Tackling Interview Anxiety: A Guide for Recruiters

So, you’ve got an interview coming up? It’s not unusual to be nervous, but as a recruiter you should nail it… right?

We’ve noticed something unexpected when it comes to sending experienced recruiters forward to interviews. Us recruiters are great at giving out advice and prepping candidates but can be pretty useless ourselves at following the steps we recommend.

Why is this the case? We know exactly how to handle interviews and what questions should be asked, but we can still struggle. Here, we dig in and help you tackle interview anxiety… even if you are experienced in the industry.

No One Wants You to Fail

With all the anxiety and nervousness of your impending interview, it can be easy to forget that no one wants you to fail. The agency want a hassle free hire, your recruiter wants a big commission payment and you want a new job.

Once you start realising that everyone actually wants to see you succeed, you’ll realise that the occasional stutter or awkward moment will be quickly looked over if you’ve got the right experience and mindset.

Follow Your Own Advice

If you’re constantly giving out interview advice to candidates on a daily basis, it can be easy to subconsciously be a little arrogant about your own abilities. Just because you know what should be done, doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the same process.

Get the basics right:

  • Do your research thoroughly
  • Have a list of questions ready
  • Dress to impress
  • Get an early night
  • Grab a full breakfast that morning
  • Plan your route to the interview in advance

You know all this already – it’s the type of advice you’re telling your candidates, so take note yourself!

Get Your Numbers Right

You’re going to have to talk about your figures and billings. Make sure you know them by heart – if there are any gaps, they’ll be noticed by the interviewer and this will look bad on you. You need to put yourself in the position where your interviewer has no room to question whether the numbers you’re mentioning are genuine and credible. A great way to aid this is to bring tangible examples of clients brought on and records of your billings.

Clearly Outline Your Achievements

There’s a strong need to have a clear outline of your achievements in your previous roles – this isn’t just about the billings but also any noticeable times where you’ve exceeded expectations, set goals and overachieved. Think about the times you’ve added genuine value beyond the responsibilities set out in your job spec.

This could be anything from winning awards, being promoted faster than most, consistent top biller awards, outperforming your colleagues, introducing new initiatives into the business. Just remember to bring clear, tangible examples of your drive and ability to thrive in a role. Delivering a compelling story of your achievements in relationship to the role is key.

This is your opportunity to really sell yourself to potential future employers – talk with passion about the things you’re proud of… if you can’t, who will?

Be True to Yourself

Don’t undersell yourself but remember that trying to oversell yourself is just as dangerous. Just because you’re a recruiter and know the hiring process inside out, it doesn’t mean you should act any differently. Be humble but confident, respectful but assertive. Be the most legitimate version of yourself – facades will quickly be seen through.

Remember: there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, be very careful about stepping too close to that line.

Your Billings Are Half the Battle

If you’re an experienced recruiter, your billings have already done the talking. When you’re going to an interview, your track record has already proven your capabilities as a recruiter. Most of the time, the formal face-to-face interview is more about your own personal characteristics and whether you’ll fit in with the company’s culture.

Proving you’re worthy is the difficult part, you’ve already ticked that box by interview stage. The face-to-face isn’t something you should feel too stressed out about.

The Company Need to Prove Themselves to You Too

Let’s face it, if you’re a successful recruiter, there are plenty of agencies out there who will be interested in you. Any agency you interview at will have to prove themselves to you as much as you need to prove yourself to them.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying you should head into the building and start grilling the hiring manager on why you should work there. Just remember that an agency which makes no effort to explain why they’re such an exciting place to work really aren’t worth your time. Culture is vitally important in recruitment and your interview should be an opportunity to get an insight into the company’s culture.

Whatever Happens, Happens

Reality is a lot more boring than the anxious thoughts that run through your head on a daily basis. It’s incredibly rare that something catastrophic happens during an interview and your chances are scuppered. Even when nerves lead to an awkward situation, most hiring managers will overlook it if you’re the person they want.

Yes, it’s true – there are hiring managers who will just not like you. But this is the same for everyone you meet in life. Clients, candidates and colleagues all pose the same risk. Don’t panic about this fact – would you really want to work for someone who takes a dislike to you?

Whatever happens, happens. If you mess up or stumble your way through any answers, it’s all experience. There’s nothing you can do about it, so just accept it and move onto the next one. You’ll probably laugh about it in the future.

We’ll Find You a Job & Prep You For the Interview

Find yourself an agency that not only gets you the job but offers expert interview advice too. We have close working relationships with our clients and know what they want from their candidates. We’ll offer you some insider hints and tips to help you secure a job you’re excited about.

Upload your CV below and we’ll be in touch, or alternatively browse our job board to get a feel for the type of vacancy we currently have on offer.

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