Here’s a neat little tidbit about recruiters. They’re real life people and everyday is full of disappointment. E-recruiting, much like E-dating, has many success stories. You’ve probably met a lot of happy couples who met online, but for every happy couple, there are 10 horror stories of people showing up 10 years older or 50 pounds heavier than their picture. The sad part about recruiting is that you don’t get to date the winners for very long. You give them to the hiring manager and then you have to start all over again.
A little insight into the process
First the recruiter crafts their profile:
I like long walks on the beach, Reggae music and I love to cook. I’m looking for someone with 5 years’ experience in marketing, experience with popular software with excellent attention to detail and willing to work in a remote location.
…then we sit back and laugh, knowing that person probably doesn’t exist, especially in the remote region the hiring manager needs them in. This is basically the equivalent of asking for someone with a six-figure income who is ok with the fact that you’re a single parent of five. If you ever see someone in a restaurant writing on a laptop, swirling a glass of brandy and laughing maniacally like a Disney villain, but crying at the same time...that’s a recruiter having a normal day.
Speed Dating Round
Recruiters schedule entire days of interviews just to meet the people, make sure the person matches the profile and isn’t a complete douchebag. You need to get through the first date to get to the second date with the hiring manager.
Step 1 – Make sure you can back up what’s written on your resume.
You were chosen to be interviewed because of several things you wrote on your resume. We’re going to ask you about them to make sure you did them. Be prepared to elaborate on specific projects.
Step 2 – Know yourself really well.
You are going to be asked to give an overview of your work history as well as what you’re passionate about. Print off your resume and make notes if you have to. Just be prepared to talk about this. It sounds like a given, but a lot of people fail here.
Step 3 – Be Charming
I interviewed a woman who had her own tagline. She told me she was “a small town girl with a big city attitude.” I never forgot her name as a result. Just like people don’t forget a good date, they certainly don’t forget a bad date.
Fact: Sometimes the HR guy won’t know all of the intricacies of the app development position you applied for.
Fact: They will be completely aware of the condescending attitude you have towards them.
Here is a list of things that will not get you to a second date
· Name dropping: Tell me on your resume what companies you worked for, don’t spend a significant amount of time asking me if I know so and so. I’m not impressed by the fact that you worked for Donald Trump unless you can effectively tell me what you did for him.
· Questioning my questions: If I ask you to elaborate on something, don’t ask me why I want to know that or how is that relevant to this position unless the question makes you uncomfortable for some reason. Often recruiters will want to know about all of your skills (even the ones that don’t pertain to the position you applied for). They can contact you for other positions, unless you were uncooperative.
· A Shi**y Tone: Be intelligent, but don’t get smart. You would be surprised at how many professionals, after they realize they’re talking to a lowly recruiter, develop a smarmy attitude. Newsflash! In order to be hired, HR still needs to want to work with you.
I actually had an interview where the applicant told me to go to his website, because I could stand to learn a little about the field I was recruiting for…resume deleted.
Don’t be a douchebag. We share all of our notes with the manager.
Example: John Smith, 10 years of marketing experience, excellent portfolio, possibly overqualified for the position. Complete ass. If you hire him, I’m quitting.
Bottom Line: Most successful organizations are looking for someone who is a cultural fit. Being an attractive candidate does not give you carte blanche to be an ass. Getting through the first round is not a difficult task. Know your resume, be confident and courteous and welcome to date #2.