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Recruiter Interview

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30 Recruiter
Interview Questions

    Executive Recruiter

  1. In which industry have you made the most executive placements, this year?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      The interviewer would like to know what your sweet spot may be when it comes to making executive placements. Perhaps you have a degree in a specific field of work and feel most comfortable sourcing candidates from that particular line of work. Maybe you worked in medical device sales in the past, making you great at spotting terrific candidates in the medical field. If the firm you are interviewing for has a specific niche, be sure never to single yourself out or talk yourself out of the role by appearing one-dimensional.

  2. Tell me about the most prestigious placement you have made in your executive recruitment career.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      This question is an interest-based query. What you tell the interviewer will show how excited you are when you talk about your most significant career wins. It will also show the interviewer the level of candidates and clients you are working alongside. Give some details on the most prestigious placement you have made in your executive recruitment career, and don't be afraid to give yourself some kudos!

  3. In which ways do you lean on your formal education, as an executive recruiter?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Most executive recruiters will be required to have a degree. Many recruitment firms will also look for an elevated degree, dual degree, or MBA. Often, you will be working with the upper echelon of their industry, including surgeons, judges, and lawyers. For this reason, it's essential that you are well educated. Walk the interviewer through your education and discuss why your post-secondary experience is helpful to you as an executive recruiter.

  4. In your experience, what is the most challenge part of working with executive-level candidates?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Being an executive recruiter is not all easy breezy! You are working with candidates who are busy, who travel a lot, who have many responsibilities, and who also have to exercise the utmost discretion in their job search. You may be restricted to speaking with them in the evenings, once they have left the office. Or, they may be limited entirely to email for much of the time. Discuss with the interviewer what you find to be the most challenging part of working with such high-level candidates.

  5. How do you evaluate the job performance of an executive candidate who is under a non-disclosure agreement?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Many higher level executives will be under a non-disclosure agreement, disallowing them to put specific numbers, percentages, goals, targets, and achievements on their resume. These agreements may also stop candidates from speaking as freely as you would like when you are interviewing them. Talk to the interviewer about the other methods of evaluation you can use when working with clients under a non-disclosure agreement.

  6. How do you react when you and your client disagree on the quality of a candidate?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      There will be times when you think you've hit the jackpot and found the best candidate possible. You excitedly present the candidate to your client and whomp whomp...they don't feel the magic in return. The interviewer would like to know how you would handle a situation like that. Rather than becoming upset, sulky, or disappointed, how do you pick yourself up, realign client expectations, and keep going?

  7. What sales methods work best for you when approaching new clients?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Many sales techniques are available to recruiters looking for new clients. The interviewer would like to see that you have strong business development skills and abilities. As an executive recruiter, your wage may be on the number of placements you make. These calculations mean that the more job orders you have, the better chance you will make placements; thus, earning a commission. Show the hiring authority that you are hungry to win and that you deploy the best sales methods when it comes to approaching new clients.

  8. Do you have experience working with expats?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Big corporations will often have offices in countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. Those corporations then hire people from the United States and relocate them to those countries. These types of employees are called 'expats.' The term expat refers to someone who lives and works outside their home country. As an executive recruiter, you may be asked to find candidates who are willing to relocate. This ask is a significant one! The interviewer wants to know if you have experience recruiting at this level, with these types of requests. Discuss how you find candidates who are willing to relocate to other countries and talk about your ability to navigate the negotiations that come along with those job offers.

  9. Have you ever had a project fall apart, last minute? How did you react, and what steps did you take to recover the deal?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      The world of recruitment is fast-paced, and your direction can pivot without notice. Clients might pull the plug on an assignment halfway through, or your star candidate pulls out of the running at the last minute. These circumstances are ones that you cannot control; however, you can control how you react. Walk the interviewer through the steps you take when a project appears to be falling apart. How do you recover? If you have a recent example, discuss what happened and how you saved the day!

  10. You will face very senior professionals in this role. How do you embody poise and professionalism?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      By

      Executive recruiters work hard to poach and place candidates such as doctors, lawyers, CEOs and other people of high stature. The interviewer needs assurance that you can fit in with this crowd, be influential, and persuasive. Now, an esteemed surgeon may not want to hear what you say if you trip over your words or are unkempt and disorganized. The first thing you can do to make an impression of poise and professionalism is to show up to your interview dress appropriately, well prepared, and well researched. Discuss the ways you ensure to embody professionalism every step of the way.

    READ: View All Executive Recruiter Interview Questions

  11. Permanent Staffing Recruiter

  12. What are your top 3 most important activities as a recruiter?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      The hiring authority is looking to see that you have a full understanding of your responsibilities as a recruiter. By discussing what you believe to be the top 3 activities you will be doing in this role, you are showing the interviewer that you have an understanding of the job. If you are currently working as a recruiter, discuss what you now take care of in your role, on a daily or weekly basis. If you are new to the recruitment world, lean on what you know from research and the job description or job posting.

  13. Are you accustomed to working in a bullpen environment or do you have a personal office?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      As a recruiter, you may hear the word 'bullpen' often. This word is slang for a workspace area filled with desks and no separating walls. Everyone works together in an open space. Think 'Wolf of Wallstreet.' Because recruiters work so fast to find candidates for their clients, many recruitment firms will set their employees up in a bullpen-style office to ensure maximum collaboration among recruiters. This style of office also makes it easier for managers to single out their recruiters who are not picking up the phone as hustling like the others. If you are accustomed to this work environment, let the interviewer know. You should know before your interview what kind of workplace environment the interviewing company offers. If you are unsure, you can ask. If the agency's work style is right for you, then let them know you can thrive in that particular environment.

  14. Talented recruiters are entrepreneurial. Give me an example of how you have embraced an entrepreneurial mindset.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      To be a successful recruiter you need to think like a business owner, a sales professional, a job seeker, and a hiring authority - all rolled into one! This multifaceted skill set requires you to be highly entrepreneurial in thought. Some ways that you could embrace an entrepreneurial mindset is to look at challenges from all sides, all the time. A true entrepreneur will happily face challenges and learn from them. An entrepreneur will do a lot in their day, but also know how to provide value to their clients and candidates on a regular basis. Discuss the ways that you have embraced an entrepreneurial mindset in your recruitment career.

  15. How do you treat candidates not selected for the job? Walk me through your process.

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Recruiters speak to a lot of candidates in a day and often interview handfuls of people for one role. Show the interviewer that you treat your candidates with respect and that you are unafraid to be forthright with them when they don't get the job. The hiring authority wants to see that you have excellent coaching skills, and the ability to give helpful and actionable feedback to your candidates.

  16. How do you use social media and other online tools in your recruitment process?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      A great recruiter will have many tools at their fingertips, allowing them more speed in their research. The fastest acting recruiter will almost always win the placement, so it's important to the interviewer that you know which tools are available to you, helping you to succeed. List a few of the top resources that you use in your recruitment process. If you'd like, you can also ask for recommendations on tools. Show that you are eager to learn and that you lean on resources other than yourself, to reach the finish line.

  17. What does the term attrition mean, and what are the biggest causes of employee attrition rates?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Attrition is the speed or rate at which something declines. In recruitment, you may hear the term 'employee attrition rates' from your clients now and again. What this means is that a company is losing staff due to natural reduction including resignation, retirement, or relocation. Keep in mind; this term refers to natural reduction. Employee attrition rates would not include mass layoffs for instance. Discuss with the interviewer that you understand what attrition means, and what the primary causes of employee attrition are. The hiring authority is looking for your ability to recognize and understand your clients' pain points.

  18. Do you have experience guiding candidates through job offer negotiations?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      One of the most exciting parts of your job as a perm recruiter is when your client tells you they are ready to make a job offer to your candidate! Congratulations - you did it! But, now what? Many things can get in the way between a proposal to its acceptance, and it's up to you to ensure the process goes as smooth as possible. This task includes controlling the conversations regarding salary offerings and counteroffers. Discuss any experience you have with job offer negotiations, giving a real-life example if possible.

  19. If you had a highly skilled candidate, but their appearance was terrible, would you present them to your client?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      The appearance of your candidate can be just as important as their skill set. If the candidate would be in a client-facing role, a sales position, or the face of the company, it is essential that they are presentable and professional. Imagine sending your client a restaurant management candidate who had poor hygiene, or a legal assistant who wore sweat pants? You see, no matter how talented they are, they would be overlooked by any discerning client. It's uncomfortable to tell a candidate that they need to clean up their appearance; however, as a recruiter, you will come across situations like this now and then. Discuss how you would handle the dilemma.

  20. Do you have experience using an ATS? Which applicant tracking systems do you know best?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Most recruitment firms will use an ATS or applicant tracking system. This system collects and stores job applicants' resumes, personal information, interview notes, documentation, and candidate history. When a job seeker applies online to one of your job postings, their application, documents, and notes will automatically populate into your company's ATS, allowing you to quickly see how well they match to the role they have applied. Some of the most popular ATS programs will enable you to email a job seeker directly from the system, and even book interviews or push out bulk SMS messages. Popular ATS' include Taleo, Bullhorn, Kenexa, SAP Success Factors, and JazzHR. Discuss what you know about ATS features, and which systems you have used the most.

  21. Are you comfortable being paid on a 100% commission basis?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Many recruiters work on a 100% commission basis; however, not all of them. It's vital that you fully understand the pay structure offered by the recruitment firm, before accepting any job offer. The interviewer would like to know if you are happy with being paid solely on your performance. Whether the job pays 100% commission or not, may not be the point of this question. Assure the interviewer that you are confident in your ability to be a top performer, regardless of commissions or a comfy base salary. Are you able to work hard and be paid based on your performance alone?

    READ: View All Permanent Staffing Recruiter Interview Questions

  22. Temporary Staffing Recruiter

  23. Why would a client prefer to hire a temp over a permanent employee?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      There are a few primary reasons why a company would lean towards temporary placements over permanent hires. It may seem more expensive to have a temp, but the math will often make more sense to an organization. Some of the reasons include: - Temp employees fill the gaps while companies mull over their hiring needs - Companies have ideal staffing levels without the commitment of permanent employees - Temp employees may not require paid vacation days, workers' compensation, or health insurance - A staffing agency handles payroll, truancy, and other matters, saving a lot of time - When a temp employee does well, you can hire them down the road, after they have proven themselves through excellent performance! Discuss with the interviewer the reasons why you believe your clients prefer temp hires over permanent employees. What is the reasoning your clients use when putting in a job order with you?

  24. What approach do you take when telling a candidate that they did not get the job?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      It isn't easy to pick up the phone and tell a job seeker that your client chose someone else for the assignment. However, this is a big part of your role as a temporary staffing recruiter. Show the interviewer that you can navigate situations such as this, and discuss how you go about letting an eager candidate down easy. If you can, turn this response into a short role-play.

  25. Recruitment requires a lot of selling. Do you have any sales training?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Most temporary staffing recruiters will run a 360 desk. The term 360 means that you handle everything from client acquisition, business development for new job orders, finding the right temp candidates, placing them, and all the documentation required in between. Many of these tasks require the same skill set that a professional sales person would have. Discuss any sales training you have, and how you believe it will help you to succeed in this role. If you do not have any sales training, you could ask the interviewer for recommendations of online sales courses, or other helpful resources to grow your sales skills.

  26. In which industry are you best versed, when it comes to temporary staffing needs?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      The interviewer would like to know which industries you are most comfortable working within. You should know, before your interview, if this staffing agency or company focus' on one particular area of staffing, or if they are a generalist firm. Some of the most common areas for temporary staffing needs include: - Trades, Construction, Machine Operations - Industrial & Warehousing -Information Technology & Computer Science - Administration & Accounting There are significant temporary staffing needs in seasonal construction positions; maternity or paternity coverage, vacation time coverage, sabbaticals, or any work that requires a brief uptick in a company's workforce. Some accounting firms will hire accountants on a temporary basis, to help with tax season or to assist through an audit. Some warehouses will have peak seasons, for instance, if they are a 3PL for a retail chain that may have additional stock and merchandise needs around Christmas or Halloween (decorations and candy need to be warehoused and moved at rapid rates!). Discuss where your expertise is, within temporary staffing, but be sure to express your ability to make placements in any industry.

  27. Which technology and tools you do lean on most often during your day?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Recruiters have a plethora of tools at their disposal, and the interviewer would like to know which ones you take advantage of on a daily basis. Some of the most common tech and tools used by a temp recruiter include: - Candidate relationship management software such as SmartRecruiters - Headhunting tools like LinkedIn Navigator - Premium subscriptions to job seeker boards such as Indeed - Applicant tracking systems such as Bullhorn or Zoho Speak about the technology and tools that you use most often. If the tools used by the hiring company are mention in their job description, be sure to bring up your experience with those!

  28. Tell me about a time when you were unsuccessful in filling a job order. How did you handle the situation?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Temp recruiters work with tight deadlines, important client needs, unreliable candidates (at times!), and a variety of circumstances out of their control. In this high-pressure, fast-paced environment, the interviewer wants to know how you react when failures occur or you fall short. Nobody is perfect. Show the interviewer that you get back up and try again, never giving up in the face of perceived failure. The best temp recruiters have grit, and the interviewer wants to see that this is a characteristic you possess.

  29. Do you like being around people?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      If you are interviewing with a very busy and successful agency, you will be talking to dozens of temp job candidates every day. This high level of people-based activity is why a temporary staffing recruiter needs to like people and can converse with people of all personality types and backgrounds. Share the kinds of people or situations that you enjoy. It's essential to maintain a positive angle when addressing this question.

  30. When was the last time you contributed to a team effort and what was your role?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Sometimes a very last minute job order will come in, and you will have to collaborate with your teammates to fill the position in time. The interviewer would like further details on what you consider to be a substantial contribution when you are in a team setting. Your example can come from a previous role or your current one. You can also draw on experience from your high school or post-secondary education if you are newer to your career. Volunteer experience is a great situation to bring an example from as well. Give the interviewer an idea of what you did to contribute, and be sure to mention any accolades you may have received for your excellent contribution.

  31. What would you do if a client asked something unethical of you?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      Sometimes your clients may not know about human resource laws, and will unintentionally (or intentionally) cross the line when it comes to hiring and employment ethics. Most often, as a temporary staffing recruiter, you will come across clients who cross the line when it comes to gender, age, race, and other equal employment rights. You may hear a client unintentionally say 'she' when they refer to the type of front-desk receptionist they need for vacation coverage. Or, more blatant, you may hear a client say 'we can't hire anyone over 40 for this job.' Discuss what you would do if faced with this situation. Of course, the only right answer is that you will politely refuse, and kindly educate your client on how to best work with you and your agency.

  32. How often do you look for opportunities to approach potential new clients?

    • ANSWER ADVICE

      This question is a sales based inquiry. The hiring authority wants to see that you keep your eyes open for opportunities to gain new clients, or take on more job orders from reviving a client who has not put in a job order in some time. Discuss the ways you approach opportunities. Be sure to show that you are enthusiastic about business development!

    READ: View All Temporary Staffing Recruiter Interview Questions

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