Interview NEWSFLASH: The Recruiter Is Judging You!
It’s been my experience in hiring that candidates do not always know or may not fully understand the purpose of a first round interview when it is with someone on the HR team, usually a recruiter. I’ve had candidates who, 1) Are not prepared; 2) Don’t know anything about the company and/or position the interview is for; 3) Don’t ask any questions; 4) Refer me to their resumes for information; 5) Rush through the interview and ask to speak to someone on the “team.” The list goes on.
As a recruiter I am not interviewing you for the heck of it — I am actually evaluating you. So candidates, no matter if the interview is with a recruiter or a hiring manager, it’s your chance to make an impression, get into detail about your experience, and ask questions.
You may think that the experience listed on your resume speaks for itself, but I have news for you: your experience is only one piece of the puzzle.
In expansion stage companies, hiring the right candidates is essential to success and growth – and it’s not something that simply requires a particular skill set. In addition to your tangible experience, I am assessing fundamental qualities such as:
- Interpersonal Skills
I am asking questions to find out whether you did your research, gauge your knowledge of the industry, how you present yourself, what is important to you, behavioral patterns, reasons behind your career progression, and your follow up (among others things) in order to evaluate whether you have the attributes that are necessary to fit and succeed in this particular position and company.
Candidates, when you are speaking with HR, be professional and be detailed when talking about your experience, even when you think we may not totally “get it.” Focusing on skills and job responsibilities is not necessarily our approach, because there is so much more to hiring than technical skills.
Now, let’s get real. These intangible qualities are not easy to evaluate in an interview, but initial contacts are definitely a starting point. From the very first interaction with a potential candidate, a story starts. And we are keeping a record. Your story continues to be written as the hiring process moves forward, not only through your answers and actions, but also through the feedback from interviewers and references. Once we know your story, we evaluate whether or not it’s a fit.
So candidates, if you think the first round interview with HR/recruiting is simply an unnecessary or unproductive step, think again.