Recruiters – can you answer these 3 questions?

When I first talk to a recruiter who is looking for a new job, I will always ask them 3 questions.

The answers separate the good recruiters from the average. They tell me whether a person takes their recruitment career seriously or are just hopping from one job to the next .They indicate whether a person is really committed to securing a new role or just dipping their toe in the water. They also highlight if someone is not telling the whole truth and has maybe something to hide. Not surprisingly, they are the same 3 questions that a client will always first ask me about a candidate before committing to interviewing them.

If you are serious about securing a new recruitment role you absolutely need to be able to answer these 3 questions:

What did you bill last month, quarter, year ?
An exact figure to the dollar please. About……roughly….in the region of…..not sure….I’ll get back to you…..won’t do. Any recruiter worth their salt will know exactly what they have billed and be able to give a detailed breakdown. If you can’t tell me, then either you don’t take your job seriously enough, or your billings are not that impressive (in which case it is better to be upfront and explain why).

Why are you looking for a new job?Answers like “I need a new challenge” or “I have outgrown my role” are too safe, wishy washy and are almost definitely not the real reason you have decided to look for a new job. There is no correct answer, but if you cannot be specific, I will question whether you really are serious about moving jobs, or worse, hiding the real reason.

What are you looking for?
If you are serious about your career then you will have thought about what you need from your next role. So answers like “Just the right role” or something equally vague makes you sound at best like you don’t take your career seriously, and at worst a bit desperate.

So, before you put your CV together, or think of all the great things you can tell a future employer about yourself, make sure you can first nail down these 3 questions. Otherwise you may struggle to get past first base.

Luke Collard

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