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Five Questions To Ask A Recruiter When Interviewing For A Job

It's an exciting time -- you are about to apply for your first 'career' job! While you have probably focused on how to answer questions, have you considered which questions you should ask? Here are six questions to ask a recruiter when interviewing for a job.

Jan 21, 2019
  • Education
Five Questions To Ask A Recruiter When Interviewing For A Job

When the recruiter asks, "Do you have any questions for me?" never say "no".

Are you ready for your first proper job interview? It is likely that you're prepared to answer all kinds of questions about yourself, which is great, but have you done your other homework? That's right: part of your success in this interview depends on the kinds of questions you ask the recruiter. Don't make it a laundry list!

Here are six questions to get you started:

1. How do you measure success in this role?

Asking this question shows you care about metrics. That's a good thing -- you like accountability and you want to make sure that you hit all the goals you are supposed to.

How does it help you? You should have a clear idea of what the recruiter expects from the position and how they measure whether you meet those expectations.

Look for a clear answer that can be a jumping-off point for follow-up questions.

2. What kind of person ideally fits this job?

If you want the job, you want to remove any doubts that the recruiter may have by asking this question. They need to clearly explain exactly what they want and determine whether you're a good fit.

Ideally, you'll convince them that you're the perfect candidate for the position.

Here are some other ways to ask it:

What skills and experiences does your ideal candidate have?

What attributes does the successful candidate need to have?

What skill set are you looking to fill with this new hire?

However, try to avoid asking if this has already been detailed at length.

In the natural flow of conversation, you should be able to show that you are the perfect fit for the position.

3. How long have you worked for the company?

This question is about relationship-building. When in doubt, ask the recruiter about him or herself. People love to talk about themselves. It's a great way to create a bond without getting too personal.

Be careful here: if the recruiter doesn't want the interview to go in that direction, respect that. Read body language. Pay attention to facial features. If the conversation's going great, go with it. If not, shy away.

Here are some ways you can ask this question:

What initially drew you to the company?

What did you do before?

Why did you come to this company?

What's your favorite part about working here?

End-goal: establish common ground a natural flow of conversation.

4. Do you have any other questions about my background?

This is great to ask towards the end of the interview. It allows the interviewer the opportunity to ask questions about your resume which they may have felt uncomfortable doing and gives you the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings. It shows that your maturity, assertiveness, honesty, and willingness to discuss all parts of your resume and experiences beyond what is on the page.

Is it a risk? Yes. Be prepared to discuss any gaps in employment or any other experiences that are not clear on your resume. If you don't feel comfortable asking the question, don't. But if you do, the rewards are potentially big.

It also opens the door for you to ask questions about the company that you potentially would not have asked otherwise.

5. What are the next steps in the process?

If this has not already been detailed, this is a fantastic end-of-interview question. It shows you are interested, accountable, and responsible. You can also do some personal planning based on the answers. Ask about other steps in the interview process, and whether you can offer the recruiter additional information.

It is probable best not to ask about benefits and pay until you have an offer in your hand!

Be sure to thank the recruiter for their time and make sure they have your contact information.

The interview should feel like a comfortable conversation where the recruiter has a sense of who you are and you have a sense of the company. Always end the interview on a positive note!