Preparing for a Courtesy Interview with a Job Recruiter
Generally, when you’re working with a recruiter, you’re working with a messenger. They can relay to you the salary range and benefits of the job, and pass on your expectations to the person responsible for making the hiring decision. Recruiters can also act a bit like gatekeepers — if you don’t impress them, you won’t be put forward for any jobs they might have on their lists. But recruiters get paid for finding the right person for the job so, if you’ve shown them you have the skills and experience they’re looking for, they will be interested in meeting with you.
This first meeting is called a courtesy meeting, and it’s your chance to impress the recruiter and give them a good idea of what you have to offer, so they put you forward for jobs best suited to you and what you want.
Unless the recruiter giving you a courtesy interview is recruiting for a position that’s perfect for you — which is very unlikely — focus on providing the recruiter with information that may qualify you for a future search. Follow these practices:
Always give the recruiter a current resume.
Get straight to the point; don’t take more than 20 minutes of the recruiter’s time.
Explain your experience, accomplishments, and skills.
If the recruiter asks whether you know someone qualified for a specific position for which the recruiter is trying to collect candidates, rack your brain to be accommodating if you know someone who fills the bill. The recruiter may remember your favour for future searches more appropriate for you.
Thank the recruiter for time invested in you.
Don’t play the role of a coy, amateur job seeker. The recruiter is in no business for games. You wouldn’t ask for a courtesy interview if you didn’t need a job. Your conciseness and ability to communicate efficiently count. Review your resume and get to the point.