You know the feeling when a headhunter calls you. If you ever got the call that is? You feel a sense of pride and excitement. You think to yourself: "Finally, someone found me, someone discovered my talent, the big salary and company car coming my way, the neighbours will surely notice my new status, my spouse and children will acknowledge how smart I am". I should go buy a lottery ticket today".
But guys, slow down and hold the horses. You may be spammed, you may be just a number that some lazy junior recruiter found on LinkedIn. Perhaps someone who has to get your resume to make the KPI for registered resumes in their database.
Believe me, many recruiters calling you may not even have a real job or client on hand. The call is merely to pretend, so they can get your resume and perhaps names of your friends and colleagues.
Advice number 1: Ask the recruiter if they have a specific job they are working on, and if so, ask for a presentation of client company and job. Ask for location, for compensation budget. A professional recruiter will have no problem providing you with this information. If no detailed information can be shared on the spot, it's a bogus call and you should end the call.
Advice number 2: Great recruiters will introduce themselves; state their company name and own name. Amateur recruiters will just say: "I'm calling from ABC Company; are you looking for a job". Ask for the recruiters web site, then tell the recruiter to call you back tomorrow so you have time to research who called you.
Advice number 3: Ask the recruiter for their office address. Check if they are in a prestigious building in the central business district? Ask where the interview will take place, if you agree to come forward. If the answer is a hotel lobby or Starbucks, the recruitment company is running a shoestring business with little space to conduct their business. Listen, this is not serious and you should never sit in a public area to interview.
Advice number 4: Perhaps you have a profile on LinkedIn; ask the recruiter if they have seen it. If not, ask the caller to check it out and call you back. If they have seen you on LinkedIn, ask what in your profile attracted them.
Recruiters cannot earn a dime without candidates like you. If a recruiter reaches out to you — intruding on your busy day — and can’t take the time to prove his or her value to you by answering your questions before launching into a mini-interview, they cannot help you! You must vet the recruiters who call you. You get to decide who will represent you to employers. Don’t choose someone who is rude or pushy! Choose a recruiter who respects you and your background, as well as your time. When a recruiter contacts you, don’t start answering their questions about your background right away. They haven’t yet earned the right to ask you any questions.