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Three things recruiters wish you knew about applications and interviews

Careers advice / Monday 22 May 2017 / Peggy McGregor

Following the success of our first article on three things our recruiters wish you knew, we’ve put together a second wish list, giving you even more insights into the ‘black box’ of recruiting.

This time, we’re addressing common misunderstandings that occur during the application and interview stages. This can be a tense time for everyone, with both parties investing a lot of time and effort. Trust is crucial to making this phase as efficient and stress-free as possible, but in order to put trust in your recruiter, it helps to understand the motives and processes behind their actions.

With this in mind, here are the top three things our recruiters want you to know about the application / interview stage:

#1 Radio silence frustrates us too

Applying for a job is often an intense experience, so after the initial excitement it can be unsettling if everything suddenly goes quiet. Not knowing the outcome is frustrating, and some candidates may even assume that their recruiter has dropped them or is trying to let them down gently. This is never the case with our recruiters – not only because we value openness and long-term relationships with our candidates, but also because it would be counterintuitive to our goal of placing you in a role. If you haven’t been successful with one vacancy, we’ll be keen to match you up with one that’s better suited to you.

So in that case, why haven’t you got an answer yet? It’s usually because we haven’t received an answer ourselves. There are many reasons why clients may be slow to respond, ranging from an overload of applications to other work commitments taking priority. These issues are particularly common in businesses with small HR / talent acquisition teams, or where the person doing the hiring is processing applications on top of their usual duties.

“We’re diligent about following up, but we also want to ensure the client makes a well thought-out choice rather than a rushed one.” Thomas Parsons, Business Manager at Hobson Prior Australia.

Our recruiters make every effort to assist clients with the administrative work, and to advise them on creating efficient recruitment processes. They’ll also strive to provide you with as many updates as possible – even if it’s just to say nothing’s been decided yet. Radio silence frustrates us too, but we remind ourselves that the vacancy is just one of many tasks on our client’s to-do list.

#2 Compliance is a big deal

The recruitment industry is governed by strict ethical and legal regulations, which we need to be confident of meeting at all times. This is why our recruiters will ask for things like photocopies of your passport and details of references well in advance of an interview. It may seem like a hassle to get all your documents sorted this early in the recruitment process, but it will save time in the long run and ensure there’s no doubt in the employer’s mind as to your eligibility for the role.

“You don’t want the fuss of sorting out paperwork at the offer stage, as it just gets in the way of a smooth process. The earlier the better, for all parties involved.”Nicola Davison, Recruitment Consultant at Hobson Prior Australia.

#3 Pre and post-interview calls are essential

Some candidates feel a pre-interview preparation call with their recruiter isn’t necessary, but regardless of experience this certainly isn’t the case. Just as every vacancy and employer is unique, so will your interview be, and you need to have tailored answers prepared. Your recruiter will have a close relationship with the employer, often having filled roles with them before, so they’ll have in-depth knowledge of what the client is looking for and can help you shape your responses accordingly.

However, your interview preparation shouldn’t start and end with your recruiter. Before the call it’s important to spend time researching the company and re-familiarising yourself with your CV; afterwards, you should go over what you’ve learnt and practice, practice, practice.

Finally, it’s important to contact your recruiter shortly after completing the interview. Again, some candidates may feel this is a nicety that isn’t necessary, but for your recruiter it’s a chance to gain essential information before speaking to the client. Understanding how the interview went and your feelings about the vacancy will enable us to give useful feedback and optimise your chances of securing your desired offer.

Meet our team

We’re always happy to hear from talented professionals working in the life sciences industry. If you’d like to hear about our latest vacancies, or simply discuss your long-term career plan, why not get in touch with us? Alternatively, visit our Meet the Team page to learn more about our specialist recruitment consultants.

Careers advice / Monday 22 May 2017 / Peggy McGregor