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What to Prepare Before your First Call with an Internal Recruiter

Adam Dangoor 26 May, 2021 | 2 min read

A call with an internal recruiter is often the first voice or video interaction that you have with the company you are applying to work for. Making a good impression can help you get through to the next round, and it can also have other positive effects. Having a recruiter on your side means that there is someone who wants to make sure that you are responded to in a timely manner and that there is an extra person in the hiring discussion who is pushing for your success.

Try to make a human connection with the recruiter. Treat them with respect, and be positive. Reward their trust by putting in effort into the interviews that they set you up with.

In all conversations, show a positive attitude.

Fortunately, most internal recruiter calls are fairly similar. And, as you can mostly know what to expect, you can come well prepared with answers to the following questions.

Tell me about yourself

Have an answer which is confident, positive, and forward-looking. This does not have to be your whole career or life, summarised, but instead, it should be a small insight into your relevant experience.

For example:

I have a background in full-stack web development and I have delivered a number of successful projects. My favorite projects have been those which have involved healthcare and working closely with a team. Right now I am looking for a role that will let me use my experience in those areas to make a difference.

Why do you want to work for this company?

Research the company to come up with a solid answer to this question. Read the job spec thoroughly, find out what the company does, and read their “mission” or “values”. Understand the company size and its brand tone.

For example:

I chose to apply to ComponentLogisticsCompany because I am interested in the whole topic of component logistics. I touched on the domain in a recent role and I would love to take that further. I read about your values, and in particular, ComponentLogisticsCompany’s focus on customer happiness really resonated with me.

What are you looking for in a job?

Be positive, for example by focusing on what you have enjoyed about past roles, rather than what you are looking to avoid. Avoid discussing details that you know this role cannot fulfill. Talk about growth, mentoring, and the company mission.

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What compensation are you looking for?

If this is asked in an early interview, I recommend not giving a number. This can be to your disadvantage - you may spend time interviewing and if it does not work out, you may have wasted some time. However, once the company wants to hire you, this can be great leverage for later negotiation. You may also discover details about the company during the interview process which could change your answer.

A great answer might be “I am in the early stages of my job search, and I am looking for a competitive offer”.

If the recruiter or hiring manager pushes for a number, be prepared with a higher range number and say “Money is not the most important thing for me. However, I am looking for a competitive offer and that seems to be around $/NUMBER/”.

What is your experience with /TECHNOLOGY/?

Avoid nuance and modesty here. You might not be sure how deep the recruiter’s technical understanding is, and they may simply be checking whether you are worth interviewing further.

When could you start?

Be prepared for this question so you do not regret your answer. For example “on the 19th of September” or “two weeks after an offer” are great answers.

At the end of all conversations, thank the recruiter for their time, and demonstrate that you are excited about the opportunity.

Best of luck!