A recruiter's role can range from gatekeeper to final decision-maker during the interview process. Their role depends on their level of authority, but mostly on their ability to interview candidates effectively and choose wisely among those candidates. Most recruiters are involved in the interview process from preliminary screening to selecting candidates to fill job vacancies.
The telephone screening is the earliest stage in the interview process and the recruiter's role is twofold. They will confirm that you're interested in the job and that your work history or experience is consistent with the job requirements.
Many recruiters will start the telephone interview with a description of the job and then ask if you're still interested. They follow up with questions about your work experience and qualifications to see if you meet the basic requirements for the job.
Generally speaking, the recruiter's role is to determine whether you're qualified for the position. However, that requires that the recruiter ask certain questions and observe the way you describe your qualifications. For example, recruiters ask behavioral interview questions to gauge whether management candidates really understand the basic principles of how to lead departmental functions and manage employees. A typical behavioral interview question is, "Tell me about a time when you overcame adversity." From this type of question, the recruiter's role is to see whether you understand how to evaluate situations and solve problems effectively.
Recruiters play an essential role in making recommendations to hiring managers. Through the questions they ask, recruiters compare candidates’ qualifications and rank the candidates from the most qualified down to the candidate whose qualifications are average. The recruiter then meets with the hiring manager to explain why he selected each candidate to come in for a face-to-face interview.
In cases of panel interviews, the recruiter generally is responsible for organizing or selecting panel members, coordinating the logistics and providing the panel members with appropriate interview questions. The recruiter might also participate in a panel interview to keep the interviews on schedule. After the panel finishes asking questions, the recruiter collects panel members’ notes and might even tally the responses to recommend a final candidate.
When all candidates have been interviewed through the second or third round of questions, a recruiter's job isn't over. During this final stage in the interview process, recruiters listen to feedback from hiring managers and check references for the top candidates. The recruiter has to draft suitable questions for the candidates' references and determine which candidate is overall best suited for the job based on the hiring manager's preference and information from references.
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