- On January 2, 2022
Last post I gave a tutorial on types of recruiters and our function. This week I cover how to talk to a recruiter. I like this article from a top LinkedIn Voice and Amazon recruiter answering the “dreaded ‘tell me about yourself’” question from a recruiter.
- Should candidates run through their resume/job transitions/skills or instead give a casual narrative of their career and highlight strengths related to the job? I prefer the former, and the Amazon recruiter concurs. She recommends starting with a short elevator pitch/professional description, e.g., “I am a senior technical recruiter with 7 years of experience in both agency and corporate settings”, then going through current job/accomplishments, and finally explaining the motivation to leave/why the position is a good fit. She notes: “Yes, we have your resume but your resume doesn’t tell us how you speak, how you answer questions. This question is a great first step for us to understand how you communicate.”
- Like most interviewers, I often start with an open ended question like “tell me about yourself.” I am evaluating if the candidate is poised, speaks confidently, and knows what to raise to me because communication style, good personality, and keen judgment are essential for legal jobs. If people cannot convincingly explain why they did what, I definitely wonder about the quality of their advice and whether clients would want to listen to them.
- Here’s a similar sample answer but tailored for lawyers: “I am a [#] year lawyer who graduated from [law school] and trained at [law firm] in [X] area of law. I represented [Fortune 500, VC-backed startups] on [X] matters, including [examples/results].I went in-house to [company Y] because [I was their outside counsel and they recruited me] [for the chance to do X in Z industry]. I currently work on [X examples/results]. I am interested in you because [the mission excites me given my background in …] [the role is focused on X’, a natural progression from X].” Don’t go longer than this sample. If I have questions, I will follow up.
Pro tip: I do not recommend candidates oversharing with their recruiters. I can guide you to getting the job, but it’s the employer who pays for my services, so anything you tell me I could tell the employer. Be diplomatic at all times.