What do these questions from Recruiters actually mean?
Tell us about yourself?
This is usually one of the first questions in an interview used to break the ice after the firm handshake has long loosened at reception. Refrain from telling us about your cheating spouse or how your dog ate your cat. It's an opportunity to tell us about your schooling achievements, your personality traits, interests and work history.
What are your reasons for wanting to leave?
Be honest from the get go about your reasons for wanting to leave. Refrain from throwing your current company under the bus as this might seem like you don't take responsibility for whatever has gone wrong in your current position. We get it, we've been doing this for 38 years, just because you and your boss have a bad relationship doesn't mean we won't put you forward to meet the client. We are keen to hear the story behind the relationship breakdown with your current boss as that might guide us to see if you would work well with your upcoming boss. If you decide to lie to us, we'll put on our detective caps and get to the bottom of the matter, we have our ways which we will not divulge at this juncture. Let us know even if you are getting retrenched, gone are the days where retrenched candidates where perceived to be the less desirable candidates compared to employed candidates. In this tough economy most companies retrench people on the bases of last in first out bases.
What's your notice period?
We ask this question to manage the expectation for our clients. However, if you are in an interview with a client and this question is brought to the fore it's usually a good indicator that they are interested in hiring you. If a recruiter asks you this question please don't think you've got the job…its due diligence from our side.
We are putting you ahead as the only candidate
I hate to burst your bubble but no you're not the only candidate that we've put through. In most instances recruiters say this as a confidence booster. Another common statement from Recruiters is "we've put through a couple of CV's but they loved your CV". Again this is another confidence booster for our candidates, it's actually not a great idea to put forward 1 CV because ultimately we want you to be confident and not arrogant at the interview with our client.
Tell us about your strengths and your weaknesses?
Everyone has weaknesses and that's totally acceptable, unless you were born in Krypton. Not having weaknesses is rather worrisome. Communicate them to us and the client. Go ahead and be smart about them, euphemise them and turn them into positives. So for instance, if you say you can't work with other people, highlight the fact that you're independent when tacking on tasks. Please don't lie to us though, usually most candidates will undergo psychometric tests and these reliable tests prove the type of person you are pertaining to your weaknesses.
What's your desired salary?
It's unreasonable to say that we must look at securing you double what you're currently earning. Stick to a realistic package increase and don't harp on about the money. 7% – 10% increase is a good salary increase on average. Again don't Photoshop your payslip with inflated numbers. Tell us about your real current salary is. Stick to telling us that you're interested in the potential company and how you can add value by joining their team. Don't be greedy, at a lower salary bracket, you could get away with an above average salary increase but on a higher salary bracket the tax man has a vested interest in your hard earned income which makes it next to impossible to ask for those sharp salary increases. Remember we want what's best for you too which means we'll advise on the bases of market value. We'll educate you as to what the market is willing to pay for your skill set. Be that as it may, sharp salary increases do exist even in this market but do known that it's a black swan.
Where else have you sent your CV?
Well when we ask you this question we'd like to see who else are we in competition with for your golden signature, how far are you down the line with other job interviews as well so that if our client likes your CV, we can ensure that you are available for their position. If you are looking to make a career change in Engineering, Finance, IT, Freight and Contracting, please register and send us your CV on www.communicate.co.za