Top Questions to Prepare for a Recruiter Interview

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Recruiting is a highly competitive field that requires candidates to have demonstrable skills in networking, customer care and sales, as well as human resources. For this reason, hiring managers ask recruiter candidates questions that help them display their knowledge and skill during the interview. By studying these recruiter interview questions, you can be better prepared for your next interview.

What are recruiter interview questions?

When hiring a recruiter, interview questions are likely centered around the skills required for the job. Recruiters are highly effective at asking interview questions and evaluating responses, as is required for the job. That means those interviewing to be part of a recruitment team should be prepared to navigate tough questions about their skills and abilities.

Examples of topics that candidates should be prepared to discuss during a recruiter interview:

  • Recruitment experiences
  • Common recruitment practices
  • Industry information
  • Measuring success

Recruiter interviews may also cover specific operational experiences, like comfort level with contract staffing or as a headhunter at a large recruitment firm. As a recruiter candidate, prepare by researching the firm you’re are applying to. While the questions in this article are geared at demonstrable recruiter experiences and skills, general questions like, ‘What do you know about us?’ can also be included in recruiter interview questions, so it’s important to prepare for both.

Why do hiring managers ask recruiter interview questions?

Recruiters are specialists in the hiring process. Therefore, interview questions for recruiters not only provide insight into skills and past experiences, but they can give a hiring manager an idea of a candidate’s comfort level with the whole process. Recruiters hiring other recruiters may pay more attention to things like body language and use of micro-expressions. They may apply the candidate’s answers to determine if they are a good fit for the organization, looking for things like confidence, passion and ambition, in addition to skill and experience. Recruiters may also expect other recruiters to be knowledgeable about current trends and technology in recruiting. By asking recruiter interview questions, they can determine who is the best, most knowledgeable and experienced candidate for the job.

Common recruiter interview questions

Here are some common interview questions that recruiters might ask candidates who are looking to join the recruitment team:

Describe your best client relationship and a client relationship that needs improvements

When an interviewer asks a question like this it helps them understand how you work with clients. In sales, some client relationships work really well and others are more challenging. However, understanding how to improve client relationships is an important part of the job, and that means knowing where improvements can be made. Answer this question by being positive and offering a good client relationship and a client relationship you’ve improved upon.

Example: ‘My best client relationship is with Gold Star Manufacturers. When I began working on the business side of recruitment, I found I have a knack for picking up clients in industries that need labor and shift work. My client relationship that exemplifies improvement is with Morris Home Bank. When I first began working with them, I struggled to get out of the manufacturing labor mindset and working with a bank is very different. They have different staffing needs, but I was able to improve the relationship by listening to their needs and providing strategies for successfully recruiting professional candidates.’

What recruiting industry trends are you most excited about?

This question helps the interviewer understand how aligned you are to the overall recruiting industry. Recruiters like candidates who seek out information from trusted sources and stay up-to-date on trends. Provide an impressive answer by speaking competently on at least one industry trend.

Example: ‘I’m most excited about the trend of employment agencies to move toward embracing a truly people-first company culture. When firms do this, they are able to get their employees behind their mission and excited about meeting recruitment goals. I find offices that embrace a positive culture are more fun, competitive and successful, which is important in recruiting.’

What’s your process for finding new business clients?

Recruiters are often responsible for two primary recruiting tasks. First, they find business clients who need candidates to staff empty positions. Second, they find candidates who are qualified for jobs. That means, in some cases, recruiters have to be knowledgeable about the processes that allow them to do both. This question seeks to understand how you work with business clients. Answer it by defining your process clearly.

Example: ‘One way I like to seek out business clients is by going to professional awards ceremonies where businesses are being awarded for things like being ‘the fastest growing’ or ‘largest in the industry.’ I find these kinds of events offer pre-qualified clients that have the needs and desire to work with staffers. Then I network with the company leaders and engage them in a discussion, before offering my business card and getting theirs for follow up.’

How do you find candidates?

When a recruiter asks you how you find candidates, they want to know what steps you take to secure qualified candidates. Answer this by providing examples of how you find candidates.

Example: ‘I find qualified candidates by using social media and professional websites that connect me with new potential candidates. I have also used top-of-the-line recruiting software, like client databases, to make connections, as well as networking.’

Tell me what you like best about working as a recruiter

This question gets to the core of a candidate’s passion for the profession. Recruiters want to hire positive, passionate recruiting candidates who will be an excellent fit for the company’s culture. Answer this question by emphasizing what you love about the profession.

Example: ‘My favorite thing about working as a recruiter is all of the people I get to interact with every day. As an extrovert, I really enjoy working with people. And working with both business professionals seeking candidates and candidates seeking work is very rewarding.’

Tips for recruiter candidates

Here are some things that a hiring manager might be mindful of while interviewing a candidate for a recruiter role:

  • Whether or not the candidate arrives early and values time-management skills and maintaining a calendar
  • If the candidate practices effective networking by exchanging contact information with business cards or other methods
  • The candidate’s appearance as a signal for their level of professionalism

Since recruiters should be knowledgeable about the hiring process walking into the interview, hiring managers may consider things like how well prepared a candidate is for the interview and if they understand the kinds of things that a candidate needs to do to be more impressive.

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