Managing Director, Ambition Hong Kong
How to keep recruiters keen, when they first make contact
Upon first contacting me, many companies or recruiters appear enthusiastic with regards to my application. Then they suddenly do a complete 180-degree turn. For example, I had one recruiter call to make an appointment for an interview, then email me immediately to cancel with no desire to reschedule. There are too many of these occurrences happening for them just to be a coincidence. Are there companies in Hong Kong that can run a background check on myself?
Thank you for your question, which I’ll answer in two parts. Firstly, there are companies in Hong Kong that can run a background check on you and a simple Google search will supply their names so you can contact them.
Secondly, I’m fairly sure this is not your issue, because hiring managers or third party recruiters will not run background checks at the beginning of a recruitment assignment, preferring to leave this process until closer to the offer stage.
A more likely scenario is that they contact you because they like what they see in your resume – your knowledge skills and experience – and want to either conduct a telephone interview or arrange a face-to-face interview. On the basis of this conversation, or shortly afterwards, they decide that although you may have the technical or commercial experience required, your interpersonal or language skills are not strong enough for them or their client. This would account for the about turn in their level of interest.
So, while that is bad news, the good news is that you can change their perception of you, through what you say and how you say it. Practice answering the type of questions you have been asked previously until you feel you can confidently answer any question, as well as asking some questions about the employer or the job itself.
Once you know what to say, you need to develop an acceptable way of saying it by communicating confidently with a degree of honesty, humility and warmth in your voice. If you can engage positively with them for the length of the conversation, then they will feel sufficiently reassured that your interpersonal skills match the qualities they see in your resume. As a result, they will want to meet you in person to explore further. That interview exploration is another topic!
One thing you don’t mention is whether these conversations are being conducted in your native language. If they are, then the problem is easier to solve but if they’re not then, while the solution is the same, the remedy takes longer to master because you have to achieve a higher level of confidence in a language other than your own.
I hope this helps and good luck with your job search.