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The Key To Success at the Job Interview? Show Empathy In the Recruitment Process!

Updated on September 16th, 2023

June 5th, 2023

Ontology Of Value The-Key-To-Success-at-the-Job-Interview-Show-Empathy-In-the-Recruitment-Process-1024x683 The Key To Success at the Job Interview? Show Empathy In the Recruitment Process! Job Applications and Interviews

This text was fully written by humans.

At the job interviews, we tend to treat the recruiter – who is a representative of our potential future employer – as the opposing side of negotiations armed with unlimited resources at disposal, and is in the position of power. 

However, in fact, the recruiter is your partner in negotiations rather than your opponent. In this article, we discuss the need for a proper mindset before job interviews. Remember: empathy goes the long way!

What Is Empathy?

The textbook definition of empathy is nothing other than “the ability to understand and share the feelings and perspectives of others.” There is more than just one level of empathy, as you might be able to read other people’s emotional states with or without feeling compassion for their situation.

And in fact, the scope of human basic and complex emotions is broad. While most individuals are able to recognize basic (or, universal) emotions in others, empathic people can capture and resonate with complex, nuanced emotions as well.

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Source: VOX.

How Do We Perceive Recruiters and Why Is Empathy Essential In the Recruitment Process?

At the job interviews, we tend to treat the recruiter – who is a representative of our potential future employer – as the opposing side of negotiations armed with unlimited resources at disposal, and is in the position of power. 

Now, let’s talk about human interaction in the process of negotiating an employment contract. What most career experts will tell you, is that the recruiter is your opponent playing a zero-sum game with you. What we will tell you, however, is that the recruiter is your partner in negotiations rather than your opponent.

And that you, in fact, have common goals: you want to find a good match in skills, working culture, and expectations, and make sure that the compensation is firm enough to motivate you to give it your best and grow.

The only pain point is some differing constraints on both sides. Your acceptable compensation is capped at the bottom, while the approved salary range is capped at the top — and you need to find an equilibrium point acceptable for both sides together.

This article is about how to develop the proper mindset before the job interviews, and how to approach the recruiter so that they notice a mature, empathic person in you, and put you on top of their leaderboard!

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How Does The Reality of Working as a Recruiter Look?

Before you negotiate your salary, think about the human factor. If you better understand the reality of working as a recruiter, you will get much better job interview experience. 

And as a matter of fact, recruiters are one of the most stressed out professional groups! Why? Well, for many reasons. 

Just imagine that you work as a recruiter for a successful, innovative company. According to what is known about recruitment as a profession, you probably are:

1. Depressed.

Recruitment is an extremely hectic and stressful job with high odds of depression. Especially after the pandemic broke out, 61% of recruiters declared increased levels of stress at work.

2. Paid Less Than You Deserve.

Recruiters are constantly under high pressure, as finding and hiring the best talent is one of the major factors for success in the market. High stakes and much responsibility are rarely rewarded with high compensation though.

3. In Danger of Creating Bias in the Selection Process. 

You can help yourself to be more efficient at work using AI tools but as wonderfully described by Joy Buolamwini in the Netflix Documentary “The Coded Bias,” there is a high risk of an AI-induced bias in the selection process. Therefore, you need to be extremely careful while introducing AI tools to your practice, especially if you don’t know the detailed algorithms behind them.

4. In Danger of Losing a Job When Economy Goes South.

The golden rule of crisis management in industry: in case of recession and layoffs, recruiters go first. Recruiters know that if anything goes wrong with the economy, they will be sacrificed without pardon. 

5. In Danger of Losing a Job To The Younger and Fitter.

There are low barriers to entry. This type of job doesn’t require a PhD, highly specialist skills, or deep domain knowledge. This means that if you work as a recruiter, it is relatively easy to replace you — especially with younger and more energetic employees who can read more resumes per hour and type quicker.

6. In Danger of Losing a Job To AI.

Needless to say, now that ChatGPT and Bard have become some of the most popular tools in the professional environment, we are on the brink of multiple professions getting extinct. Will a recruiter become one of them? Only time will tell, but early stage recruiters are certainly in danger of getting replaced by AI. 

7. In Danger of Losing a Job if You Say One Word Too Much.

As a recruiter, you need to be extremely cautious about anything that you say and write, as one misplaced word might result in suing the company.

For instance, it is better to avoid answering any questions from candidates related to the reasons why they got a rejection. The point is: there is more to lose than to gain. Yes, you want to help them explaining why they heard “no” this time, and help them get the job next time. 

BUT the problem is: if you say anything that might sound like the employer is biased with respect to candidates’ age, gender, religion, ethnicity, or any other demographic, the candidate might sue the employer — and you might lose your job. So, better to stay quiet no matter how much you wish to help people.

8. A No Name.

No one knows the names of recruiters in history. Books on business and innovation never mention recruiters by name!

You don’t get much respect from your colleagues for your engagement and impact on the company’s success. R&D employees are seen as the innovators and the drivers of the organization, or the stars of the whole show, while you are seen as a plain gatekeeper.

9. A Bearer of Bad News.

As a recruiter, you have to reject 90-99.9% of candidates, no matter how impressive their skills and background are or how much you empathize with their life circumstances. How un-cool and depressive is that!

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Show Empathy To The Recruiter in the Recruitment Process!

All things considered, being a recruiter poses a significant challenge and comes with considerable work-related stress. Hence, during contract negotiations, small acts of kindness can truly work wonders. 

1. Be Warm.

Smile at the recruiter and let them speak. Be brief and don’t interrupt. At the end of the meeting, tell the recruiter that you enjoyed the conversation. Sometimes as little as that makes a difference. 

2. Think of Te Recruiter as a Member of Your (Future) Tribe.

In the conversation, show team thinking. Use the expressions “we,” “our,” “for us” as many times as possible as that they feel included in your vision of the company.

3. Show Interest In the Recruiter’s Point of View.

Ask the recruiter personal questions during the interview, such as “What is your favorite aspect of working here?”

Also, ask their opinion, for instance: “What is your opinion the leading factor for success in this company?” or “What is your opinion the leading factor for success of this company in the market?”

4. Be Thankful.

Thank the recruiter for their time, for their invitation, and for their questions and advice. Also, send them a message after the interview (preferably within 24 hours), thanking them for their time and telling them that you would be delighted to work together.

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Conclusion: Why Is Showing Empathy in the Job Recruitment Process So Important?

When it comes to job interviews, we often view recruiters as adversaries representing our potential future employers. However, it’s crucial to reconsider our approach to human interaction during contract negotiations and develop a more friendly, empathic approach. 

In this article, we discuss the need for developing a proper mindset before job interviews. Most importantly, people want to work with those who respect them — sometimes, even more so than with people who are objectively the smartest or best prepared. Remember: empathy goes the long way. Best of luck with your job interviews! 

Would you like to read more about the rules for successfully passing job interviews? Please find our other articles in this area:

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Please cite as:

Bielczyk, N. (2023, June 5th). The Key To Success at the Job Interview? Show Empathy In the Recruitment Process! Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/empathy-in-the-recruitment-process/

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