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Questions to ask a Recruiter

When you are contacted by a recruiter, you will be asked numerous questions. However, these questions shouldn’t all be one way. You need to be asking the recruiter questions as well.

You may ask “Why should I bother asking a recruiter questions?” But you’ll be surprised about how many benefits there can be questioning a recruiter.

Not only will you come across as a professional, you will also appear interested in the role. Someone who seems invested in the job will be a much more valued candidate then someone who hasn’t prepared for the call.

Asking questions to a recruiter also allows you to take control. The recruiter may think you are the perfect fit for the job but only YOU know if this is the case. The choice is down to you at the end of the day. If you ask the right questions, you’ll learn valuable information about the company and employer. All of this can help you decide if the role is right for you or not.

How long has the position been open?

The answer to this question could reveal potential issues with the company or position. You should also consider if the role has been open for a while that you may be waiting a long time to hear back from the recruiter. There could be a few reasons why the role has been advertised for a long period of time. For example:

  • The hiring manager could be very particular about the person they employ
  • They could be recruiting for a number of candidates
  • They could keep changing the requirements for the role
  • There could be a lack of qualified candidates interested

If the role has been open longer than a year this could be a big red flag!

If it’s early in the hiring process, don’t expect to be contacted immediately. Hiring managers usually want to interview a few candidates first before they make an offer. So, if you’re one of the first applicants to go to interview, don’t panic if they don’t give you feedback immediately.

Why is the position open?

The position could be available for a number of reasons. If someone is leaving, you should ask why they left. Maybe the person has been promoted which lets you know there are development opportunities within the company. If it’s a completely new position, ask a further question about why this is so. Delving deeper into why the role is available will help you to understand the big picture.

What are the most important skills and qualifications needed for the role?

When a new role is given to a recruitment agency, the recruiter receives a detailed job specification from the hiring manager. This means they should know exactly what the business is looking for in a candidate. Although the recruiter won’t know specific details about the role, they will know the basics of what you need to have to land the job.

The recruiter will also send over the full job description which should include all the information you’d need to know about the role. Once you know this information you can make up your mind whether the opportunity is suitable for you. It saves both you and the recruiter time. You can use this job specification to prepare some talking points if you are chosen for interview.

What are some reasons other candidates haven’t been selected?

It’s a good idea to try and find out as much information as possible about what the employer does NOT want. You can learn from other candidates’ mistakes and ensure you don’t make similar errors. Although the recruiter may not be able to divulge specific details, they should be able to give you a general idea about what you should avoid doing. The answer to this question can help you identify the type of candidate the employers are and are not looking for.

In terms of salary, is there a general range for the position?

It can always be a difficult topic when taking about salary. Some people find it awkward when speaking about the issue of pay. You don’t want to sound like that’s all you care about. Instead of asking outright, you could state “My most recent salary was £00,000 and I’m hoping to receive an increase in my next role. Does that fit into the range that’s been set for this role?”

How long have you been working with the employer?

The amount of time a recruitment agency has been working with a business can provide insight into what their relationship with them is like. If they have worked with them for a long period of time and filled lots of roles, then this means the employer trusts the recruiter. If the business trusts the recruiter, then they are likely to take their candidate recommendations seriously.

If the relationship is new, it may mean the recruiter is not quite accustomed to what the business is looking for. Your questions about the role may go unanswered or they may have to get back to you with more detail. However, a good recruiter will be able to quickly pick up information about the employer and the business needs without any problems.

What can you tell me about the hiring manager?

The hiring manager may be your future employer, so you want to know as much about them as possible. They will also be the one who interviews you so it’s a good idea to know some information about them. The recruiter should be able to tell you about their background and experience within the organisation. This will help you prep for an interview as well as giving insight into what working for them might be like.

What else do you think I should know about the company?

This is a good question to ask when you don’t know what to ask. By asking this to a recruiter, you will gain information about aspects of the company you may not have considered before. It’s always good to learn about the company culture and get a better idea of whether you’d be a good fit.

What is the interview process?

It is always good to know what to expect. Not every business goes through the same stages of hiring. Some hiring managers request several rounds of interviews or certain tests to be undertaken. Tests are nothing to worry about. They provide valuable insight into the candidate’s skills, personality and psychological profile. You can prepare yourself for these tests with online sources and test papers. Knowing the answer to this question will help you gauge where you are in the process.

You will also want to know how long you have to wait at each stage of the recruitment process. It will help to alleviate any worry you may have if you don’t hear back from the recruiter for a while. On the other hand, some roles need to be filled as soon as possible and interviews would be conducted within the week. If this is the case, you need to consider your notice period and whether you would be available for an immediate start.

How did you find me?

The recruiter should be able to tell you exactly where they found your CV. Whether it’s from LinkedIn, a job board or a referral. Knowing this information could help you in your job search for the future. Maybe you have a CV on Total Jobs as well as Indeed, but recruiters are only finding your Indeed account, why might this be?

Can I Have a Copy of My Resume?

Recruitment consultants will occasionally amend your CV before they send it to their client. They do this to highlight your key skills and qualifications that best fit the role at hand. You can request to see a sample of this application so you know exactly what your recruiter has sent.