I’ve worked with many recruiters during my career and I’ve heard many different styles of recruiting and interviewing candidates. Some recruiters are direct and upfront, unapologetic to a point. Some like the candidate to do most of the talking while they take notes. There have been a few recruiters I’ve worked with (note: past tense) who said they didn’t like interviewing in general, which is unusual considering that interviewing is a big part of what we do as recruiters. Some recruiters love connecting with candidates on the phone and hearing every little detail of what they have to say. I’ve worked with recruiters you can barely hear on the phone, while there are recruiters who you can hear three states away. Everyone has their own way of doing things, but in order to be successful as a recruiter, you have to make the interview process your own. The last thing I want to be is a recruiter who seems to read from a script and sounds  bored.

Personally, I like asking questions of candidates. I enjoy leading them to telling their story. Most of the time, candidates will answer questions I’ve already pinpointed and I can tell when they’re genuinely engaged and interested in a role and a company. I don’t consider myself an especially ‘sales-y’ recruiter (although many people will argue that recruiting is a sales job), but I try to match interest with opportunity. I don’t push or prod candidates in one direction, but I will definitely utilize all the information in front of me to gauge a candidate’s interest, either in a company or a specific set of positions. At times, I’ll also use that information to persuade. Aside from getting the candidate hired, the best thing you can do as a recruiter is build relationships with candidates to expand your network, pipeline them for future opportunities, and have genuine, non-automated interactions.

Overall, having an individual interview style is important. As time goes one, candidates may not remember exactly who they spoke with, but they’ll remember what the interview was like and how they felt after the call. So when speaking with a candidate, it’s important to ask yourself, What’s my interview style?

By Joe Griesbach | People Science Sr Talent Advisor