(Excerpts derived from the BlueSteps webinar, “How to Ace your Next Executive Search Interview” on February 28, 2018 The target audience was C level professionals preparing to meet with a retained executive search recruiter)
About the Retained Executive Recruiter
The retained executive recruiter is like a casting director for the client. The recruiter wants to know: “Can I see putting the candidate on stage with the client?”
Recruiters will have a handle on the organization’s leadership priorities and sensibilities but will be less able to speak about all the details of a job or organization—which you can learn from the hiring manager (if you make it onto that stage!)
There is an aspect of long-term value to discussing a new position with a recruiter. The recruiter, the client, and you, the candidate, are exploring possible relationships with each other; you may get placed by the recruiter for this position or for another position later on if this one does not work out.
Preparing to Meet with the Recruiter
When preparing for an interview with the recruiter, rehearse your questions and prepare to share your accomplishments. Experienced interviewers tend to focus more on what you have actually done rather than pose hypothetical questions.
Do your homework! If you don’t do due diligence in preparing for your interview, recruiters may make assumptions ranging from lack of interest in the opportunity to concerns that you will show up unprepared to meet with the client. Use LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Google, etc. and anticipate making one or two references to your research in the interview. Remember, the recruiter will present their impression of you to the client!
With the application of new pay equity laws, recruiters will be less likely to ask for your salary history. Consider and rehearse the salary range you would be seeking to make a change.