When you’re looking for a job, it’s natural to want to put your best foot forward and make a winning first impression. From a polished resume to a professional appearance, there’s no room for error when interviewing with a prospective employer. Sometimes, this also means omitting information during the interview process, such as concerns about work-life balance or questions about advancement opportunities. Expressing doubts about a job while simultaneously interviewing for it can send conflicting signals to your prospective employer. That’s where a recruiter comes in.

While you can’t always speak candidly during an interview, you can – and should – speak candidly to your recruiter. In fact, you may be surprised at how helpful a recruiter can be when it comes to addressing your concerns with the hiring manager. Our goal is to ensure everyone is satisfied with the outcome.

Your recruiter is your advocate to help you find the best role to further your professional growth and development. But your recruiter can only be an effective advocate if he or she knows what you’re truly looking for in a job and the factors that will impact your decision-making process.

When it comes to working with your recruiter, answer these questions honestly:

1. What are you looking to get out of your next position?
Recently, I worked with a candidate here in Denver who was interviewing for his second accounting role out of college. Initially, everything seemed to be going smoothly. Halfway through the interview process, however, he told me that while he liked his prospective employer, he was really looking for a position with more finance exposure. Before that moment, I had no idea that he was interested in finance! Fortunately, I was able to speak to the hiring manager about my candidate’s aspirations and the hiring manager adapted the role to include more finance work.

If the candidate had pulled out of the process without telling me why, he might have never realized that his goals could be accommodated. That’s why it pays to be honest and specific up front about what you want to get out of your next job. I can be more efficient looking for the right roles and work with hiring managers to adapt job descriptions to fit your professional goals.

2. What other factors will influence your decision?
Whenever you’re making a big life change like switching jobs, there are many factors that influence your decision. For example, I recently worked with a candidate who was thinking about accepting an offer that would require a significantly longer commute. We had talked through the implications and it seemed like he was okay with the commute change. However, he ultimately ended up declining the offer because his wife was changing jobs at the same time and a longer commute was going to prevent them from dropping off their children at daycare.

If I had known about his wife’s situation up front, I could have asked the company to offer a later start time. Companies are usually willing to get creative and solve these logistic problems if it means they can hire their top choice candidate.

3. How do you feel about the new role?
After I’ve worked with you to land a great offer and negotiate the right package, there’s one more factor that comes into play before you accept: your headspace. How do you feel about the new role? Unfortunately, this is where candidates tend to clam up the most. Everything might look great on paper, but the emotional aspect of the decision can be tough to articulate. Candidates sometimes don’t feel comfortable telling me that something feels too good to be true, or they’re afraid that they’ll be taking on too much responsibility, or that something about the new position just doesn’t feel right.

This is where a recruiter’s perspective can help. I’ve worked in this industry for years and I’ve seen a lot. Whatever you’re thinking, I can help talk you through it and address your concerns.

As your recruiter, I want the best for you. The more honest you are with me, then the more streamlined the process will be from end-to-end, and the more likely you are to end up in the right role.

When has honesty in the job search helped you? Please share your experiences in the comments below.


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