Getting an Interview With a Recruitment Consultant is Easy but Sometimes the Process Stalls There

If you’re frustrated because you’re not getting interviews or job offers then this article is for you. The funny thing is that recruitment consultants constantly complain about a lack of good quality candidates. To be the candidate that the recruitment agent wants to send to their clients is about improving your interview skills. This is how: 

PS: Are you looking for a great new job? An interview coach is the difference between second place and a job offer.

What do recruitment consultants say?

Candidates get frustrated with recruitment consultants when they feel they aren’t put forward for jobs. So I interviewed recruitment consultants to find out why this happens. I also wanted to find out what role recruitment consultants play in finding candidates jobs.

What orange you talking about?

Be the job candidate that stands out from the rest and the one recruitment consultants choose jpeg

Darren Saul Principal at Saul Recruitment came up with a great analogy: The job market is just like other markets. Darren compared candidates to oranges. Clients want high quality oranges and they hire recruitment consultants to find them. It’s not the recruitment consultant’s job to make high quality oranges. It’s not the recruitment consultant’s job to plant, water, nurture and grow good quality job candidates.  The recruitment consultant’s job is to find quality job candidates who already interview so well that they will easily get a job offer.

Why recruitment consultants can’t help you

It’s simple maths, as much as they’d like to help, recruiters get a multitude of applications for every job they list. Recruitment Consultants don’t get paid to fix your CV or train you how to interview. They just don’t have the time to help. Recruitment consultants have a sensitive relationship with their clients. And they have to be careful with what they share with candidates to remain impartial.

Where do interviewers fail?

It’s seldom a case of a lack of technical skills. Think about it: It’s rare that a candidate doesn’t have a technical qualification for the role they are looking for. Per Darren people don’t interview well when:

  • They fail to convey their story well,
  • They don’t sell themselves and,
  • They don’t display enthusiasm for the job

It’s more about presenting and personal skills. Having technical skills won’t get you a job; you also need to learn how to interview well.

What do recruitment consultants recommend?

It’s simple – to get a job offer, you need to interview well. It’s frustrating but years of university and job experience doesn’t mean that you will interview well. Interviewing is complex. Job candidates suck at interviews because they don’t get much practice or training. Darren says that a little personal development goes a long way. You will get more job offers with a little interview preparation. Or you can take your interviewing to the next level by using an interview coach. It’s a small investment compared to what it will do for your career.

Is it my CV / Resume / Cover letter / Phone Manner?

Being the job candidate recruitment consultants choose means improving all your interview skills jpeg

You got your interview with a recruitment consultant by calling them, emailing them or sending in your resume. So whatever you did to get to this stage of the process is at least passably ok. But bear in mind that recruitment consultants have a lower standard to first meet with someone. So it’s no guarantee that your CV is good enough to get a job interview with a firm. How you would work this out is ask the recruiter directly: “With specific reference to my CV, does it need significant rework and what feedback are you able to provide?” Remember that recruitment consultants have years of experience but they don’t have the time to fix your CV. For proper help get a trusted friend to review your CV or better use a professional resume review service.

Is it my background or experience?

This can be a stumbling block. But it comes back to the way you present your skills and abilities. Per Darren: It’s about how you “articulate what you do to create confidence in the other person”. The reason why interviewers ask for background or experience is because they want to know that you are capable of doing the job. Background and experience is only one way of proving that. Being prepared for difficult interview questions is another way.


Recruitment consultants are always looking for high quality job candidates for their clients. Qualifications and experience are important but the real skill that will get you a job offer is the ability to interview well. Interviewing is one of those important life skills that “school doesn’t teach you”. We invest a lot of time and money in University and developing our jobs skills. But the best career investment to improve our employability is a little interview skills coaching.


What's your experience with recruitment consultants? Do you have any comments, tips or suggestions? Please help the rest of us out by sharing in the comments below.

Helpful resources related to this article: 

1.      Interview Success: Online Interviewing Course

2.      How to Prepare for Job Interviews

3.      How to Find Interview Coaches


This is part of the Interview Success Series. This series covers how job seekers can get the job they want. This series contains inside information from experienced recruiters.


·         How to interview better,

·         Resume Assistance,

·         Interview Questions and Answers,

·         Interview Mistakes to avoid and more…

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