Recruiters - Friends or Foes?

Recruiters friends or foes

Let's talk about recruiters.

I respect who they are and what they do. You should too. However, I want you to take a note of what I'm about to say and never forget it:

Recruiters are not your friends.

They may act friendly towards you. They may whisper sweet things in your ear. They might even make you promises. Remember, though, that you are not the one paying their fees. They're not there for your interests.

Here are my two cents:

First, never confide in a recruiter. Don't ever say anything to one that you wouldn't say to a hiring manager or during a job interview.

To paraphrase the cops (when they arrest someone): "If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a hiring recommendation."

Second, remember that you need to sell yourself to recruiters too.

They usually get paid when a hiring manager hires one of their candidates; and, just like us, they only have so many hours in the day to look for people.

If a recruiter feels that you're a good bet, they'll invest in your success, because it's in their best interests. On the other hand, if they don't feel like you're a good bet, they'll lose interest and focus their time on folks they perceive as being stronger candidates.

Here's the overriding theme to this blog:

Candidates often think the interview starts when they sit down in the hot seat and sell themselves to the hiring manager and his/her peers or advisors.

Often, though, it actually begins long before that, the moment you first make contact with a recruiter. You need to be able to clearly communicate your own unique value proposition to them and get them interested in you.

For this reason, I recommend you get clear about what you bring to the table as early as possible. You might also want to prepare some "go-to" answers to common questions, so that you're prepared ahead of time.

Folks who have important interviews coming up often ask:

“What do I do if I sound nervous?”


“What do I do if I have a foreign accent?”

My answer?

Don’t let that stop you.

I often have a quivering voice myself, and I tend to sound squeaky when I’m nervous. However, I don’t let that stop me from presenting to groups, going out there and doing my thing.


Because I know the group is there to learn from me. They’re interested in me and want to hear what I have to share.

Plus, I know that my nervousness tends to fade away after a few minutes of talking and telling my story.

Similarly, remember that the reason you’re in the interview is that the interviewer is interested in you – they want to hear what you have to share.

If you have interesting things to say about your story, your background as a professional, the position, and how you can contribute to the interviewer’s team – then after 30 seconds or so of speaking with you, they’ll look past the nervous speech or the accent because they’re completely absorbed in what you’re sharing with them.

This is why it’s so important to learn how to tell your story well.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.