A recruiter contacted me on LinkedIn. They referenced that I had attended an event at their company and say they want to talk about me, my interests and their company (this is an inhouse recruiter) and the possibilities they offer. We set a time to have coffee.

Now I know this is a company that reaches out to many graduates. How do I stand out, and how do I ask them why they reached out to me? (OK I know my LinkedIn profile is good but let's set that aside).

Asking "what did you have in mind for me?" is probably not a good idea, as it conveys the idea that I do not want to take charge of my own job search. There is some information on the company online, but this seems very generic. What can I ask to get more, appropriate, information? And at the same time: come across as interested?

Edit: this was marked as a possible duplicate of "How to respond to vague recruiter requests" but that question is more about recruiters fishing. I am genuinely interested in getting more information from this recruiter, I just don't know how to phrase it.

  • That one does not have useful answers for me, see last paragraph of my question.
    – user57680
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:21
  • If you want more information, you could ask or send via e-mail the direct question, e.g. "Could you share with me a list of your open positions?"
    – Brandin
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:32
  • @i-love-euclides I cast the close vote as that felt like that post covered the one part of your question that wasn't way too broad to answer in this Q&A format. You're basically asking us "how should I interview?".
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


You're seriously overthinking this. The same vague invitation was likely spammed out to hundreds of people who match whatever keywords they're looking for. Response rates for this kind of fishing expedition are really low (2-5%), so all you need to do to "stand out" is respond and show interest.

  • edited my question to include that this recruiter referenced an event I attended at their company, so we're not looking at a spamming recruiter
    – user57680
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:21
  • 1
    So they likely mailed everybody at that event then. My advice is unchanged: you already have their attention, just meet the recruiter and see what they're offering. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:25
  • 1
    but what to ask them specifically?
    – user57680
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:33
  • Start by listening. They already have something in mind, let them pitch it to you and see what you think. Rest assured, they do not care about "your interests", all they want to know is if you're a possible fit for a role they already have. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 11:35

A lot of recruiters on LinkedIn use these canned "I saw you at X, Y and you said Z" sort of spam messages. Everywhere I worked my HR Department did this, anyone who attended events, or matched certain keywords or looked at their profiles would get this message. It casts a wide net and gets people interested.

As mentioned, all you have to do is reply to show interest and meet up, and you have already done that. Without knowing about the company or any other pertinent information asking what you should say is out of anyone's wheelhouse to answer.

Just be honest, tell this recruiter that you are very interested in their company and are looking forward to hearing about openings and would be interested in interviewing for open positions.

Don't overthink it, just be professional and let them do the talking.