Experience with recruiter interview preparation

Friday, August 8th, 2008 - Uncategorized


Eric asks: Having worked with a recruiter, what was your experience with interview preparation? Interview preparation is part of the recruiting process. I am interested to hear your experience about the type and amount of interview preparation you received from recruiters you have worked with.

Specifically:
How much time did the recruiter spend in preparation?
What did the recruiter do to prepare you?
What was the content of the preparation?
How well prepared did you feel going into the interview?

Is this different between a Retained Recruiter (receives a fixed fee up front to fill the position) or a Contingency Recruiter (receives a fee only if his/her candidate is hired).

In answer:
I think 95 candidates out of any 100 asked the same question would say “what preparation?”

In background, most recruiters start as fixed fee trainee’s with most of their fee paid up front by the employer, and its a volume approach to processes and complete as many filled jobs as possible in the shortest possible time scale. These jobs are mainly skills dependent – ie, you have the skills, qualifications or experience or not – and hence not a lot of interview preparation is required.

Hence, when these recruiters move on to contingency fee placements they often employ the same fixed fee learnt procedures – as many placements as possible in the shortest possible time scale. This creates problems for both the candidate, as well as the employer – often both complain about a mutual lack of briefing, and hence unsuitability.

A good recruiter should give a candidate adequate pre-vetting, briefing and preparation before they meet the potential employer. It is in their interest, both in terms of fee note billings and reputation with the employer/customer. How much time is that – I would question the recruiters selection criteria and the candidates suitability if that was more than one/two telephone interviews of about one hour in total, and one/two physical meetings again of around one hour each before the candidate meets the potential employer: either the capability and fit is there or not, but most candidates need some briefing and preparation

If a recruiter approaches you about a position, then I always suggest to candidates that their first question should be “where did you get my details from,” and another should be “and how do you/your company get paid?” A more motivated and focused recruiter – normally on a contingency fee – will be paid more after the chosen candidate is in place, rather than before. If its a fixed fee recruitment process with most monies paid before placement, then expect to be treated like a piece of meat going through a grinder – my sincere apologies on behalf of my chosen profession.

Good Luck!

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