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questions to ask a recruiter before an interview

When preparing for your interview is important to ask smart questions that will aid you in the interview process. Recruiters can be a great asset when preparing for the interview process. However, recruiters don’t always give you every detail unless you ask the right questions.

Preparation is key to a great interview and managers will notice the little details on whether you are properly prepared or not.

With this in mind, we go over the best questions to ask a recruiter before an interview.

The Best Questions to Ask a Recruiter Before an Interview

What is the interview process like?

When preparing for an interview with a company you will want to know their interview process. This will help keep you informed on whether you have one, two, or maybe even three interviews? It will also help you plan your schedule accordingly to have time available should multiple interviews be necessary. 

How Long Have You Worked With The Company?

Knowing the relationship the recruiter has with the company is helpful. The longer the recruiter has worked with the hiring manager the more insight they should have about them.

They should hopefully have a good understanding of their management style, how they treat employees and the company’s culture. 

If the recruiter has delivered top talent to the employer for many years they are more likely to trust their opinion. There is a good chance they will have some sway over which candidate is hired.

What created the need for the position?

Has a new position opened up due to growth opportunities? Was someone fired if so why? Has someone quite the role and if so does the recruiter know why that happened?

Answers to these questions will give you a better understanding of the aspects of the job opportunity.

How long has the position been open?

Has the position been open for a few days, weeks, months, or a year? The longer the position has been open the more difficult it may be to get an offer. 

An open position that has been available for a year is usually a big red flag. The company most likely is being unrealistic in their expectations. They maybe looking for the perfect candidate that costs the least amount of money and can walk on water.

How quickly does the position need to be filled?

This is a great question to ask as a recruiter before an interview. This is because it gives you a timeline on how soon the company needs someone. Do they plan to hire someone in a few days, weeks, or months? 

This information will help you prioritize which interviews you should place more importance on. If they are just casually interviewing candidates with no deadline insight it could be months before they make an offer. 

These types of positions can waste your time. Often times employers start the interview process without knowing exactly what type of person they need.

It is quite common for the employer to end up changing the job description several times before hiring someone.

What is the salary range for the position?

Compensation is one of the most important questions to ask a recruiter before an interview. Make sure you know the pay range or starting salary for the role and there is no gray area.

You don’t want to spend time interviewing for a job that would pay you significantly less than you require.

What is the company culture like?

A great question to ask a recruiter before an interview would be about the company culture.

A recruiter should have gotten this information from the company when they started working on the position. You want to make sure the type of culture they have fits well with your values and ideals.

Obviously, the recruiter will not know everything and you will get a much better idea of their culture after meeting with the hiring team.

Who will I be interviewing with?

It’s always a good idea to know what you’re in for during an interview. Will you be interviewing with 1 or 2 people? Or 6 plus? Every company’s interview process is a little different with some being much better than others. 

What type of interview questions should I expect?

A recruiter that has been working with the person that makes the hiring decisions should be able to answer this question.

If a technical recruiter has worked with the manager in the past they should know certain interview questions the manager likes to ask. The recruiter should know this information by talking with other candidates that have interviewed with the manager in the past.

Does the hiring manager focus on behavioral interview questions, resume focused questions, brainteasers, opinion related questions, or general interview questions to ask interviewee?

Having them give you these interview questions ahead of time will help in your interview preparation.

What interview attire should I wear?

You don’t want to show up in a suit and tie if the manager is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The general rule is to dress up one level higher than the company’s standard dress code for the office. 

For example, if the person interviewing you is wearing a polo and slacks you would want to wear a suit or dress. 

If the recruiter does not have an answer for this then ask them to reach out to someone at the company who does. First impressions are important in the interview process especially when you’re talking to the hiring manager.

What skills should I highlight from my experience?

Make sure the recruiter you’re working with gives you a job description and go over the position details with them. Ask the recruiter what the must-have skills are and make sure you brush up on any informational areas you make be lacking in.

Is there any type of test I should prepare for?

There may be several tests you have to take depending on the role including personality tests, aptitude tests, or others. 

For example, if you’re a CAD designer interviewing for an engineering staffing agency at a company there is a good chance you may have to take a CAD test to prove your skills. Ask the recruiter ahead of time if there will be one to avoid any surprises.

How many candidates are interviewing for the role?

Is the company just interview for one week or are they going to interview for a month and make a decision after that? You will want to know the time frame of when to expect an answer.

Unfortunately, though an employer may leave a recruiter somewhat in the dark on this.

What qualities are they looking for in an employee?

What is the employers ideal candidate? Do they need a strong personality to take charge or someone that can go with the flow and communicates well with others?

Any insider information the recruiter can give will help you get a step ahead of your competition.

If you haven’t worked with a recruiter before check out our article on the common questions people ask about recruiters.

Conclusion

Additional research information that is helpful in the interview process is reading their social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Reading reviews on the company’s Glassdoor page and thoroughly reviewing the company’s website material.

The interview process is always a little nerve-racking no matter who you are. However, the more knowledge you have and the better prepared you are will go along way in securing that next great opportunity.

Looking for an engineering or IT related job? Reach out to one of the leading IT and engineering staffing agencies Apollo Technical.