We’ve worked with hundreds of extremely skilled contractors at Eagle, but still have yet to come across any who knows how to read minds. Instead, everybody has to go into an interview with a recruiter without really knowing exactly how they’re being evaluated… until today! We surveyed Eagle’s Recruitment Specialists to find out exactly what they’re looking for in a first-time interview and what the biggest factors are when they form an opinion of a contractor.
Believe it or not, when recruiters meet with a contractor for the first time, the majority aren’t considering your technical skills as a priority and no recruiter said they even care about your rate preferences. In fact, most recruiters focus on your communication skills and professionalism.
- Communication Skills. Recruiters want to know that you can speak the language used at their clients’ offices, but more importantly, they want to know you can do it clearly and with tact. They’ll be considering how you answer questions — did you use enough detail? Was there too much technical jargon? Were you mumbling? If you already excel in this area, then all you should need to do is prepare to make sure it comes across in the interview. If you could use practice, try taking a few courses or joining groups like Toastmasters.
- Professionalism. Beyond communication skills is everything else that makes a professional. Recruiters are evaluating you based on how you act from the very beginning to the very end of your interview. For example, how you’re dressed, how you treat the person who greets you, and how you respond to questions. Avoid getting too casual by swearing or making jokes that may be considered inappropriate.
Above all, ATTITUDE is everything!
We also asked recruiters for the top qualities that have the greatest effect on the way they form an opinion of contractors, in the first interview and beyond. While many listed traits like being socialable and being prepared, 100% — every single recruiter — said they are judging you based on your attitude… and they want it to be positive!
Here are a few simple ways to convey a positive attitude. Remember, you should always practice this.
- Be polite. A simple please, thank you and you’re welcome goes a long way.
- Never trash-talk. Whether it’s past clients, colleagues or agencies, it’s not worth it.
- Don’t talk down to anyone.
- Try not to interrupt.
- Always smile!
Obviously recruiters will be evaluating your technical skills when considering you for specific contracts, but these softer skills are going to make you a recruiter’s first call when an opportunity comes up. In fact, if you fail to have great communication skills, professionalism and a positive attitude, your technical skills may never be considered. Would you agree?