I feel nervous meeting recruiters in their office; can I perhaps suggest meeting them over coffee?
What makes you nervous? Have you had an unsettling experience? I hope this is not the case. As much as I would love to sit in a café and drink coffee all day (believe me, I would love it), it’s not practical to conduct a professional interview in such an environment. You need to be in a private location where it's quiet and you won’t be interrupted. Cafes are very public and noisy places. The discussions you have with your recruiters involves your salary (always a sensitive subject) and confidential information about your current and former employers. Your resume is also a confidential document and can be subject to privacy legislation, and, as such, there are regulations which must be observed by the recruiter or hirer in its use.
Being in a private environment is also an opportunity for you to ask a lot of questions to assess whether the recruiter will be in a position to assist you and in what time frame. You don’t want to feel constricted in explaining your experience and expectations and you really don’t want to have the people at the next table eavesdropping.
Regardless of how large your city or town is, it’s amazing how often you see someone you know. You really don’t want it to be a work colleague, or even worse, your manager/boss. The recruiter may also require documentation relating to your work status (e.g. visa), citizenship/residency, depending on the type and duration of work you are seeking. This is best obtained in their office. If you still feel nervous, please let your recruiter know, they should take this into consideration. They need to make you feel at ease as they want to find out as much as possible about you.
Don’t forget, you are also interviewing them, to ensure they are the best person to represent you.
Have a question for Manda Milling, people2people Director? Let us know in the comments or tweet @p2pManda!