Following up after a first interview with a recruitment consultant
You applied for a job through a recruitment consultant and have attended the first job interview. You like what you heard about the role and hope the recruiter liked what he/she heard from you. Now what?
Sending a ‘thank you’ email is always a good idea but a phone call is even better. You can do both. The follow up you choose will depend on how the interview went.
When you fit the brief
Be honest about the story so far. Did you meet all the criteria for the job or most of it? Did the recruitment consultant spend as much time selling you on the job as he or she did asking you questions about your skills and experience?
If that is the case then it sounds like you did really well. What you want now is two things:
1. To stay top of mind with the recruiter. During this part of the process teh recruiter is the gate keeper to this job. If you play your cards right, he or she should also be your best advocate for the role.
2. Information that you can use for the second job interview.
So, if you have done pretty well, send the recruiter an email thanking him/her for their time and also re-stating your interest in the role. Do this the day after the interview. It doesn’t have to be long but it does need to be both courteous and upbeat.
Then, a few days later phone the recruiter with some follow up questions. It might be hard getting the recruiter on the phone. Consultants are so often on the run juggling client appointments with candidate screening and follow up admin tasks. Be persistent without stalking and remain calm and polite. If phone tag starts or you get no response, you can always email again.
Often candidates only learn who the employer is at that first recruiter interview. That said, surely you must have some more questions. It is rare to think of everything you need to know during the time allocated to an initial job interview. Now that you have had a chance to think about the role and read up on the employer, there must be more you want to know about the role itself or the direct report, the team or the culture. All this information will prove useful to your preparation for a second interview.
On that subject, you also want to find out what the next step in the recruitment process will be and how soon it will be. What number candidate were you? Usually the next step will be a first interview with the employer. A second interview with the employer might then follow with more senior team members. It all depends on the role.
Following up with the recruiter will also help you stay fresh in his or her mind as they talk to other candidates.
In cases where you have interviewed with the recruiter only to realise that the job is either not for you or not something you are suited to/qualifed for then drop the consultant and email and be honest. Again, it is always best to start the email by thanking the interviewer for his/her time. Follow this with a polite sentence or two putting the consultant in the picture and inviting them to contact you should an opportunity come up you would be suited for.
Sometimes a recruiter calls someone in but says the job has gone. This is a little tricky. Was there a job at all? Recruiters are not allowed to post fake job ads to collect resumes or candidates so if you suspect that is the case then an email follow up can’t hurt or help. If the recruiter is a well known organsiation then hopefully this will not be an issue and so sending a ‘thank you’ serves as a first step in developing a relationship with that consultant should something come up. You can always add a line at the end such as, “I will check in by phone down the track.”