Photo Credit: Taowaki via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Taowaki via Compfight cc

A client is being interviewed by a recruiter for a job she’s not very excited about. Interested in, but not excited about. The job she is excited about is being handled by the recruiter’s firm. So she wants to know how to handle that situation.

I urged her to be both cautious and excellent in the first interview.

Re other jobs they handle, that’s a little more sensitive and best explored after you make a great impression at the interview for the first job. She has to want to either put you forward for this job or be impressed yet think you’re not exactly right for the position.

2 scenarios:

1) She wants to advance you along the first position search. You: “That’s fantastic! I am very interested in this spot, of course. I also understand that I may not end up with the position, and I’m going to continue looking. That said, I saw your firm is handling the search for the Foundation. That’s a position for which I might also be a fit, because I see my skills as well-suited for a foundation position. Do you ever put candidates forward for two positions at a time, or is that a conflict of interest?”

My guess is that it is a conflict, and she’ll want to put you forward only for the first position – and might be annoyed if you ask about the Foundation position. You could lose both opportunities. So it’s a risky move.

2) She doesn’t think you’re right for the first position. You: “I’m disappointed of course, but it’s so important to have the right fit. In fact, I’m wondering if I might be a better fit for another search your firm is doing, for the Foundation. What do you think? Is it worth my talking to the person who’s handling that search?”

This is an easier scenario because there is no conflict of interest, and she just needs to send your name and materials on to that person, hopefully with a recommendation that you’re terrific.

And then there’s the scenario where she doesn’t want to move you along and you two didn’t have any rapport (highly unlikely!), and you send your materials in to the firm anyway for the second position, hoping that you will be considered.

I hope these scripts are helpful!