Discussions with Recruiters

In order to and an interview, you first have to pass by the person who is recruiting you. This is, usually, your first contact with the recruiter, the one who decides whether your CV deserves to get to the interviewer’s desk or not. Even if it is important to know what the recruiter usually does, it is also important to know what he doesn’t do, because you don’t want your chances of obtaining an interview to be spoiled just because your request was not appropriate. So here’s what you SHOULD NOT ask from a recruiter:

1. Don’t ask for his friendship and don’t be extremely friendly yourself

We all know that recruiters should all be kind, warm persons, friendly, always ready to help you and to guide you throughout your hiring process. However, they remain real professionals so you should treat them accordingly – be friendly, but not too familiar! It is preferable that you avoid personal conversations, jokes and physical contact for as much as possible.

At the end of a difficult interview with the manager-employer, you’ll probably be relieved to see the recruiter smile. Try not to respond with the same gesture because, even if the interview is practically over now, you should still concentrate yourself on the manager.

Golden rule: While you’re in the recruiter’s presence, DO NOT say or do anything you wouldn’t do in the presence of your boss!

2. Don’t ask the recruiter pieces of advice regarding your career

The purpose/objective of a recruiter is not that of helping you get a job, but that of helping you pass through the entire recruiting process of the company you want to work in in a easier way.
Recruiters are not career advisers! It is not appropriate to ask them to help you with the building of your CV, cover letter or career plan.

You can ask them questions about the company you intend to apply in, about the domain you’ll work in, but try to make reference only to the job you are applying for. And the most important thing: keep all good questions for the interview with the manager because this is the person which you really have to impress!

3. Don’t ask the recruiter about the other candidates

You should only be concerned about your own performance and your own evolution during the hiring process. Even if it is very tempting, don’t ask the recruiter information about the other candidates for the same job, because they don’t offer this type of info in general. Besides, you will appear as a person who is uncertain and insecure in what your qualities, skills and abilities are regarded.

Nevertheless, you are allowed to ask some questions about the recruiting process and about the respective job. Here are some examples:

  • Are you still recruiting candidates for this position?
  • How many candidates have applied for this job?
  • How would you describe the ideal candidate for this position?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting this job?

4. Don’t ask for preferential treatment!

Even if you’d like to, you’re not the only candidate for this position. And, even if recruiters always seem to be ready to help, their purpose is not to become your lawyers in front of the employer, but to find the suitable person for the position the company has available.

Never ask a recruiter to say a good word for you, especially to the manager, because if you are the suitable candidate for the job, they’ll hire you anyway. Also, don’t ask the recruiter to transmit a certain message from you to the manager. If you want to thank the latter, do it via an e-mail, via a thank you not, not via the recruiter.