impressed recruitment consultants

3 Things Recruitment Consultants Look For in Job Candidates (Regardless of the Role).

impressed recruitment consultants

This is John’s “I’m so impressed” face…

During your job search, it’s pretty likely that you’re going to deal with a fair few recruitment consultants.

In fact, companies are using them more and more these days (find out why, here).

So you kind of need to know how to impress them!


Firstly, some companies prefer to work exclusively through an agency – and simply won’t consider your application if it hasn’t been screened and accepted by their consultant.

But there are some other great benefits to knowing how to win over a recruitment consultant…

  1. You’ll get access to vacancies before anyone else does.
  2. Your consultant will fight your corner and really sell you to employers.
  3. Your consultant will offer loads of handy guidance on things like CV-writing and interviews.

Pretty handy, right?

Now, obviously, to impress a consultant, you have to be right for the role (IE. have the right skills and experience) but other than that, there are three, more generic traits that consultants will look for.

And they are…

1. Commitment

Take it from me; it is pretty frustrating when you fully back a candidate, invest time and effort in helping them to win and then when they’re successful, they reject the job offer, altogether.

Or even worse, when they just don’t show up to interview.

Despite anything else, it makes us look bad in front of our clients.

(I know, I know, circumstances change and the odd knock-back is part and parcel of the recruitment industry – but a simple phone call or a bit of honesty would save us some real heartache). 

So, after years of unexpected set-backs, recruitment consultants have become pretty damn suspicious. They’re going to want to know that you actually really do want the job – and that you’re not going to flake because of a counter-offer or because you’re afraid to take a risk.

So they’ll be looking for…

  • Regular communication and follow-up from you.
  • Professionalism, in written and spoken communication.
  • Warning signs of flakiness (EG. if you miss the first telephone interview).
  • Genuine interest in the role (EG. do you know what you’ve applied for?).
  • Effort (EG. is your CV in good shape and do you go the extra mile?).
  • Passion.

Consultants are pretty good (but not infallible) at spotting time-wasters early on in the process.

Remember, you never know when you’ll want to work with them (or their agency) again and if you have a big black cross by your name (because you weren’t committed last time) you’ll find it much harder to impress.

2. Confidence (to a degree).

Ok, I’m not saying you have to be the loudest, most confident person in the world.

But you do have to be able to speak and sell yourself in front of interviewers you don’t know, so if you struggle to talk to the consultant, they’re going to be a little worried.

Not to mention the fact that many employers now actively specify that they want to see “confident” and “friendly” candidates who can “handle the pressure” – or similar.

Recruiter Pro Tip.

As somewhat of an introvert myself, I know how annoying it is when people say “just BE confident.”

But there are some great ways to fake it!

Click here to read about a few of them.

Honestly, the more you practice, the easier it gets (and the more confident you actually become).

3. Likeability

This one’s slightly more difficult to judge.

But basically, a recruitment consultant isn’t going to send anyone to interview who they think is going to act like a d*ck.

Obviously, we all get on with different kinds of people, but there are some things that are likely to irritate most people.

They include…

  • Rudeness. For example, being late for interviews.
  • Bluntness. There is such a thing as too much honesty.
  • Arrogance. When “confident” candidates overdo it.
  • Anger. Job-seeking is hard. But you’ve got to keep it together!

…I’m sure you can imagine the rest.

It’s just important to remember that most of what you do and say will be fed back to the hiring manager – negative or positive – so you do kind of have to make an effort to get along with people.

Seriously, some of things we’ve heard from candidates are absolutely shocking.

Pretty simple…right?

At the end of the day, recruitment consultants have to weigh up whether you would genuinely make a valuable asset to their client’s team.

By sending you to interview, they’re giving their “professional opinion” and they’re not going to risk their reputation on someone who doesn’t seem passionate, confident enough or even friendly.

They want to set up the best candidates, with their clients.

Want more advice?

If you’d like some more tips on impressing recruiters, check these blogs out…

Or, feel free to subscribe to our Candidate Tips blog – HERE.

Good luck.

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2 years ago

nice work, keep up the good work.

Keith Marrigold
Keith Marrigold
1 year ago

confidence and likeability have got to be at the top of the list for me. Good content here mate.