What hiring managers (really) look for in a Trainee Recruitment Consultant

You might think you know the answer to this, as the clues are usually in the job description, right? Simply put, no. We wish it was that simple. There’s a whole array of things hiring managers will look for when hiring a Trainee Recruitment Consultant. We’re here with our top tips to make sure you nail your Trainee Recruitment Consultant interview and bag that first step into the wonderful world of recruitment.

Attitude; So you’ve no experience, so how do you show you’d be right for the job? Hiring managers will be constantly reading your attitude, how you handle the questions (even if you’re not sure of the ‘right’ answer) and your overall behaviour in the interview. How you come across is paramount, because you don’t have a track record to fall back on. Everything from simple basics like manners, time keeping and your ‘likeability factor’ will count. Think good, firm handshake, decent eye contact and a smile that says you’re eager to be here. A willingness to listen will be as critical as what you have to say, so take a deep breath, don’t interrupt (may sound obvious but trust us we hear this in the feedback a lot) and mind your manners. Getting them to like you is half the battle when you’re new to the job. After all, no one wants to train someone who doesn’t listen.

Resilience; It’s a tough gig. We don’t do sugar-coatings and we don’t do bullsh*t, it’s hard work. We’ve always believed in being upfront and open with everyone we work with, grads are no exception. In fact, if anything it’s more important to dispel the romantic idea that you’ll be driving round in the latest, company BMW on a £30K basic, working 9-5 in your first year… sorry it doesn’t work like that. Still here? Good, you’ll need that resilience. If you’re not put off by graft and you (like us) believe you get out of a job what you put into it then recruitment could be for you. The rewards and the benefits are amazing, there ARE company cars and flashy, overseas incentives but you have to earn them and to do that you need to show you’re no wallflower during the interview process.

Passion and drivers; So, you don’t have experience… How do you give examples, show your strengths and demonstrate you can do the job? A hiring manager knows you haven’t don’t the role before so they will want to know about you, what drives you now and what passions you have. It could be a sport; the gym you go to or charity events you’re part of. Either way, channel those passions and demonstrate how they tie into the recruitment world. Think teamwork, people person, resilience, motivation and pressure just for starters.

How you come across/present yourself; ‘Dress for success’ and ‘dress for the job you want’ and terms banded around for a reason. You’d think that anyone going for an interview would dress smart, look clean and be presentable? We’re all adults after all. But no, we still get feedback of candidates looking scruffy, unwashed and generally unpresentable to a brand they wish to represent. Look at it from the hiring managers point of view; for starters, if you can’t be bothered to dress appropriately for the interview, what the hell will you be like when you have the job? And also, you are the face of the business, representative of their brand that has taken them years to build. The least you can do is look the part (and be fresh and clean). That said, not every company will expect you to be suited and booted. This is where we come in, we will give you inside knowledge into the company and its standards. While some do suits in the week with a casual Friday, others are more smart/casual, fans of the blazer and jeans combo. Knowing this all helps the hiring manager visualise you in the role and as part of the team, plus it will make you feel more at home on that initial tour of the office rather than the kid at school whose parents forgot non-uniform day!

How you engage; Now you know your attitude is important and your behaviour is being scrutinised but how you engage with the interviewee is also key. Yes you’re nervous (they make allowances for this) and yes you’ve never met before but clamming up just isn’t an option right now. There’s usually two fail camps people fall into; shy, wallflowers who say nothing and come across far too placid for the role. Just remember, if you get that dreaded ‘rabbit in the headlights’ feeling, take a deep breath, ask them to repeat the question (if you need to) and relax. The second is motor mouth syndrome or a case of verbal diarrhoea. When put under pressure you resort to speaking at break-neck speeds, hardly pausing for air and cutting in or interrupting. Yes, it’s important to get your points across but these managers have got to work with you and see how you’d fit into the already existing team. Keep that in mind and again, deep breath and relax, you’ll be fine.

Hopefully now you’re feeling confident and ready to nail that first interview! You know it’s about personality and showing it, while not coming across as just loud and annoying. Don’t think for a minute (because it’s an interview and that’s serious, right?) that you have to be straight faced and dull. They really do want to see what you’re like in real life… just real life with filters. Good luck, knock ‘em dead and don’t forget; we’ve got your back on this.