when recruiters ask, “how did the interview go?”

A reader writes:

I’m currently interviewing for a position with a large tech company. I’ve had a phone screener, an interview with team members, and an interview with the head of the team. This all happened over the course of two weeks. A few days ago, the recruiter emailed me asking to set up a call. It was a pretty nice chat where he let me know that timelines had changed a bit. He said it may be a week or two before he has any updates, and that I shouldn’t interpret silence from him as non-interest in me as a candidate. Really a genuinely lovely chat and a nice setting of expectations.

On to my question: he started the call by asking me “how the interview went/how I liked the team” and “how my expectations from the job descriptions matched up to the role as described by the team in the interviews.” I tried to be honest (the interviews went very well, we had pretty thoughtful/not surface level discussions, and the role aligned to my expectations from the job description). I’m worried that my answers came off as too simple or obvious, but I was being totally honest. I’m curious if you have more insight into why recruiters ask these kinds of questions/what types of responses they’re looking for.

A related aside about why I’m asking as well: when I was offered my current job, the recruiter used the tactic of asking repeatedly if I’m “excited for the role” and “liked the team” to steamroll me into accepting the lowball offer. It was only my second time ever negotiating, so I admit I was a bit naive/green, and I was also desperate to leave my previous job. However, the impact of that offer on my salary growth at my current job has had repercussions to this day. That mistake makes me not want to ever appear too excited for a role or have over-excitement used against me, which is why I’m a bit conflicted about how to answer how an interview went in this context.

Anyway, I’d appreciate your insight or any stock lines that you recommend. I don’t want to make that same mistake again, but I am incredibly excited for the role that I’m currently up for and don’t want to mess it up.

A recruiter asking how the interview went and whether it matched your expectations is a different thing from a recruiter repeatedly pushing you say you’re excited about the job.

Asking how the interview went is just a way to make sure you’re still interested and find out if you have any concerns. The same is true of asking whether your expectations matched up to what you heard in the interview. They want to ferret out any problems so if you do have concerns, they’re not surprised by them later.

Your answer to those questions sounds fine. That kind of straightforward “yes, everything was great and I’m interested in next steps” is what they’re hoping will be the case. Which is not to say that you shouldn’t raise concerns if you have them! If you do, they’d rather get the chance to talk those through now than much later down the road.

That previous recruiter who repeatedly asked if you were “excited for the role” and if you liked the team sounds like he was trying to pump you up so he could sell you on the job. That’s a sales tactic, and you should be wary of it.

There’s nothing wrong with showing excitement about the role, though. Obviously there’s a point where it crosses a line — you don’t want to sound so excited that you’re not seeing things clearly or like you have a level of pep that will be exhausting to work with — but genuine enthusiasm is a good thing, not a bad one. You ended up feeling it was used against you in salary negotiations, but it sounds like that’s because you were dealing with a crappy recruiter, not because you showed your hand. You can show enthusiasm and still make it clear that you expect to be paid appropriately for your work. In fact, that enthusiasm can be a part of your negotiation — “I’m excited about the work you’re doing and I’d love to come on board. Can you go up to $X?” And if so someone cites your enthusiasm in pushing you to accept a lower salary, you can hold firm — “I do think it’s a great role! If you can go up to $X, I’d love to accept.”

{ 66 comments… read them below }

  1. Hlao-roo*

    I had an interview a month or so ago. The HR recruiter called me a few days later and the first question she asked was “how did the interview go?” I told her I thought it went well, and she said the interview panel felt the same and then she outlined the next steps of the process. My answer was very similarly to yours, and I did not feel like it was too simple or obvious. So based on my (limited) experience, this feels like a normal recruiter/candidate conversation.

    Good luck with your job search!

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      Same – when we ask, it’s because we want to make sure everything’s going well on the candidate’s end and they’re interested in proceeding with the process. Sometimes, a candidate will note that they had some additional questions they’d like to ask or state that one interviewer seemed to have a different idea of the role than all the others.

      1. Hlao-roo*

        I admit, my first thought when she asked was “the panel didn’t tell her how it went?” But it immediately became clear to me that, as you said, she wanted to make sure I was interested in moving forward.

    2. londonedit*

      Absolutely – and on the other side of the coin, I once had an interview that had been arranged via a recruitment agency, and when the recruiter called me afterwards and asked ‘How did you feel the interview went?’, I said that I was still interested in the job and I felt it had gone well overall, but I’d got the impression they were looking for someone with more experience in their specific area of publishing. And the recruiter said yes, that was exactly the interviewer’s feedback as well – they thought I was great, but I didn’t have the specific knowledge they were after in an ideal candidate. So in that case it was a nice way of having the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ conversation and I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t get that job.

    3. KateM*

      To me it would actually sound rather rude if someone set me up to an interview, called me to talk about next steps, and never even mentioned the interview.

  2. NotATerribleRecruiter*

    I always ask candidates how the interview went/if it met their expectations when I speak with them. When I’m working with candidates, I always operate under the assumption that 1) they are interviewing with multiple companies and that 2) they are interviewing the team just like the team is interviewing them. Sometimes candidates will express that they no longer feel like the role aligns with their career goals (only a bad recruiter would hold this against you) or they will have additional questions that I can answer for them. I (and all the teammates I really respect) operate under the assumption that honestly is the best policy. We want to hire people who are excited about their work and who won’t leave after a year. We want to create comp packages that make candidates want to join our companies. Bad hires cost a lot of money. Personally I will always go to bat for a candidate who is excited (and absolutely not try to lowball them) because those are just the type of candidates I want to hire (and from a company’s financial perspective these are the best types of hires).

    1. NotATerribleRecruiter*

      (I will also go to bat for you even if you don’t have epic enthusiasm. That’s not everyone’s style. Just trying to express I won’t use it as a reason to lowball.)

  3. Lars the Real Girl*

    Was this an external recruiter? They have even more of a reason to know how it went. If you’re waffling or seem like you might not be interested, they need to start lining up additional candidates to present to the company. If you bring up concerns, they’ll take that into account as they continue recruiting for the role.

    They’ll also match up what you say against the hiring manager/committee to make sure everyone seems like they’re on the same page. If you say something like “interview was great, their questions were super easy, and I think this role would be easy for me” and the hiring manager says “he didn’t really seem to grasp our questions, he seems to really not understand the role” that’s a chance for them to clear up any communication issues and figure out if it’s a good fit.

    1. PinaColada*

      I agree with this and as an internal recruiter, I do the same. (Especially with the market these days and the pressure to get roles filled. It’s bananas!)

      So my 2 cents is that holding in your enthusiasm can also backfire. If I find a great candidate but they seem lukewarm as they go through the process, I take that as a cue that I need to keep recruiting…and I may find an even better candidate (who now becomes another competitor for the role).

      Especially since I have limited bandwidth—I have to prioritize roles I recruit for. If you seem excited, I’m more likely to focus on my other roles, which can be beneficial for you.

    2. 2cute2recruit*

      Letter poster here! The first recruiter who lowballed me was technically internal, but from an outside agency that the company hired because we didn’t have internal HR (he was employee by proxy almost—bit of a strange setup). This wasn’t a recruiter who approached me, I cold applied for my current job

      The second recruiter was internal 100%

    3. MigraineMonth*

      I had a recruiter who was really eager to get me to accept an offer at a company even though they had to pressure me just to go to the interview. They acted shocked and disappointed that I said no, even though I had raised specific concerns such as, “This company was convicted of fraud and racial discrimination a couple of years ago in California” and “I’m not willing to do technical infrastructure work for what appears to be an MLM.”

  4. Not Tom, Just Petty*

    I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with the other recruiter and I’m sorry that you doubt your situation now. Because you were content until you started thinking about it. So I’m going to tell you this: you are thinking about it because you have time to think about it. They’ve slowed down the process, so you are idling. Assume the best; the job is still out there. Now. Put it out of your head. You did your best. You will know when you know.
    Best of luck to you!

  5. learnedthehardway*

    Exactly what Allison said. If the recruiter wants to know how the interview went from your perspective, that’s a good thing (as opposed to pushing you to be enthusiastic). This is an opportunity for you to tell them if you felt a good rapport with the interviewing team or not, if you felt you answered the questions well or if you missed something (sometimes, the recruiter can feed back to the hiring manager that the candidate was concerned they had missed something and point out that the candidate in fact has that particular quality or experience, and that they should ask about it again in a f/up interview). It’s also a good opportunity to mention any concerns you have about the role or company, or how you felt the interviewers perceived you. The recruiter may be able to get answers or clarification for you. The recruiter may also be asking to make sure that they are presenting the role accurately to potential candidates and that the role is what was portrayed by the hiring manager.

  6. About*

    What are folks thoughts when the recruiter calls within a hour after finishing an interview to see how it went?

    1. Sled dog mama*

      I don’t process things that fast. Sometimes something won’t strike me until the next day. I had a great interview at a a place and at the end of it the hiring manager asked if I was still interested I said a very enthusiastic yes. Over the first 24 hours post interview I realized there were some major red flags with this place that hadn’t struck me at the time.

    2. irene adler*

      That seems to be the norm whenever I deal with an external recruiter. Like Sled dog mama, I need time to process. One reason I am wary of external recruiters.

    3. anonymous73*

      I’m usually asked to contact the recruiter shortly after the interview to talk about how it went so I don’t find that out of the ordinary, and this has been my experience with both internal and external recruiters.

      In the early 00s, I had been laid off and out of work for a year and a half. A recruiter contacted me for a job that pushed me in a new direction career wise, and was double my salary. The commute was horrific but I was desperate. He called me 5 minutes after I left and said they wanted to hire me. I was there for 5 years…until the bank was sold and I was laid off…again. But I got a good amount of experience and was able to find a new job within a few months that was much closer to home.

    4. Daisy-dog*

      I think it’s just to get first impressions and make sure nothing unexpected happened. There’s nothing wrong with coming to other conclusions after a thinking about it.

      1. irene adler*

        True. It’s just that, for me, I’d feel awful if I told the recruiter my initial impression was very favorable only to realize, upon reflection, some red flags were present. With the result that I don’t want to continue with the hiring process.

        1. Daisy-dog*

          I think the best option there is to keep it non-committal. “My first impression is ____ and would like to have time to let it sink in more.” or “I liked ____ and ____, so I have a lot to think about!”

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        This, and there is also nothing wrong with saying, “Things seem to have gone well, but I’d like to take a day to reflect before getting back with you.”

        The market is also very hot right now, and I’m sure recruiters want to make sure candidates know they’re important and at the forefront of their minds.

        1. Anonymous4*

          There was an article in the NYTimes recently about a recruiter and her experiences in the Time of COVID. She’d been working as a recruiter for some years, and Things Have Changed of late!

          Google Tiffany Dyba and recruiter, if you’d like to read it. It’s interesting! Basically, instead of job seekers haunting HER door, and sending flowers and candy to get her attention, SHE is now beating the bushes, wooing potential job seekers, sending out carefully crafted (and generally ignored) e-mails, and trying to get her client companies to be reasonable. Yes, they DO need to offer full-time WFH. No, they’re NOT offering enough money for that job. And taking weeks to decide to hire someone will mean that, ooops, they’ll go with another company.

          1. Speaker to Computers*

            The article is right about companies being a bit delusional about the market, especially in tech. I work in tech and am a senior IC, and started a job search at the end of November. In the before times, it’s taken me 2-4 months to land a new job after deciding to jump, this time took less than a month.

            The company I ended up landing at took less than two weeks to go from initial contact (In December – nothing usually happens in December) to signed offer and a start date for early January. One of the other companies I interviewed at even sent me a nice yeti mug and doordash code for lunch after I agreed to do their initial phone screen, I almost felt bad that I declined to go further after finding out about their tech stack.

            I just (February 23rd) got a first response from a place I applied at first week of December. And I’d been getting responses all through January asking how firm I was about remote-only if they offered relocation.

    5. Techwriter*

      External recruiters are more desperate than the candidates they place 99% of the time. Candidates have skills and companies have needs. External recruiters are just waiting to be paid a check if a person they found on LinkedIn works out. That’s why they so often hound you and jump to call you while giving you very little breathing room. Don’t take the bait of a desperate recruiter. Focus on if the company you’ll be doing the work for is a good fit or not.

      1. Imaginary Friend*

        External recruiters are sales people, pure and simple. They’re selling the job to the candidate; they’re selling the candidate to the company. I wonder how many of them are commission-only?

    6. ecnaseener*

      Normal. It’s probably a trade-off of what type of info they want from me — call me right away if you want the specifics of what we talked about, because I’ll have forgotten some of it by tomorrow, but call me tomorrow if you want to know what I think of the job after sleeping on it.

  7. Sloan Kittering*

    I have to be honest, after reading a couple AAMs on this topic, I think I’m glad I work in a field where recruiters aren’t common. It doesn’t seem to me that adding a middleman here is going to contribute much to the process. While in theory it would be nice to interview for fewer, better-suited jobs, and presumably interview fewer people who are better suited to the role, it seems that neither side can really trust that they’re acting in their best interest.
    There are some places an intermediary is valuable (I have a literary agent, for example) but I don’t see that this is one of them.

    1. NotATerribleRecruiter*

      What’s hard is there are so many different types of recruiters! (And I think too it’s hard to know what recruiters even do.) I work as an internal recruiter for a large global company – so I’m paid by my company to find talent. (But I started as an agency recruiter -meaning working for “clients”- which I found really hard and draining.) At my org we work really hard on fostering relationships with our managers and hiring teams and being their “SMEs” on the current state of the job market. Ideally a recruiter shouldn’t be an administrative go between but a facilitator, project manager, and partner. Our jobs can include things like researching emerging job markets for different technical skill sets. Being a recruiter is also (or should be about) opening pipelines so current employees aren’t just hiring people they know (old boys club, etc), but considering candidates they might not have otherwise have interviews or known existed (DEI). The recruiting process is also immensely time consuming – the managers I partner with are already so busy with their “day” jobs.

    2. Lady_Lessa*

      As a person who has used recruiters a fair bit, they frequently work with the actual folks hiring vs HR, and have had good success. I’ve even been involved with multiple ones at the same time. (Once I had two try to place me for the same job. I had to tell the second one “Is this the llama place in Midwest?” “Yes” “I am sorry but I am working with another person for that opening”.

      Did not get it, though.

    3. anonymous73*

      I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with recruiters so I always take them with a grain of salt. With that said, as both a candidate and one involved in the hiring process, I prefer going through a recruiter because they act as a filter. I don’t want my time wasted on either side, and they can go through the high level stuff before deciding if the candidate is a good fit to move through to an interview.

    4. Anonymous Hippo*

      I’ve found it better for me as a hiring manager, but not better for me as a person job searching.

      1. Michigan mom*

        I once had what I thought was an amazing interview. Like really great chemistry with the interviewer. I actually stopped an out a reservation at a daycare close to that job I thought it went so well. The external recruiter called me after and admitted the guy hated me. That was feedback I would not have gotten with company HR so I was glad to know right away how off base I was.

    5. As per Elaine*

      The one time I worked with a recruiter and had a good experience (my current job), it was nice because it felt like I had somebody in my corner (obviously not 100% in my corner, he absolutely had other candidates too, but if I got the job and accepted it, he won too) who could be an intermediary with an employer. As a candidate, if a job tells me that they’ll get back to me by the end of the week and I don’t hear anything, I’ll probably wait another week before I reach out, but the recruiter would call me on Friday afternoon to apologize that I hadn’t heard anything and this was taking so long, and he’d talked to them that morning and they had another candidate to interview next week, or whatever.

      It also gave me somewhere to say, “They were kind of weirdly formal and rigid in the interview,” who could tell me that people didn’t seem to find the company like that while working there. (I can’t say how much data he actually had, but it is backed up with my experience of the company.)

    6. NotAnotherManager!*

      We have internal recruiters who handle the entire screening, scheduling, and follow-up process for me, and they are amazing. They review the description, make time to chat with hiring managers to understand the role, and they also communicate regularly with candidates throughout the process. They’re excellent and save me a ton of time, and I have received a lot of positive feedback from candidates on their responsiveness and helpfulness.

      External recruiters are much more hit-or-miss. Their job is to place SOMEONE and there are a lot who don’t care if that someone is a good fit. That’s bad for candidates and employers. We only use a few trusted external recruiters for hard-to-find positions because that’s sometimes what it takes to attract people who may not have been looking.

  8. Natebrarian*

    I worked with a recruiter for the first time last year and it was a pretty good experience. Yep, they asked me at every step “how did the conversation/interview/meeting go?” I was careful but honest–if I was surprised by a question or thought I could have answered something better I said so. At one point I brought up that I felt like some on the committee were looking for a particular experience and interest that I don’t have, and the recruiter affirmed my gut–but also was able to give me a little bit of information on the internal politics of that issue. (Nothing bad–just a disagreement within the committee about priorities.)

    Anyway, from my limited experience I recommend that sort of careful honesty–*if* you trust the recruiter. It served me well–and although the recruiter is employed by the hiring organization, they also are a semi-neutral party that you can do a bit of a gut check with.

  9. JSPA*

    “It all seems very promising!”
    “When they are ready, I’ll be thrilled to see an offer and talk details!”

    Basically, “enthusiastic yes to moving forward.” But clear subtext that you’re not going to take any offer sight- unseen. And that you know the process.

  10. anonymous73*

    I have never given much detail when asked that question (I think it went well, job seems like a good fit). You’ve had a bad experience with your current role, but don’t let that cloud your judgement to a generic and very normal inquiry. If they get pushy or aren’t satisfied with your answer, then maybe get skeptical and ask more questions.

    1. 2cute2recruit*

      This is such good advice. I’m a bit traumatized by my current job it’s easy to forget that this isn’t the same situation. -letter poster

  11. Xaraja*

    I had never worked with an outside recruiter before this last time i got a job, sand i realize now i completely misinterpreted this question! I thought it was akin to people asking you how well you did on a test. I thought she was asking me if I thought i impressed the interviewers sufficiently.

    It worked out but this makes so much more sense now.

  12. Techwriter*

    So many external recruiters are just awful and do things like this all the time. They’re not always possible to avoid, though I try to avoid them as much as possible. If you’re working with an external recruiter at a staffing agency, don’t do anything just to please them. Focus on answering the questions from the company you’ll be doing work for and seeing if they’re a good fit. The recruiter is just a useless gatekeeper collecting a check if they place you and you unfortunately have to deal with sometimes.

  13. Anonymous Hippo*

    The last time I worked with a recruiter I ended up backing out of the process in the fairly early stages with a great company because my company came through with something I decided to stay for. He was pissed at me, and kept going on and on about how I never gave him any indication that I might be second guessing myself, or that I was considering any other options than going full bore with the new company. I was honestly confused because I don’t think I owe my thought process to you, but clearly that’s the way some of them work. He was super annoyed that I didn’t discuss it with him and just delivered the news to him as an accomplished fact. It was definitely off-putting.

    1. tryingmybest*

      My personal metric is if a recruiter feels entitled to me accepting a job that’s not right for me, then I will not work with them. The double standard is really appalling sometimes. It’s not my problem that you chose a job where you’re dependent on other peoples’ decisions to make you money.

  14. tryingmybest*

    I have had a variety of different experiences with recruiters, some better than others. Like anonymous73 above, I default to simple answers. One recruiter I’ve worked with a couple times has asked for much more detailed answers, like specific technical questions or topics of conversation, which I don’t particularly appreciate because it’s hard to recall a 4 hour panel interview in that level of detail. Another recruiter I worked with last month was unfortunately of the pushy salesman variety, who asked me to rank the job from 1-10 after each interview and then would repeatedly say “what can we do to make this a 10,” and used other similarly annoying tactics. I think the best takeaway is to treat recruiter calls like a normal conversation, and if whatever they’re doing doesn’t align with your preferences, you can just tell them how you prefer to communicate instead. For example, I’ve had success in letting recruiters know I only want to look at job descriptions if they email them rather than read them over the phone, or telling 1-10 dude above that I didn’t like that framework but could say that I was interested in moving forward. You have a lot of power with recruiters because they’re using you to get paid! You can set the tone for the interaction.

    1. 2cute2recruit*

      “ You have a lot of power with recruiters because they’re using you to get paid! ” yes!!!! -letter poster

    2. Imaginary Friend*

      > if whatever they’re doing doesn’t align with your preferences, you can just tell them how you prefer to communicate instead

      This. I hate doing initial communication via text, so if someone texts me about a job, my only reply is “Email”. (And yes, it always works. If they have my phone number, they’re looking at something that has my email too.) And I hate phone calls where all we are doing is establishing that it’s worthwhile continuing the conversation, while impeded by bad connections and often strong accents, so I just don’t answer unscheduled calls from unknown numbers. When they invariably follow up with a text saying they couldn’t reach me, I redirect them to email.

      The contract position job descriptions I see are often really generic so I almost always have to reply back with the most important questions at this stage: “client name? rate offered? remote?” (which used to be “location” in the before times). This basic info will knock out easily 80% of the possibilities and this saves time for me AND them. I have taken to explicitly praising the recruiters who give me all three pieces of information up-front.

  15. Remotie*

    For reference, I am a Talent Acquisition Specialist (aka internal recruiter and manage the recruiting process for my company) and ask this to ensure that what I told the candidate aligns with what the interview team said/asked/did if I wasn’t in attendance. Most of the time my hiring team is on the same page as me but occasionally they will tell the candidate something that doesn’t align with our initial conversation before I start recruiting. It’s nothing to be alarmed about, just making sure I didn’t miss anything and our messages are consistent. It’s also about asking if the person is still interested in moving forward after they’ve met some of the team and understand the role more in depth.

  16. Salsa Verde*

    I guess I’m confused about this statement: the recruiter used the tactic of asking repeatedly if I’m “excited for the role” and “liked the team” to steamroll me into accepting the lowball offer.
    I don’t really see how that’s steamrolling – I can be excited about a role and still not accept a low offer – I don’t even really see how the recruiter asking that is steamrolling? Maybe this is related to how I’m very, very bad at picking up hints?

    1. ecnaseener*

      The asking itself isn’t steamrolling, but it can be used to steamroll you — “Well, you said you were really excited about the role! I pushed for you because you wanted this job! I thought you were passionate about the work and not just the paycheck!” Etc.

      1. NotAnotherManager!*

        I will never understand this line of thought – I’m passionate about the paycheck. Unfortunately, I do not come from generational wealth and don’t have the luxury of taking a job because I’m passionate about the cause. I’m here because I have to pay my housing, utilities, and groceries, and I assume most other people do as well. I’m glad I generally like my coworkers, boss, and work, but I wouldn’t come to work if they stopped paying me market for the job.

        1. 2cute2recruit*

          I was leaving an even worse paying job, didn’t have a sense of what the market was paying (I’m relatively junior and this role was when I was hired for it) and was desperate to leave my job. It was just a bad mix. I didn’t WANT to accept a lowball offer -letter poster

          1. NotAnotherManager!*

            Sorry, I was really unclear on that – I don’t understand an EMPLOYER pulling the excited enough about the role to take a lower salary! I totally get why people take less-than-ideal jobs or aren’t aware of market (good surveys are hard to come by without paying for them, and they’re expensive), but I assume my corporate overlords don’t pay their rent on passion, so I never get why they would expect me to.

      2. 2cute2recruit*

        Letter poster here—this is exactly right & what happened. I was also desperate to leave my last job and was sooo worried they would pull the offer if I pushed to hard. It was a very shady interview process. It was an internal recruiter who was more akin to HR—like he was the person I did the initial screener with. I applied to this job cold

        1. Salsa Verde*

          Ah, ok. I guess that makes sense. I’m with NotAnotherManager! – my upbringing was such that money influences my job decisions always.

          Also, about being worried they’d pull the offer – I think one of the things I have learned as I’ve gotten old is that the employer can almost always go higher, within reason. I’ll never forget the HR manager at my first job asking if the salary I wanted was a deal-breaker – I should have said yes, I said no and always regretted it. That was a government job and I saw them do whatever they needed to do to get what they wanted – reclassifying positions to get more money for people, changing job requirements so that a certain person would be eligible – I realized I could have pushed harder.

          Good luck, OP!!

          1. Dragon*

            This reminds me of a federal government manager I knew, who had to scramble like mad after the Office of Personnel Management rejected his choice for a position.

            Most people consider OPM an unhelpful and bureaucratic PITA. That aside, the manager should’ve known this would happen because under the rules the hiring choice required OPM approval, and this person didn’t meet one requirement in the job description.

            The person had done the job before as a contractor, so he was known to the manager. He’d given notice at his current job before the rejection came down. I don’t know how, but the manager was able to move heaven and earth to save the hire. Never knew if the person ever found out about this, either.

  17. Exme*

    I’ve had the experience of telling a recruiter that I did have misgivings after an interview, and it was helpful!
    I told the recruiter that I’d been interested going in but that the interview questions raised concerns as almost half of the Q’s were negative in oddly specific ways like “How would you handle a project with a lot of internal politics? and no one agreed on the expectations? and consultants were combative with each other and employees? and everyone is suspicious of your role?” and so on. A few questions along those lines, fine I can answer from experience projects are messy. But all of them :O
    The recruiter heard my concern, called me back an hour later and connected me with someone else they’d placed in the company before that could give me the scoop. Enough to stop me second-guessing myself and just withdraw from consideration. Even though I didn’t end up placing with them I still refer job seekers to that recruiter.

  18. raida7*

    It sounds like you have a decent recruiter – interested in specifically *does the job align with expectations* helps them know if they’ve “done a good job” by you, and if this business is one that is good at job postings, etc.

    A bad one just throws candidates at roles and doesn’t care about how the candidates are doing

    1. 2cute2recruit*

      Yeah the recruiter for the job I’m currently in the running for is great. Still waiting to hear! -letter poster

  19. Mizzmarymack*

    I only worked with a recruiter once – I reach3d out to him after I’d been fired.

    He asked those sorts of questions after the phone interview – which went fine – and again after the in-person interview which threw up some major red flags for me. We were discussing the concerns I had about the company (he had recommended them as a potential match) and he conveyed to them that I was not planning to pursue the application.

    They probably would have made an offer, and turning it down would have ended my unemployment (a small fraction of my previous salary, but not nothing ). But my recruiter made sure it didn’t come to that, even though he would only get paid if I accepted a job through him.

    If I ever have need again, or a current/former co-worker does, I would recommend that recruiter in a heartbeat. I have also tried to give him leads when he reaches out to me (v.v. happy at my current position) with new job openings.

    LW, I am sorry you worked with a shitty recruiter and feel like you need to moderate any excitement you have to not get low-balled again. There are decent recruiters out there, and with mine I gained so much about being honest about my concerns about the company and role.

  20. I just work here*

    I think it’s helpful to remind people that a lot of recruiters–especially ones external to the organization–are most often hired for their sales skills, not their HR skills. I think a lot of people don’t realize that. Recruiting firms primarily look for people with sales experience. It creates a different dynamic. Good recruiters will solicit feedback about the specifics and how the job fits your skills and expectations; but some are just interested in closing the deal.

    It’s like buying a car–some sales people are really good–they try to find out what you want, your price range, etc–and use their professional knowledge to find what will work for you over the long haul. Others just want to sell you a car, any car.

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