First time working with a recruiter? Here’s how to show up for your initial screen!
Screens are the first part of the interview process. It’s your chance to make a great first impression as a candidate, and get a glimpse of your potential future employer. The initial screen is often with an outside recruiter, but that doesn’t mean you should treat this stage any differently. If you give the recruiter doubts about your viability as a professional candidate – even if you are giving the best answers – they may wonder, “Would the candidate do this in an interview with the client?” It’s important to treat your screen as if it is your first interview with the company (because it is). Here are three tips to make a great first impression:
1. Treat the screening interview as if you are interviewing with the hiring manager.
This is the first impression you will make. How you “show up” matters and recruiters will advocate for someone they feel confident about.
2. Be prepared!
Don’t over-answer the question or give an example from 5+ years ago – it’s been too long. Take a moment to think about what you have been doing recently, or better yet, look at the job ad posting and focus on the “What You Bring to the Table and What You Will be Doing” sections. Prepare by thinking of relevant examples ahead of your screen (this is great too before your first interview with the hiring team).
3. Answer the question asked.
It is OK to have some small periods of silence. Answer the question and then wait for the next one. Remember – the recruiter is taking notes for their client or hiring manager. If you’ve adequately answered with examples highlighting your experience, use the moment of silence to breathe and take a sip of water.
What NOT to do! Believe it or not, these are true stories:
- Take the screening call while driving. What’s worse? Using audible GPS during the call.
- Eat during a screening call or order Starbucks drive-thru.
- Allow the interviewer to fully ask the question before you start to answer it.
Best of luck making an excellent first impression and acing your initial screen! For more thoughts on working with a recruiter and nailing your interview, visit us here.