Five Recruiter Secrets You Should Know

See also: Diversity Recruitment and Retention Strategies


An excellent resume and an invitation to an interview do not guarantee that you have found a job. We learned from TalentKompass Deutschland jobs specialists what is important for HR and why suitable candidates are rejected.

We are happy to share these secrets here to make your interviews more successful.

Personal Likes Matter

Specialists from a well-known recruiting company, TalentKompass Deutschland, say that experience, skills, and professionalism are not the only decisive factors in recruitment. Another important thing is just to be liked. If the requirements for the applicant are low, you will have many competitors. The HR manager will most likely have to choose among several candidates and here personal attitude plays a significant role.

Also, keep in mind that if a strong candidate was interviewed before you, the recruitment team may underestimate you, and after a weak one, they may overestimate you. If possible, let someone else who seems less promising go ahead of you. Appearance matters too: dress appropriately, leave your expensive accessories at home, and pay attention to your hair. Don't wear perfume and make sure your clothes are clean.

Your Social Networks Will Be Checked

You should try to find out as much as possible about the company, and the company will be trying to find out as much as possible about you. Check your social networks and put them in order before applying for a vacancy. If you think that your profile is only for you and your friends, close it from views. However, some recruiters may be wary of this. Therefore, cleaning up your page and removing everything dubious is better. You, too, can and should check out the employer based on reviews from former employees. Look on social networks for a contact person who responds to you on behalf of the company.


TalentKompass Deutschland reviews many employers and concludes that they are reluctant to give a second chance to unsuccessful candidates. If you once applied for a vacancy in a company and did not pass the interview, you are on the "blacklist" of applicants.

Many people don't realize this. A refusal is usually formulated as "We are forced to refuse you, but we will keep you in our resume database." And this is the truth - they will keep you in their database, but this is not a database of promising candidates, but instead a list of those whose resumes will immediately go into the trash.

HR usually doesn't tell you the valid reason for the refusal, especially if you went through two stages of selection and got cut at the third. But here, you will never be called to work again.

Right and Wrong Answers Exist

When HR asks questions like "Where do you see yourself in five years?" or "Tell me about your shortcomings" they expect to hear a particular answer. To understand how to answer these questions, carefully study:

  • The requirements of the vacancy

  • Everything that the company indicated in the "About Us" section, their corporate culture and values.

Your answer must be sincere and adequate. It is alarming if an applicant for a sales position paints a picture of how they will rise to the company's director position in five years.

When talking about your shortcomings, emphasize that you are struggling with them and have already achieved some success. And, of course, choose those shortcomings that will not affect the results of your work. If an applicant for a sales manager position says that they do not like talking on the phone, they are unlikely to be invited to work there.

They Don't Want to Overpay You

The vacancy states a "negotiable" salary, which means real negotiations are ahead. The company wants to save money - this is natural. The conversation about pay will start with a reduced amount.

If a candidate has no experience in salary negotiations and does not know the situation in the labor market, they have lost. Therefore, if you apply for a vacancy without specifying a salary, first assess your "worth." There are two different approaches.

First, you can add 10-15% to your previous salary and focus on this amount. Second, you can find the average salary of such specialists in the region. To do this, look at similar vacancies.

To achieve the desired salary, prove that you are really worth that much. Facts that help you are achievements in your previous job and experience. But you shouldn’t talk about your mortgage and three children as this has nothing to do with the employer. The principle of salary negotiations is simple: if you prove your usefulness to the company, you can dictate your terms.

Bonus Tips

TalentKompass Deutschland review specialists conduct many interviews and review lots of resumes, so they can offer some more valuable tips for applicants.

  • Knowing the terminology shows that you are a professional, and adding some keywords to your resume increases your search rankings. But when meeting with a recruiter in person, avoid "clever" words and be yourself.

  • If desired, the recruiter will contact people who know you or who are within your network. If these people are not connected to you through friendships or other "special" relationships, why shouldn't they be honest when characterizing you? Don't keep professional skeletons in your closet, and be prepared to objectively talk about any situation that could be interpreted not in your favor.

  • Even the most straightforward recruiter will not tell you to your face that you are Plan B. If it seems that the employer is playing for time, coming up with excuses, and communicating after the interview in vague terms, you don't think so. Most likely, they are waiting for a response from another candidate who is higher than you in the informal selection ranking.


Career consultants advise memorizing your resume and carefully studying the vacancy's requirements will help you correctly answer HR questions. However, that's not all. There are things that no coach will tell you - for example, what influences a recruiter's choice (no, it's not just your professional skills). We discussed all the pitfalls you may encounter on the way to the coveted vacancy. Now, all you have to do is consider them and put them into practice.

About the Author

Helmut Weber has worked in HR for more than a decade and loves sharing his experience with fellow HR professionals and job seekers.