When it comes to an interview, a recruiter can be your best friend. There’s no one better when it comes to helping you prepare for that very first employer impression. Even if you feel like you don’t interview well (in fact, especially if this is the case), consider working hands-on with your recruiter to put your best foot forward. Here’s how a recruiter can help you interview well and land your next job.
Tips and Takeaways From Recruiters
Recruiters can help candidates learn how to stress their strengths and de-emphasize their weaknesses in effective ways. The recruiter you’re working with may ask you to write down four or five strengths and weaknesses, along with a one-paragraph example of how you’ve exhibited your strengths on the job and overcome your weaknesses. The recruiter may even have you talk about these skills, practicing the actual interview process. If they don’t, why not ask them for help? Recruiters are expert interviewers and see countless resumes every day. They’re a resource that wants you to land a job as much as you do.
Recruiters may help you practice the universally accepted correct interview answers. Each answer should be about two minutes long. There’s a concept many recruiters know and teach their candidates called “Say a Few Words” (SAFW). This means:
- S stands for the opening statement on each question answered.
- A is amplify, which is a clarifying statement to push the point home.
- F is to remind you to provide a few examples that illustrate your point.
- W is the reminder to “wrap it up.”
SAFW leaves the interviewer, whether it’s on the phone or in person, with a concise but effective way to get to know a candidate. It backs a statement up with a short behavioral example illustrating your point. Then it closes the deal, wrapping each question up in a nice package.
Another tip is that recruiters may ask you to write-up two of your most important accomplishments to date. This can include your work on a team as well as an individual goal met. What did you learn? How does it illustrate the job skills the employer is seeking?
The goal is writing up this document is that many times the person being interviewed can get nervous, which may make them forgetful. Taking time to write this down may help you retain the information, even when an employer puts you on the spot. (Especially when the employer puts you on the spot!)
The recruiter may have you practice the universal question: I read the job description and your company’s website, but could you tell me in your own words what you think the job entails? This allows the candidate to take control of the conversation and get the employer or hiring manager talking about what’s important to them. Then the interviewee can zip back in with their SAFW set of job qualifications that sell them for the position.
Recruiters, Not Diamonds, Are a Girl’s (and Boy’s) Best Friend
The Top Stack team is different. Our job is to provide you with the coaching you need to land your dream job. That’s why we partner with our employer-clients to understand exactly what they’re looking for. We can help you prepare for your next big move. Contact us today to start the conversation.