How To Talk To a Candidate as a Recruiter

Tech Recruiter


Let’s face it, recruiting is tough. You’re constantly bombarded with resumes, sifting through endless applications to find the perfect match for the role you’re trying to fill. 

However, according to a Harvard Business Review, a bad hiring decision can cost your company up to twice the employee’s salary! 

So, once you’ve identified a potential candidate, the interview process becomes crucial. It’s your chance to not only assess their skills and experience but also sell them on the opportunity and your company. 

Here, I’ll share some tips on how to talk to a candidate as a recruiter to ensure a smooth and successful interview process that lands you the top talent.

How Do I Talk To a Candidate as a Recruiter?

Let’s face it, talking to candidates is a core part of the recruiting game. But with so many vying for top talent, how do you make yourself stand out and have a conversation that leads somewhere?

Here’s the thing: candidates are busy. A study by The Muse found that a whopping 70% of employed professionals are passively open to new opportunities. That means they’re not actively applyingbut they’d be receptive to the right fit.

So, how do you turn that “openness” into genuine interest in your role and company? Here are some key strategies to keep in mind:

1. Do Your Research.

Before you even hit that dial, take some time to delve into the candidate’s background. Look at their resume and LinkedIn profile, but don’t stop there. 

See if they’ve written any articles, participated in industry discussions, or even left insightful comments on relevant posts. 

This pre-call prep shows you’re invested and allows you to tailor your conversation to their specific experience.

2. Be Conversational, Not Scripted.

While having a call guide is helpful, ditch the rigid script. The best conversations are natural and engaging. 

Let the candidate’s responses guide the discussion, and be prepared to ask follow-up questions that dig deeper into their skills and motivations.

3. Focus on THEM (Not Just the Job).

Remember, the interview isn’t just about selling the job. It’s also about understanding the candidate’s career goals and aspirations. 

Ask questions that uncover their ideal work environment, the types of projects they’re passionate about, and their long-term professional vision.

4. Highlight the “Why”.

It’s not enough to rattle off a list of job duties. Paint a picture of why this role would be a good fit for their skills and interests. 

Talk about the company culture, the impact the position has within the organization, and the opportunities for growth and development.

5. Be Transparent and Upfront.

Don’t sugarcoat the details. Be honest about the challenges, expectations, and compensation structure of the role. 

Transparency builds trust and allows candidates to make informed decisions about whether to move forward.

6. Listen Actively.

This may seem obvious, but truly active listening is a game-changer. Pay close attention to what the candidate is saying, both verbally and non-verbally. Pay attention to their hesitations, and their areas of excitement, and tailor your responses accordingly.

7. Follow Up Promptly

Don’t leave the candidate hanging! Thank them for their time, reiterate your interest (if applicable), and outline the next steps in the interview processThis shows professionalism and keeps them engaged.


By following these tips, you can transform your conversations from one-sided pitches to engaging dialogues that leave a lasting impression. Remember, the best candidates have options. Make sure you’re the recruiter who stands out from the crowd.

What do you think?

Written by Udemezue John

Hello, I'm Udemezue John, a web developer and digital marketer with a passion for financial literacy.

I have always been drawn to the intersection of technology and business, and I believe that the internet offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs and individuals alike to improve their financial well-being.

You can connect with me on Twitter


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