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Workforce Recruitment Program: 3 Useful Interview Tips

By Rowe Leathers, GCDF, CCSP, EQ-I 2.0
Senior Career Coach

The 2022 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) has opened for student registration, and it’s an exciting opportunity for those who qualify. The program is open to our current students and alumni who are eligible under the Schedule A Hiring Authority.

Registrants for the Workforce Recruitment Program will be added to a database of applicants. Both federal and private-sector employers can select qualified candidates for their job openings throughout 2023.

Volunteer Recruiters Offer Information to WRP Applicants

To help WRP applicants gain insight into the federal hiring process, volunteer recruiters offer informational interviews – all you have to do is ask for the interview.

These informational interviews provide you with an opportunity to ask specific questions about job roles, company culture and industry best practices. Insight from these information interviews can help you anticipate your next steps.

Rather than allow your nerves to get the best of you and pass on a possible opportunity to meet with a professional recruiter, it’s best to take some simple steps to prepare for the informational interview. Here are three tips to help you.  

Tip #1: Set Realistic Expectations and Be Specific about the Information You Want

Don’t expect more than 30 minutes of a Workforce Recruitment Program volunteer recruiter’s time unless he or she offers a longer time slot. If you need special accommodations for your interview, be sure to inform your coordinator about the specifics of what you will need.

Also, be specific about the information you seek– this interview is not the time to ask about generalities. Do your research ahead of time so that you have some knowledge about the industry, company and the recruiter you’re meeting.

Resources you can use for research include corporate websites, professional associations, news articles and LinkedIn. Your questions should be thoughtful to show enthusiasm and interest in the company.

In addition, be respectful of a recruiter’s time and advice. Even if the advice a recruiter gives is not directly beneficial to you, be sure to show your gratitude. 

RELATED: How to Effectively Market Soft Skills on Your Resume

Tip #2: Organize Your Agenda for the Workforce Recruitment Program Interview

Because you requested the interview with a Workforce Recruitment Program volunteer recruiter, you are expected to lead it. Strive to have a comfortable, two-way conversation. 

You can minimize the chance of sounding like an interrogator by asking the recruiter about his/her career journey and sharing some of your career goals. Visit the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile to get some talking points.

RELATED: LinkedIn: Look Beyond the Surface during Pre-Interview Research

Most people are generally flattered that someone has reached out to hear their thoughts and opinions and have a natural desire to help when they can. Be sure to do your research, prepare thoughtful questions and organize the questions so the conversation flows smoothly. Your questions could be based around these areas:

  • Industry/field – What would you like to know about the industry as a rising professional in the field?
  • The company – What is the company culture? Does the organization want people to work remotely or be in the office full-time?
  • The job role – What are the requirements of the role?

Tip #3: Practice Professionalism, Especially after Your WRP Informational Interview

After the informational interview, be sure to send a thank-you note – an email is acceptable. Taking time to say thank you shows gratitude toward the recruiter, who took time out of a busy schedule to speak with you.

People are more inclined to help you when they feel appreciated. Your new contact will have a natural curiosity about your career decisions and wonder if their advice helped to shape those decisions. A follow-up email sharing your outcomes will help to keep your connection active. 

For information on the Workforce Recruitment Program, please visit the WRP website or email Career Services.  

Rowe Leathers is a Senior Career Coach. She is a graduate of San Jose State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in psychology. Prior to coming to the University, Rowe held a position in Career Services with a trade school where she enjoyed performing all the various aspects of Career Services. She holds career coaching credentials as a GCDF and CCSP, as well as the EQ-I 2.0/EQ 360 certification credentials.

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