Prepare for your Recruiter Interview

/ / best practices, interview, recruiter

Do you have an upcoming interview for a new recruiting job?

Top 5 Things You Need to Do to Prepare

1 Know your results.
It shocks us how few recruiters know how many hires they made in the last month or the last year. Even fewer know how those numbers compared to other recruiters. As crazy as it sounds, simply knowing this information will put you light years ahead of most recruiter candidates. (p.s. Put this information on your resume, so that it's easy to recall during the interview)

2 Know where your hires came from.
Whether you use your company's ATS/Talent Management System, or a simple excel spreadsheet, you should track and pull source information on your hires before you interview. Most recruiters guess where their candidates came from during the interview, which doesn't build confidence in the interviewer that you know how you spend your time - or how you should spend your time - to find them great people. Obviously, most companies are listening for your ability to focus on the right, high ROI source for the job. Be prepared to walk through your strategy for sourcing common candidate types via the web, social networking tools, referrals, networking/cold calling, etc. Show how you keep agency fees low and leverage your toolbox to be uber productive.

3 Know your close rate.
It will impress most interviewers if you know what your offer:hire rate is, and how that compares to other recruiters in your company. All companies want to hire good closers. Great companies want to hire recruiters who know the levers that predict close rate. So, if you end up interviewing with a great company, know why your candidates declined and the steps you regularly take to pre-close candidates.

4 Know your business, and how it differs from theirs.
We have to practice what we preach. You should know your current/old company's people-competitors and products inside and out . You should also research the company you're interviewing with. Differentiate yourself by knowing more than just what products or services they offer. You should also...

  • go on to their /jobs site and see what kind of people they hire
  • read their latest press releases
  • try out their product or service (when I first interviewed at Amazon.com in early 1998, I made sure I bought a book online before I went in to the interview, and I'm glad I did, as they asked me a lot of questions about the customer experience)
  • talk to anyone you know who works there (leverage your linkedin network) to learn about their growth plans, recruiting culture, and recruiting pain.
  • identify their people competitors (leverage linkedin to see where their current employees used to work, and where they went when they left this company)
  • read any company or employee blogs you can find, and see if glassdoor.com has comments about what it's like to interview or work there

Interviewers are absolutely blown away when recruiter candidates ask smart questions about their business, or relay examples that seem incredibly relevant to their company. The best interviewers are trying to answer one core question while they're interviewing you: How likely could this recruiter repeat the success they had at company X here at my company? You must help them answer this question by highlighting how you've overcome challenges or met goals that are similar to what you'd find if you worked for this new company.

5 Prepare examples.
Don't wing it. Spend some time writing out a few examples of your accomplishments, and review them the night before the interview. Practice saying them out loud. Most companies will ask the "tell me about a time you had to..." questions as they try to gather evidence that you can source, assess, and close candidates, and appropriately account manage - and push back on - difficult hiring groups. Quality examples that highlight your strengths is what gets you hired.