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How to Prepare for an Interview with a Headhunter or Executive Recruiter

Are you wondering how to prepare for an interview with a headhunter or executive recruiter?

Start by emailing your resume ahead of time. Your résumé is actually a factual advertisement for you and your brand as an individual, what you’ve accomplished, and how you’ve made an impact, no matter how large or small. Don’t worry too much if it is not fully updated. Or if you know it needs work, you can always let us know this. Headhunters get it!

Have a general idea of what you want to do next.

Prepare for the interview by asking yourself these 7 questions:

  1. What are the roles and responsibilities that you have enjoyed most, and why?
  2. Is there something don’t you enjoy doing, and why?
  3. At this juncture in your career, what is most important to you? (Examples might be: mentorship, growth, gaining leadership skills, etc.)
  4. Is there an industry are you targeting, and why?
  5. Do you have long-term career goals? (If you aren’t sure yet, that’s okay)
  6. Can you share which type of company culture is most attractive to you?
  7. What are some of the leadership traits you are hoping to see in your next manager?

Be on time, respectful, and mindful of the amount of time you have scheduled. Keep your conversation inside the time limit.

Stay open to sharing some things about yourself that may not be fun to talk about, but that are important for your continued career growth. For example, recruiters may ask you why you are looking to leave your current job. Or the head hunter may ask what you feel your current company or position is lacking.

Listen carefully to the recruiter’s questions and respond accordingly. Add any brief stories or examples that back up your responses in regards to stated accomplishments and achievements.

Ask good questions during the interview with the head hunter.

As the interview wraps up, feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Some examples of good questions to ask are:

· How does your process work? Is there anything I can do on my end to make things easier?

· How often should I check in?

Follow up after the interview with the recruiter.

A great way to really stand out when working with an executive recruiter is to follow up after the interview. Send an email in which you share a written summary about yourself and your professional accomplishments.

Offer to send over a list of professional references to the head hunter. Or, if you are comfortable with your recruiter, go ahead and send the list of references along with your summary. (I would suggest including a request to not contact your references without your prior knowledge).

Lastly, offer to be a resource for the recruiter should they need access to your professional network. Headhunters love partnering with candidates who see this as a long term beneficial relationship for all involved.

Find more Headhunter Hints from Gehl Search Partners on our YouTube channel.