Aaron Green, founder of Professional Staffing Group, provided some tips for how to get the most from a recruiter by suggesting what not to say.]]>
"I'm just meeting with you [the recruiter] — it's not like this is a real interview."
While recruiters are not the ultimate decision maker, they do make the decision on whether or not to present you to their client in the first place. In your interview with the recruiter you want to dress and behave as you would for a company for which you want to work.
You can be more open with the recruiter as to your preferences, but when it comes to professionalism, bring your A-game.]]>
"I hate recruiters."
Do you really mean it when you say this? Often I find that people who say this do so because they had a bad experience with a recruiter in the past. If that's the case, my advice is to communicate your preferences for establishing a better working relationship this time. Focus on the end result, i.e. finding a new job, and how the recruiter may be your only link to some opportunities, such as those that aren't advertised.]]>
"I'm only interested in the highest salary I can get."
It's in the recruiter's best interest to get you the highest salary possible (often their compensation is based on the salary) but excessive focus on salary is never a good angle in an interview as the recruiter might screen you out as an unreliable candidate. You should explain your salary requirements but only after explaining your career ambitions and job preferences.]]>
"I forgot my resume and sorry I am late."
Be prepared and punctual. Once you get to the interview stage with a recruiter, it's an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism.]]>
"I have very narrow and specific needs and requirements."
There's nothing wrong with knowing what you want in a job and a recruiter should work to find you opportunities that meet your criteria. When a recruiter asks what you're looking for, tell them, but also let them know which criteria are most critical to you and which are more in the "nice to have" category. If your requirements are too narrow at the start, the recruiter won't have anything to show you.]]>
"I'm open to anything."
If you're open to anything it means you're not focused on anything either. You have to give the recruiter some where to start. Recruiters like to know the candidate is flexible and open-minded, but they also appreciate honesty and direct feedback. It wouldn't be smart to send the candidate to every open position the recruiter is working on.]]>
"That's in the past. I don't want to talk about that."
Refusing to explain something, or worse, lying about an aspect of your work history is a real no-no. In general, don't try to hide or cover up something in your job history. Recruiters can coach you through difficult conversations and work with you on the best way to explain even a negative situation.]]>