Tips for Talent: Getting the most out of your first interview with a recruiter

Tips for getting the most out of your recruiter interview

The first interview you have with your recruiter in my opinion is equally as important as your first interview with any potential employer. This is your big opportunity to begin to work closely with your recruiter to ensure they have a clear understanding of exactly what you are searching for, your level of skill and experience, as well as your personality. After all we are there to help, and we need to be just as aware as you are of the desired outcome – to find you your ideal job.

Get recruiters selling on your behalf, get them to be your biggest advocate and your best ‘reference’.

Below are a few easy steps to make sure that the first meeting is as beneficial as possible.


  • Like any meeting, it is always key to come prepared.
  • From the initial conversation with your recruiter you should already have a clear understanding of the job description if there is one, so prepare questions that will help you get a deeper understanding of the specific role.
  • Otherwise, you may already have some ideas of companies that would interest you.
  • Note down companies you have already approached and inform your recruiter.
  • Bring along all that is required, be it a copy of your CV, your portfolio or some examples of your work.
  • Leave enough time for your first meeting — at least one hour.

Interview questions

  • The recruiter will have a list of questions that are specifically formulated for each individual role. Make sure you answer these clearly and honestly. I can not express the importance of this enough. This is the big opportunity to begin to work with your recruiter to match your experience, qualifications and personality to the role.
  • Make sure to ask your own questions.  It is important for us to ensure you have a clear understanding of the role.
  • Discuss with your recruiter what you have specifically enjoyed in past roles, and what exactly you are searching for in your next role.
  • Recruiters have a very good understanding of the current market, this is your chance to gain this knowledge, so again, ask questions.

Be upfront

  • Tell us everything. All aspects, both big and small, that are important to you in your desired role. Make sure that at the end of the interview the recruiter now holds a very clear understanding of who you are and what you are looking for in your professional career.
  • Be sure to tell them what your TRUE motivations for moving are. Don’t inflate them. Don’t exaggerate or understate this. eg If you want a new job because your current hours are too long – say so.
  • When it really comes down to it, exactly what would make you change roles? Tell your recruiter.

Be yourself
Recruiters want to know what type of person you are. We always consider team culture when matching talent with our clients. Understanding your personality is important to help us make a good match.

By the end of your interview with your recruiter, you should feel very comfortable that they now hold a very comprehensive profile of what you are looking for, your experience and personality.

Remember, this is your big opportunity to leave the recruiter in the very best position to assist you in finding your next exciting role, so make sure you make the most of it.


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