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Best Questions to Ask a Recruiter before an Interview

Are you getting ready for an important interview?

The secret to acing any interview is being prepared. You need to do as much research into the company as possible and make sure your documents are in order. The interviewer is sure to be looking for specific skills and characteristics from the people they interview. Knowing what the interviewer is looking for will make it much easier to prepare for the interview and stand out.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at some of the best questions to ask a recruiter before an interview.

best questions to ask recruiter before interviews

What Is A Recruiter?

Before you work out which questions to ask, it is important to understand what a recruiter does. Rather than working directly for a single company, recruiters connect several different companies with potential employees. They work closely with the hiring managers and human resource departments of different companies to discover their staffing needs.

Recruiters find candidates for vacancies based on the needs of the company and roles. Therefore, they have a good insight into what the hiring manager is looking for. They usually receive a bonus when the candidate they recommend is offered the job.

best questions to ask recruiter before interview

Why You Should Ask The Recruiter Questions Before An Interview?

It is important to be as prepared as possible before an interview. Not having the necessary information can make you look like the job is not important to you. More than likely, the interviewer will hire someone more prepared. Here are some of the main reasons you should ask questions before an important interview.

The recruiter knows the employer

The recruiter is likely to have a long working relationship with the interviewer. Therefore, they may well be able to give you insight into ways to break the ice and get the conversation flowing.

Good source of information

To find the right candidates to refer, the recruiter needs to know exactly what the interviewer is looking for. They may also be able to give you other valuable information if you ask the right questions.

Making sure you are the right fit

You need to be sure that this is the right job for you. The more you know about the job and interviewer, the easier it will be to work this out.

Getting an edge on the competition

Taking this extra step can help you to get information that other candidates don’t have. It shows the recruiter that you are seriously interested in the job and it is worth investing their time in you.

How To Contact The Recruiter?

The recruiter will usually phone you or call you into their office to tell you about the interview. This is the perfect time to ask any questions you may have. Preparing these questions in advance will make sure you are ready and save you time later.

When talking with the recruiter, it is important to establish a good rapport. During the first meeting, ask them how they prefer to be contacted and the best time. This will show them that you value their time and are professional. You will then know the best way to contact the recruiter if you have any follow-up questions in the future.

best questions to ask recruiter before an interview

The Best Questions To Ask A Recruiter Before An Interview

It is important to consider the questions you want to ask carefully. It is best to stick to a maximum of ten questions and make sure that each question is valid. Avoid asking questions that you can easily find the answer to through a quick Google search. Here are some essential questions that show a genuine interest in a job position.

What can you tell me about the job?

This is an open question that gives the recruiter the chance to talk about the job. The recruiter wants to find the best people for the job. Therefore, it is in their interest to tell you as much about the job as possible.

This can include the basic job description, the daily duties, and the promotion opportunities. It is a good idea to take notes while the recruiter is talking to you. Feel free to ask follow-up questions if you want more information about any of the aspects.

Why is the job available?

Understanding why the company is searching for a new employee provides deeper insight into the company. The role may have been created because the company is expanding. This is an ideal situation because it gives you the chance to make your mark.

However, the job may be available because the previous employee is retiring. If they were loved by their coworkers, these could be big shoes to fill. Alternatively, this role could be undesirable for some reason, and it could be very difficult to find the right employee.

How long has the job been available?

This follow-up question will give you an insight into how valuable the position is. It will also serve as an indication of where you stand in the interview process.

If the job only became vacant recently, you will be one of the first people the interviewer sees. However, the downside of this is that the interview process could last several weeks.

Trying to find the right fit…

If the position has been vacant for a while, it could indicate that the company is being very selective. Alternatively, it could mean that several candidates have already rejected the position. The upside is that the company is likely to make a hiring decision quickly if you are the right fit.

When does the vacancy need to be filled?

The last thing you want is to spend several weeks sitting by the phone waiting for a call. If the deadline is weeks or months down the line, this could be a distinct possibility. This could be a real issue if you need to secure a job as quickly as possible.

Alternatively, you may want to spend a little time searching for the perfect job. This may not be possible if the vacancy has to be filled in a few days. Understanding when you would be expected to start work can help you prepare and adjust your vision.

best questions to ask recruiter before the interview

What are the main required job skills?

It is always a good idea to get the recruiter’s input on the skills you need to do the job. This is particularly important if the job description is quite vague. Understanding the required skills will show you what you need to highlight during the interview.

There may also be specialist skills that the interviewer is hoping to find in the right candidate. Understanding the required skills can also let you know if you are right for the role. If you don’t have the skills you need for the job, attending the interview could be a waste of time.

Who is the ideal candidate for this role?

The interviewer could have shared this information with the recruiter. This will help you understand why you have been chosen by the recruiter to interview for the job. Again, you will gain a more detailed insight into the skills and attributes you should emphasize.

What is the company culture like?

Many large companies like to provide details of the company culture on their website. This is designed to draw potential clients in and create a positive impression. However, you are sure to find that this is rarely the full story.

The recruiter is likely to have visited the company and can provide extra information on the company culture. Some companies focus on teamwork and motivating employees to form tight bonds. Others take a more formal and isolating approach to work that can be a bit alienating for new employees.

What is the company employee turnover like?

The company turnover gives you an insight into whether the company is a good place to work. If most people tend to leave after a few months, it indicates that the working environment could be toxic. A company that holds on to most people for decades at a time probably provides a nurturing working environment.

Does the company offer remote working opportunities?

In these trying times, this is one of the most common best questions to ask a recruiter before an interview especially, if you prefer working from home.

Many companies understand the importance of letting employees choose their working environment. Employees who work remotely at least part of the time tend to be much more productive.

Some employers see remote work as laziness…

However, some employers see the desire to work remotely as laziness. They may feel that employees need to be supervised at all times to make sure they are working. If the employer has this view, asking them about working remotely could cost you the job.

Therefore, it is a good idea to check in with the recruiter if you have your sights set on working remotely. The answer to this question can tell you a lot about the company’s values. Companies that allow employees to have some control over their work schedule tend to be good places to work.

What is the interview process like?

There may be a single interview to prepare for or a whole round of interviews. In some cases, you may be given several different interviews on the same day. Understanding the interview process will help you to prepare more effectively.

Who will be interviewing me?

It is always a good idea to get as much information as possible about the interviewer. Knowing the interviewer’s name and job title in advance will help you greet them in the right way. This is a great way to make a lasting first impression.

What types of interview questions can I expect?

Preparing for potential interview questions in advance can help make the interview go more smoothly. However, there are dozens of questions that could be asked during the interview. Any insight the recruiter can provide will help you prepare more effectively.

What should I wear to the interview?

Selecting a business casual outfit for an interview in an office is a safe bet. However, this term is rather vague and can cover a wide range of outfit options. The interviewer may have a preferred dress code that can be useful to know about. Asking the recruiter this question also shows that you value their opinion.

What is the starting salary range?

This is one of the difficult questions to ask during an interview. It is important to make sure the interviewer knows you are not simply thinking about the salary. However, you also need to know how much you can expect to get paid, especially if you have other options.

The recruiter is sure to have a good idea of how much the company is willing to pay for the position. Understanding the proposed salary range will give you a stronger position to negotiate with. You will not run the risk of suggesting a figure so high that it takes you out of the running.

What are the next steps?

It is always a good idea to know what to expect after the interview. The interview process could consist of several stages, and you will need to prepare for each one. If this is the case, you may not be willing to invest several weeks or months being interviewed and waiting for the response.

Alternatively, the recruiter may be the person responsible for contacting the selected candidate. They may also want you to contact them after the interview to let them know how it went. Even if you don’t get the job, the recruiter may have inside information that could be useful.

What Questions To Ask Your Interviewer!

Firstly, I have advice on how to answer a few key interview questions such as How Would You Describe Yourself, What Are You Most Proud Of, and How Do You Handle Conflict, or perhaps you’d like to know how to Answer Why Best Candidate Position, What Are Your Career Goals, and How Do You Handle Stress to help you prepare.

Next, we have a selection of highly effective guides on questions you should ask during your interview. So, check out Ask Me This Instead: Flip the Interview to Land Your Dream Job, as well as High-Impact Interview Questions and Master The Interviewing Process: Questions To Ask The Interviewer, all available online in 2022.

Furthermore, we also recommend reading up on The Job Interview Problem Solver: 10 Sneaky Questions Interviewers Ask to Determine if You Are a Good Culture Fit, and Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, or how about The Key to Landing A Job – Interview Secrets Employers and Headhunters Don’t Want You to Know giving you the inside track!

Final Thoughts

Doing your research before any interview dramatically increases your chances of getting the job. It is important to use as many different resources as possible when researching the company and vacancy. Recruiters are a valuable resource that are often overlooked by job seekers.

When interacting with a recruiter, it is important to remain professional and friendly at all times. In some cases, turning on the charm can get the recruiter on your side and boost your career prospects. The recruiter may be able to provide you with information on ways to impress the interviewer.

Good luck, and I’m sure you’ll ask all the right questions!

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About Calvin Miller

Calvin has over 20 years of experience in a leading employment agency in Tucson, Arizona, and is passionate about finding the perfect position for everyone who uses the company’s services.

He lives with his wife, Annette, and their two sons Jake and Joseph.

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