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PeopleScout Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 30
What type of clients come to PeopleScout for our staffing services?
View Answers
How to Answer
PeopleScout helps a plethora of clients from small businesses to enterprise-level companies. Check out the company website to look for client reviews and any other indicator of whom their clients might be. The most important factor with this question is to show that you have done your research on PeopleScout before attending your interview.
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30 PeopleScout Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. What type of clients come to PeopleScout for our staffing services?
  2. What is a staffing agency?
  3. How does a staffing agency charge a job seeker for their services?
  4. Do you understand how PeopleScout makes a profit?
  5. What is the difference between temporary, temporary-to-permanent, and permanent placement?
  6. Name for me some reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temp.
  7. What advice would you give to a recent grad with no work experience?
  8. How often do you check in with your candidates after placed in a permanent role with your client?
  9. When scanning a resume for the first time, what do you look for?
  10. How does artificial intelligence impact talent sourcing?
  11. In which categories does PeopleScout recruit?
  12. Of the areas where PeopleScout recruits, which are you most knowledgeable?
  13. Have you ever worked with a staffing agency, from a job seekers' perspective?
  14. If a temporary employee let you down regularly, what would you do?
  15. Tell me about the targets and goals in your current position. Do you have trouble meeting them?
  16. What will be your primary focus in your first 30 days with PeopleScout?
  17. When have you had to change a search due to new information from your client?
  18. Tell me about a time you lost a job order or placement to a competitor. How did you react?
  19. What are some professional goals you have set for yourself this year?
  20. Are you willing to work outside of the regular 9-5?
  21. How do you build trust and rapport with your clients?
  22. What type of office set up helps you to be the most productive?
  23. Are you a patient individual? Rate your patience level from 1-10.
  24. Recruitment often requires out-of-the-box thinking. Are you creative by nature?
  25. Would you take a job order from a client who was acting unethically?
  26. How do you determine job order priority?
  27. How do you continue to educate yourself, as an expert in staffing?
  28. Why should PeopleScout hire you over our other candidates?
  29. Is honesty the best policy?
  30. How much money do you want to earn in this role? What does your ideal pay structure look like?
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1.
What type of clients come to PeopleScout for our staffing services?
PeopleScout helps a plethora of clients from small businesses to enterprise-level companies. Check out the company website to look for client reviews and any other indicator of whom their clients might be. The most important factor with this question is to show that you have done your research on PeopleScout before attending your interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"There are many rave reviews on your website from companies big and small. I see that you have reviews from (A) and (B) which are very impressive. I have recruited for clients in similar industries and even direct competitors in the past. This experience will ensure that I catch on very quickly to your clients' varying needs."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that clients of PeopleScout consist of any sized business who need help finding rare skill sets or who need to volume hire for seasonal operations. Although I did not see any specific clients listed on your website, I suspect your biggest clients are within logistics and warehousing, administration, and sales. Is this accurate to say?"
2.
What is a staffing agency?
This question may seem as fundamental as they get, but the interviewer needs to know that you understand how staffing works. Staffing is a misunderstood industry. It will be part of your role to add clarification for clients and candidates who may not fully comprehend what it is that you do. Briefly describe to the hiring authority what a staffing agency is, including who they help, and their primary purpose.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I come across many candidates who do not understand what a staffing agency is. I explain to them that a staffing agency works on behalf of other companies to help them find the best talent for their open jobs. I explain that most of my clients do not have the time to filter through thousands of job applications per year, or hire in a timely fashion, so they ask for outside help."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"A staffing agency is like an extension of a company's human resources department. When a company is too busy to keep up with their recruitment needs, a staffing agency will come in to help them source candidates, pre-screen for job skills, and conduct first interviews."
3.
How does a staffing agency charge a job seeker for their services?
This one may be a trick question! Legitimate staffing agencies never charge job seekers for placement services. That's right; every placement fee paid to a staffing agency is from the hiring company.

In many countries, such as Canada, it is illegal for a recruitment or staffing agency to charge candidates for job placements. These regulations do not include fees for resume writing or career coaching, for instance. The bottom line is, a job seeker never pays money to be considered for an open position with a staffing agency or their clients.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"All placement fees are paid for by the client, rather than the candidate. In my current agency, we charge the client between 18-25% of the candidates' first years' salary. This fee structure means that if the candidates agreed upon salary is $100K, then our fee would be $18-25K; never paid for by the candidate. I understand that different regions have various fee structures. However, I believe that a client should always pay the agency placement fee. No financial burden should fall on the job seeker."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Placement fees are paid to a staffing agency when they successfully place a job seeker in a new role with their client. Fee percentages vary; however, an agency should always invoice the hiring company. A candidate may pay for assistance such as resume writing or career coaching; however, they do not pay the employment placement fee."
4.
Do you understand how PeopleScout makes a profit?
The interviewer wants to see that you understand the fee structure at PeopleScout or at least staffing agencies in general. Depending on your region, this response could vary as there are different rules and regulations surrounding staffing and recruitment around the world.

For the most part, a staffing agency makes a profit in three ways:

1. Permanent placement fees
2. Temp fees
3. Retainer based searches

Permanent placement fees are usually a set percentage based on the ideal candidate's salary. Let's say that a staffing agency is asked to headhunt a chemical engineer. The staffing agency finds the perfect candidate, and that chemical engineer comes with an asking salary of $100K per year. The hiring company would pay (in addition to the $100K salary) a fee of 18-25% that number, as a permanent placement fee. So, a one-time $18-25K fee.

Temp fees are a surcharge in addition to a temporary employee or contractors' hourly wage. Assuming the same chemical engineer is working on a 12-month contract for an oil and gas company. The OG company does not want to add this engineer to their permanent payroll or pay the engineer's employment insurance and other government required fees. The staffing agency will take on the role of 'employer' and charge the additional costs plus a commission to the OG company. Let's say the chemical engineer is asking for $40/hour. The staffing agency will charge the OG company $55/hour, giving $40 to the contractor and taking $15 as an administration fee and commission.

A retainer is a fee that is paid in advance to secure the services of a staffing agency. Primarily retainers are only requested by high-end executive search firms who conduct long, complicated searches for talents such as surgeons, lawyers, professors, and CFOs. In this instance, the hiring company would pay a large sum upfront to the agency, and then the remainder of their fee once the ideal candidate accepts a job offer.

Chances are, PeopleScout will be paid by perm or temp placement fees only. Speak to the interviewer briefly about fee structures, showing that you come from a place of full understanding.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I fully understand how recruitment and staffing agencies make a profit. My educated guess is that you earn a profit through permanent placement fees and temp fees. Could you share with me what your fee percentage is? My current agency charges 20-22% depending on the difficulty of the position and the location of our search."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From my research, I understand that PeopleScout makes a profit from placement fees. I am familiar with three fee styles; the permanent search fee, which is a flat rate. The other is a temp fee, added onto a contractors' hourly wage. The other is a retainer where the client pays a large percentage upfront, similar to hiring an attorney. Which fee structure is used most at PeopleScout?"
5.
What is the difference between temporary, temporary-to-permanent, and permanent placement?
Temp, temp-to-perm, and perm are recruitment and staffing terms that you will hear every day while working for PeopleScout.

Working temp means that a contractor is on a temporary contract with the staffing agency, to work for their client, for a specific amount of time. Temp employees are paid directly from the staffing agency, and the agency then bills the client.

Temp-to-perm is a contract that begins temporarily with an opportunity for the contractor to be hired on full time once their work performance is proven.

Perm or permanent placement is when candidates undergo a traditional screening and hiring process with the agency and their client. In the end, the hiring company makes a permanent job offer to the candidate.

Take a few moments to share your knowledge with the interviewer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I get this question from candidates a lot, and it's best to keep the answer straightforward. Temp work is contract work that can last anywhere from a couple of days to a year or more, depending on the company's hiring needs. The contractor knows the assignment can end at any time, without notice. Temporary-to-permanent occurs when that contractor is asked to stay on as a dedicated employee after the original contract period is up. Permanent placements are traditional offer-to-hire gigs where an agency's client will hire the candidate as a dedicated payrolled employee."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The most significant difference between temp, temp-to-perm, and perm are the expectations set from the beginning. Temp employees are paid by the staffing agency to fulfill a specific client need for an agreed-upon length of time. Temp-to-perm contractors may have the opportunity to be hired on full time once the contract is complete, and their performance is proven. Perm refers to traditional employment where a company offers to hire the job seeker immediately."
6.
Name for me some reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temp.
Although it may seem strange to some people, there are many reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temporary employee. Job seekers from the beginning of their career, into retirement age, can all enjoy the perks of temp work. Some of these benefits include:

- Flexibility. As a temp worker, you can agree to take or turn down work at your leisure. For retired folks who travel a lot, temp work is excellent for seasonal needs.
- Buying time. Temp workers can earn money as contractors until they find the right permanent opportunity.
- Comply with work restrictions. Temp opportunities are often a better fit for people waiting on permanent residency or citizenship who may have federal work restrictions.
- Fill resume gaps. Temp offers job seekers the opportunity to learn new skills in a variety of settings, expanding their resume.
- Fast-track to employers. Temps are often offered a permanent position after their assignment is complete if the hiring authorities are impressed with their performance.

Discuss with the interviewer why you believe some candidates would prefer to take on temporary assignments.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have met many people who highly prefer working temp, for a variety of reasons. The most common reason being wanting to build out their resume to include more skills, and avoid resume gaps while they search for the perfect permanent opportunity. I have also met many semi-retired folks who temp as food samplers on weekends to supplement their retirement income. Temp is an excellent solution for many people."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have worked as a temp in the past. My reasoning was to earn money during the summer between university. I found this solution very beneficial as it rounded out my resume and helped me to network as well. Other people may like to temp if they want the flexibility, or if they have work restrictions due to personal circumstance."
7.
What advice would you give to a recent grad with no work experience?
PeopleScout is all about empowering their candidates, which includes giving sound career and job-search advice to the candidates with whom they work. Talk to the hiring authority about the help that you would give to a recent graduate, with no work experience, who needed to round out their resume. Your advice could be to volunteer more, add in some temporary work, take additional coursework, and more.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a strong believer in the power of volunteer work. Statistics show that 3 out of 4 hiring managers prefer to hire candidates with recent volunteer experience. For that reason, I advise new grads that their volunteer work should be on their resume, and it can trump work experience if highlighted to an employer correctly."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The best piece of advice that I could give a recent grad is to continually educate themselves in the form of online coursework, reading the right books, and taking advantage of personal development opportunities. I would also recommend they network and get out in their community. Many jobs come through networking, so it's important to get your name out there."
8.
How often do you check in with your candidates after placed in a permanent role with your client?
Many staffing agencies will have a schedule of events when it comes to checking in with candidates after placing them with a client. These check-ins are vital as they are meant to ensure that your candidate is happy with their new placement and that they are meeting performance expectations.

Most staffing agencies offer a free replacement to their client, should a candidate not work out for the best within 90 days of their employment start. For this reason, it's best practice to have regular check-ins for the first 90 days, and into the persons' first year. Show the interviewer that you understand the importance of this practice and that you are a diligent staffing professional.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a schedule for checking in on every single one of my permanent placements. I check in on their first day and at the end of their first week. After their first week, I have a weekly check-in for the first 30 days. From then, every other week until they reach their 90 day probation period. From 90 days to year one, I schedule a monthly email. All of my candidates appreciate my diligence in ensuring they are happy with their placement. This action allows me to react to any potential situations before they become a major issue."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe it's best to check in on the morning of their first day, and twice more during the candidate's first week. For the first 90 days, I will email or call once per week. Then, I check in monthly. These conversations are usually short. I ask questions related to expectations versus reality, their overall comfort level, and happiness with their new work environment."
9.
When scanning a resume for the first time, what do you look for?
Stats show that a recruiter will give a resume between seven and eleven seconds of their attention before moving on to another resume. Experts in the staffing industry know how to scan and screen a resume for the most critical information, so they can easily shortlist or disqualify.

Working at PeopleScout, chances are most of the resumes you will receive will first be screened by your applicant tracking system. Still, many more resumes will come through to your email. Show the interviewer that you know what to look for in a resume when you initially screen.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When I am scanning a resume for the first time, I will first look to see if they meet my clients' educational requirements. Then, I look at their dates of employment to see if they are a job hopper. Next, I look at their job title and industries they have worked for, ensuring their career progression makes sense. I also want to know if they have worked for my client in the past. If they pass these initial checks, I will call them for a prescreen telephone interview."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Job hopping is the first thing that I look for in a resume. If the candidate has held more than five jobs in three years, I disqualify them. It's nearly impossible to ask a client for a hefty fee when there are no guarantees this candidate would stick by them. Next, I look for a match with industry, education, and ensure that job titles and movement make sense. Did someone go from sales rep to CEO in 6 months? I would need to know more since that would be an unusual career progression."
10.
How does artificial intelligence impact talent sourcing?
Artificial intelligence (AI) made it's splash on the staffing scene many years ago, with the introduction of ATS or applicant tracking systems. Today, AI is becoming smarter and more robust, making it easier to source and screen the best candidates. Talk to the interviewer about the ways you have seen AI change talent sourcing strategy.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The most dramatic change I have seen in the talent sourcing and staffing industry has been the marriage of AI and affordable SaaS. Job postings and other tasks, automated by solutions such as Zip Recruiter, do a lot of initial sourcing and screening for HR professionals. This ease of use and its affordability means companies who once relied on a staffing agency are utilizing this technology for themselves. To overcome this, staffing agencies must offer the best and fastest service, proving more than ever before that their fees are worth paying."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Applicant Tracking Systems are getting smarter every year, and once I learned how to utilize an ATS to my benefit, my recruitment process sped up exponentially. Now, I can deliver talented candidates to my clients' inbox in just a day or two, fully screened, and ready for their first interview. I also believe that tools such as LinkedIn Recruiter, which rely heavily on AI for search results, have greatly benefitted the staffing industry."
11.
In which categories does PeopleScout recruit?
The hiring authority at PeopleScout needs to be sure that you have done your homework on their organization before attending your interview. There are a plethora of areas where recruitment work is prevalent.

To find out the categories where PeopleScout recruits begin by looking at the job postings they have advertised on their website. Also, you can read some of the copy on their website, or look for customer reviews. List 3-5 industries from your research.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When I looked through the job openings on your website, the most popular categories were Industrial & Manufacturing, Retail & Sales, and Office, Clerical & Administrative. In total, I believe you had around 400 jobs available just in those three categories. I was thrilled to see the high volume of open jobs. This volume tells me that your business development professionals and recruiters are hard at work!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From my research, the most popular categories for PeopleScout appear to be IT, Hospitality & Administrative. Is this accurate? I saw the greatest volume of positions available in these three categories on your website. Also, many of your client reviews come from clients in these industries."
12.
Of the areas where PeopleScout recruits, which are you most knowledgeable?
It's impossible to be an expert in every job category. However, if you have worked as a generalist in the recruitment industry, you do know that it's possible to have a few favorites where your performance shines!

Of all the job categories that PeopleScout recruits for, which areas do you believe you are the most knowledgable? Discuss these and why you are most comfortable in these categories.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"For many years, I worked as a temp recruiter focusing solely on industrial and warehousing. For this reason, I would say that I am most knowledgable in these areas. I can readily help your clients in the transportation and logistics industries as well. I have a firm grasp on industry jargon as well as the certifications and regulations that come with such safety-based industries."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I see that PeopleScout recruits in a variety of areas. Of these categories, sales and retail are the topics that I know best. I have worked in retail and sales, and have a strong idea of the type of candidates that are best in commissioned sales jobs. With that said, I am eager to get to know other industries such as hospitality and administration."
13.
Have you ever worked with a staffing agency, from a job seekers' perspective?
If you have ever experienced staffing from the perspective of a job seeker, you can understand the recruitment process from a variety of perspectives. This experience allows you to be empathetic with job seekers who may be nervous working with a recruiter and their clients.

Talk to the interviewer about your experience working with a staffing agency. If you do not have this experience, that is okay too! What is most important is that you show PeopleScout you have the empathy and patience needed to work with candidates who do not understand the goals of staffing.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"A few years ago I was headhunted into the role that I have now. This situation was my very first time being on the other side of the table and, honestly, it was a little bit intimidating! Even though I knew the staffing industry in and out, I was still unsure of next steps and felt a lot of pressure to impress multiple parties. I wanted to interview well with the company and not let down the recruiter who was working so hard to place me. This experience gave me a new perspective, and now I treat candidates with even more care and concern. I am clear on next steps, expectations, and give them every tool possible to help them succeed."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Although I have not worked with a staffing agency, as a job seeker, I completely understand how the situation could be confusing and intimidating. To combat those feelings, I work closely with my candidates and am always open for questions along the way. I help my candidates with articles, guides, and information to ensure their success through the entire recruitment process."
14.
If a temporary employee let you down regularly, what would you do?
Temporary employment can be a challenge to navigate, especially in industries such as warehousing and logistics. These challenges come because:

- Candidate volume and placements are high
- Wages are average but competitive
- Hours can be sporadic
- Client communication is often lacking due to shift work

If a candidate let you down regularly by being late, no-showing to their assignment, or failing assessments such as forklift driving skills; what would you do? Show the interviewer that you have patience, that you are empathetic but firm at the same time.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"At the end of the day, it's my client who needs to be happy with the temporary employees that I provide them. If I had a temp who was continually failing to meet expectations, I would have to let them go. Anytime we drop the ball; it can negatively impact on my clients' bottom line, which is never a welcome situation. On any offense, such as being late or not showing up, I will call the temp employee and find out what happened. I ask for open lines of communication, and if we continually miss the mark on expectations, then I need to move on and put my energy elsewhere."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe in setting expectations from the start. I let temporary employees know what will occur should they fail to come to work or show up for their assignment on time. For the most part, I have excellent working relationships with our temp employees. When I need to let a temp employee go, I still educate the person on work performance expectations, and I encourage them to try their best in the future."
15.
Tell me about the targets and goals in your current position. Do you have trouble meeting them?
Every staffing professional knows that there are targets and goals to meet within their agency. In temporary recruitment, these targets often relate to the speed at which you fill open job orders or the volume of work that you get from your clients.

In permanent staffing, goals can include the fees you have collected each quarter, or how many job orders you brought in through cold calling efforts.

Talk to the interviewer about the goals and targets in your current position. If you are not sure of the goals present in this role with PeopleScout, it is certainly okay to ask.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In my current position I have a heavy focus on new client acquisition and business development activities which includes performing at least 60 cold calls per week. I always meet my performance targets, which also include job order volume, first interviews conducted, and placement fees collected. This month already, I am 154% to my placement fee goals."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am measured on how quickly I fill my temporary job orders and the number of new job orders that my existing clients send me every month. My average is 20 job orders per month, with an expectation of just 15. I am a high performer, and I look forward to bringing this winning attitude to PeopleScout."
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