like there is a good fit here, but believe that I really could add value. I am very interested in the role and hope that you consider me.”

Photo credit: Canva

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