I have never known what to really say or not to say to a recruiter when he is checking in after assigning me.

If everything is going well, I usually just say that and often follow it up with "does the client have any feedback about me?"

I don't know if that question is appropriate, but what do you say to a recruiter if everything seems to be going along fine, but there are tasks that you find daunting or have never done before?

I guess what I am asking is, how much can you confide in a recruiter? What do you say, what don't you say, when they are checking in.

For example, if you are moving along nicely, but you honestly have no idea how you are going to solve a very needed fix, but you are working towards figuring it out. How do you present that? Or do you not present it at all?

4 Answers 4


A recruiter has no business knowing about your work assignments, or difficulties thereof. They cannot do anything about that. They can help you in getting in touch with open positions - keep that in mind while responding to their question.

They ask the question because they want to know whether you are OK in the setup / environment in which you are placed and whether you'd be giving them a call about further switch or not.

So, choose your answer.

  • If you're having difficulty in one task, but you're happy overall (compensation, benefits, team, manager, office / work location - overall),a simple "Yes, I'm good" should suffice.

  • If, for some reason the employment relation did not work out to the best of your expectation, and you want to move on, you can let the recruiter know you're open for opportunities.

  • 1
    okay, you are all giving me awesome answers, thank you.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 15:38
  • 1
    +1 - the recruiter likely isn't asking you to simply be personable. They're asking because, if you're not happy, they want to get moving to both A) Find you another spot where you would be happy, and B) Start checking whether they have someone else that might be a good for the position instead.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 21:24
  • @Kevin, what if the situation is one where you feel you in over your head, what do you say to a recruiter then? Let me know if you want me to ask this as a separate question on a new post.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 17:35
  • @Daniel - You might need to separate the concerns. Problems/issues/etc with your current job that you want to resolve should be talked about with the employer - the recruiter has no business being involved in that sort of thing. A problem where you want to leave your current job and find another one? That's when a recruiter comes into play.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 20:18
  • @Kevin, that distinction you made is helpful, thank you.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 20:20

I guess what I am asking is, how much can you confide in a recruiter?

Confide? No

You need to remember / realize that a relationship with a recruiter is primarily a business relationship.
By that I mean that your recruiter's loyalty is to their career, their employer, and the client. Not necessarily in that order, but at least one (probably two) of those loyalties come ahead of their loyalty to you. They act like a friend would, but they are in sales and that's what good salespeople do.
Note that I'm not trying to belittle them, or you.

For it to be more than business, you have to work for them a while (years, not months).

What do you say, what don't you say, when they are checking in.

They are calling to chat with you either because it is time to do so or because you screwed up.
And you have to screw up bad for that to happen (you will likely already know what you did wrong if this is the case).

Unless something is really wrong, you should tell them everything is fine.

That is what they are expecting to hear. That is what they want to hear.

The work environment is sort-of the recruiter's business.
If you are having trouble with the people you work with, you can mention it.
I do not mean minor stuff like they go out to lunch and never invite you, I mean

If people aren't friendly or treat you as a second class citizen because you're a temp/contractor, you can mention that to the recruiter. It is good for them to know.

If you got a bad review from a superior and you can explain the reasons why that person was wrong, consider mentioning this. (They'll likely hear about it anyway.)

Otherwise, "Everything is fine, thanks!"
They are expecting to hear that everything is fine. They don't want to hear a bunch of minor stuff.
If you can't do the job because it is hard for you... don't tell. Suck it up and do the job they're expecting you to do. It is supposed to be hard, that's why they're paying you.

On the other hand... if you've missed deadlines (and other people aren't missing their deadlines) it would be time to say that you aren't happy... and are there other jobs?


Act like you've been there before. That's what developers do -- figure out how to solve problems. My response might be something to the effect of "It's challenging, but I'm enjoying it."


They have three things they are interested in:

  1. Did I damage the recruitment companies reputation by sending a dud
  2. How likely am I that I can get another years commission out of this guy?
  3. Is it at all possible they might be hiring again soon?

Their questions will be aimed at answering those for themselves and your answers should only be minimal since the recruiter really doesn't care about you as a person.

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