Monday, July 30, 2012

Are you a "Nodder" or a "Note Taker"?

Imagine you are starting a new job (or engagement) and your new boss is showing you the ropes and training you on your new responsibilities.  Do you follow them around nod alot and say "uh huh", "uh huh" to everything they show you or do you take notes, ask questions and make sure you have a clear understanding of what is expected?  If you're a "nodder" and not a "note taker" chances are that you will regularly have to go back to your boss or one of your co-workers and ask questions about how to do things because you did not absorb all the necessary information during training.  It's also likely that you will not be retained at your new position because your boss and co-workers don't have tons of extra time to re-train you on things you should already know.  If you're a note taker it's likely that you will rarely have to request assistance since not only can you refer back to your notes, but it is a proven fact that note takers retain more information.
Now... let's apply the above scenario to the interview process.  You are seeking a new engagement or new employment and you are preparing for your initial interview with the recruiter.  Do you assume you can absorb all the information that will transpire during the conversation or will you take notes?  Do you ready a list of questions that you have such as:  Responsibilities?  Client location?  Contract Length?  Hourly rate or salary?  etc?
Do you make sure your important questions are answered during the interview?  If a recruiter cannot answer all your questions are you prepared to ask them when you interview with the client?
Lately I have had more than one instance where a candidate has come back to me post-interview... not just after my interview but after their client interview and ask me the following questions:

Where was the client location again?  How much was the pay rate?  What were the responsibilities of the job again?  Are benefits offered?

These type of questions clearly show that the candidate was paying little or no attention during the recruiter interview or the client interview.  This also shows an incredible lack of professionalism and can show a lack of interest as well.  Unfortunately if this line of questioning is posed to the client it can make the recruiter appear as if they didn't provide the necessary information to the candidate during the initial interview which reflects poorly on the recruiter and their company.  I can guarantee you that a good recruiter is taking notes as they interview the candidate to make sure they understand the candidate's qualifications, monetary desires and other necessary information so they can clearly provide those facts to their client. 

Obviously the candidates that are on the ball, prepared for an interview and have a firm understanding of the opportunity are the most likely to get hired.  By taking notes and making sure all your initial questions are answered during your recruiter interview you will be setting yourself up for success.

If the recruiter is unable to answer basic questions, do not agree to allow them to submit your resume until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

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