Questions to help you prep for your first call with a tech recruiter

Vaco Blog Graphic - Prepare for your first call with a tech recruiter

Technology professionals are some of the most in-demand candidates in the current U.S. job market. With massive job openings in the tech sector, tech and IT workers know they have options if they decide to pursue new job opportunities. That being said, it can be overwhelming for professionals to navigate endless job postings and application processes. The scheduling, company research, and waiting to hear back can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Working with an experienced recruiter can make the entire process easier.

There are ­­­­various reasons to partner with a recruiter during your job search, regardless of your industry. But it’s especially beneficial for tech professionals in this unprecedented market. If you’re considering partnering with a tech recruiter in your search for a new role, you can prepare for your intro call by answering a few simple, yet illuminating, questions.

Mackenzie Harris, Associate Technical Recruiter at Vaco in Nashville, shares some of the big questions job seekers should answer as they prepare for their first call with a tech recruiter. 

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Mackenzie Harris, Associate Technical Recruiter, Vaco in Nashville

The importance of the initial call with your recruiter

First and foremost, your initial call will focus on exploring your professional accomplishments and nailing down your goals for your career.

The key to crushing this initial discussion is to firmly establish everything you bring to the table and, ideally, figure out which factors are non-negotiable for you as you consider new roles. It is crucial that you approach this discussion with full transparency. Your recruiter’s goal is to find the best possible position for you, and they can only do that if you’re completely honest about what you want.

Your intro call is also the first contact in what will (hopefully) become a long-term partnership, one that could have a big impact on the next step in your career journey. With that in mind, you should use the opportunity to assess whether or not the recruiter is a good fit for you, in the same way that they are assessing you as a fit for open positions.

As you anticipate your first recruiter call, prepare your answers to the following questions.

“Tell me about your current projects”

This question is essential in helping tech recruiters understand the scope of the projects you’re currently working on, as well as the skills you’re utilizing in your present role. 

Make sure you describe the project or projects in detail, including the tech stack you’re utilizing and any project management tools you’re using for documentation. 

“Walk me through what your day-to-day currently looks like”

Focus on being as specific as possible with your response to this question. Recruiters want to know the size of the team you’re currently working with and who you interact with in your day-to-day work life. If you are supporting offshore teams, make sure to mention it; it can help differentiate you from the competition. 

Read more: Want to nail your next virtual interview?

“Tell me more about your previous roles”

This question gives you the opportunity to highlight past work experiences and projects you’ve supported, whether you’re currently utilizing the relevant skill set or not. Include any specialized implementations or systems launches you’ve been a part of, especially those that required additional certifications or training. 

“What is your current team structure?”

Focus on explaining the dynamics of your current team and how you interact within your specific department. This will provide additional insight on your day-to-day work priorities and highlight crucial workplace soft skills like teamwork, collaboration, and leadership. Make sure to provide specific examples of ways you regularly collaborate with your colleagues, engage with leaders, and handle any management responsibilities you might hold. 

Your technical experience is important, but soft skills are an increasing focus for employers and hiring managers, especially when considering candidates for long-term roles.

“What’s missing in your current role that is essential for any future roles?”

This is a key question all good recruiters ask. Knowing your main career drivers is not only crucial for you in your job search, but it provides your recruiter with a more holistic understanding of the positions that are best suited to you. Be as honest as possible with your response; it will help drive a more effective search for your dream job. 

“What is an acceptable salary range?”

Again, honesty is key here. If you’re willing to accept a lower salary for a role that provides great flexibility, an impressive employee benefits package, or good equity compensation, let your recruiter know. If you’re firm on a particular salary range for strictly on-site roles, be honest about that, too. 

Your recruiter’s goal is to find you the best possible role for the best possible salary. Providing a realistic and honest salary range is a key part of helping them do that.

“What certifications do you have?”

Don’t be afraid to show off your accomplishments.

If you’re a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), or Project Management Professional (PMP), or if you hold other applicable certifications, make it known! This isn’t the time to shy away from your qualifications. Showcase the accomplishments that differentiate you from other job applicants.

As you navigate the start of your partnership with a tech recruiter, the key thing to remember is that success depends on honesty and preparation. Make the most of your first conversation with your recruiter by being transparent about your career goals and desires and preparing your answers to common questions beforehand. This will help ensure that your introduction is a productive and enlightening experience, for both you and the recruiter. 

Need help connecting with a tech recruiter? Reach out to one of our team members today!

Want to learn more about what it is like to partner with a recruiter? Read our Frequently Asked Questions here.

Learn more about Vaco in Nashville, Tennessee


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