MockQuestions

Agency Recruiter Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Agency Recruiter interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Agency Recruiter was written by and updated on August 4th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

How is your recruitment performance measured in your current role?

How to Answer

Recruitment is a competitive industry, and your role as an Agency Recruiter is similar to that of a sales professional. Some of your performance metrics will include the number of placements you make, how quickly you fill a job order, your business development activity (gaining new clients or asking for more job orders), and your interview-to-hire ratio. Discuss with the interviewer how your performance is currently measured, and discuss how you stack up compared to others on your team.

Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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30 Agency Recruiter Interview Questions & Answers

  • Accomplishment

    1. How is your recruitment performance measured in your current role?

      How to Answer

      Recruitment is a competitive industry, and your role as an Agency Recruiter is similar to that of a sales professional. Some of your performance metrics will include the number of placements you make, how quickly you fill a job order, your business development activity (gaining new clients or asking for more job orders), and your interview-to-hire ratio. Discuss with the interviewer how your performance is currently measured, and discuss how you stack up compared to others on your team.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "The most important metrics in my role are the speed at which I fill a job order, and the number of new job orders I bring in to the agency. Right now, my expectations are set at gathering 10 new job orders per week. My weekly average is 14, and I am in the top ranking for candidate placements out of 15 other recruiters. You can see that I am a high performer, and I look forward to bringing this winning attitude to your agency."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    2. How do you treat candidates that your client does not select for the job? Walk me through your process.

      How to Answer

      Agency Recruiters speak to numerous candidates in a day and often interview handfuls of people for one position. 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 list of rejected candidates.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Part of being a successful Agency Recruiter is to gain and keep the respect of my talent pool. When I find out that a candidate was not selected, I will ask my client for actionable feedback on the rejected candidate. Then, I pick up the phone and call that candidate. I tell them the news and ask them if they would like feedback on their interview performance. If they are open to feedback, I will have a 15-minute interview coaching session to prepare them for their next shot. Then, I document everything that has happened. Next, I spend about 30 minutes uncovering new opportunities for that specific candidate. I like to shop great candidates around to my other clients who may be interested in their skill set. Around 30% of the time, this action results in a new job order from a different client, so it's a win-win strategy."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

  • Behavioral

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

      How to Answer

      Agency Recruiters work with tight deadlines, important client needs, unreliable candidates (at times!), and various 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 Agency Recruiters have grit, and the interviewer wants to see that this is a characteristic you possess.

      Since this question is posed as a 'tell me about a time when' query, approach your answer using a story-based example using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result). This answer framework will allow you to deliver an engaging story that is easy to understand.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Just last month, I had a client give me 24 hours to fill 10 warehouse picker openings. I was able to fill 8 of the 10; however, the morning of their shift start, 2 of the temps did not show up. I was not thrilled with this 60% success rate; however, I picked up the phone and started calling rather than becoming too discouraged. I had the four open spots filled by the end of the day, and my client was thrilled."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

  • Behavioral

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

      How to Answer

      Sometimes your clients may not know about human resource laws and will unintentionally (or intentionally) cross the line regarding hiring and employment ethics. As an Agency Recruiter, you will encounter clients who cross the line regarding gender, age, race, and other equal employment infringements. For instance, you may hear a client unintentionally say 'she' when they refer to the type of front-desk receptionist they want to hire. Or, more blatant, you may experience a client say, 'we can't hire anyone over 50 for this job because it requires extensive travel and few family-related commitments.'

      Discuss what you would do if faced with this situation. Of course, the only right answer is that you will politely refuse the job order and kindly educate your client on how to best work with you and your agency. If you have come across this situation in the past, this is a great opportunity to give a real-life story-based example. You can deliver your story using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to ensure a clear and easy to follow response.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    5. As an Agency Recruiter, how do you maintain relationships with your values clients?

      How to Answer

      Happy client relationships are everything to a recruitment agency, and the interviewer wants to see that you are capable of maintaining their well-established client relationships while also creating new ones. Recruitment is a competitive industry with many agencies vying for exclusivity with their clients. As you know, exclusivity can only happen when your clients are thrilled with your service and have an excellent rapport with you. Discuss the ways you ensure the best customer service.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    6. As an Agency Recruiter, are you accustomed to working in a bullpen environment or do prefer a private office?

      How to Answer

      As an Agency Recruiter, you may hear the word 'bullpen.' Some agencies will place their recruiters in a bullpen environment where desks are put together in an open-office environment. Since Agency 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 close-knit environment allows recruiters to quickly and easily update their team members on a recruitment project's progress. This work environment also makes it easier for managers to single out recruiters who are not picking up the phone and hustling compared to their co-workers.

      If you are accustomed to a bullpen-style office, let the interviewer know you are confident in your ability to thrive in this environment. Before your interview, you might know what kind of workplace environment the agency offers. If you are unsure, you can ask the interviewer. Be sure to ask enough questions to ensure that the agency's work environment is right for you.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    7. Talented Agency Recruiters are entrepreneurial. Give me an example of how you have embraced an entrepreneurial mindset.

      How to Answer

      To be a successful Agency Recruiter, you need to think like a business owner, a sales professional, a job seeker, and a hiring manager - all rolled into one! This multifaceted skill set requires you to be highly entrepreneurial by nature.

      Ways that you might display an entrepreneurial mindset:

      - Looking at challenges from all sides, all the time.
      - Happily face challenges and learn from them.
      - Embracing a lot of variety in your day.
      - Exploring new ways to provide value to your clients.

      Discuss the ways that you have embraced an entrepreneurial mindset in your recruitment career. To make your answer more memorable, be sure to give a specific story-based example using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Competency

    8. What are your top 3 most important activities as an Agency Recruiter?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a full understanding of your responsibilities as an Agency Recruiter. By accurately discussing what you believe to be your top three activities in this role, you will show the interviewer that you have a solid understanding of the job and the needs of their agency.

      If you are currently working as an Agency Recruiter, discuss your daily and weekly activities. If you are new to the recruitment world, lean on what you know from research and the job description or job posting.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Competency

    9. When interviewing a candidate, what is the most important question you could ask?

      How to Answer

      There are a plethora of essential interview questions that, as an Agency Recruiter, you could ask a job seeker. The most crucial first step is for you to ensure that the opportunity you are presenting is a fit for your candidate. If you do not qualify your candidate correctly, they could be a big disappointment to your client; making you appear unprofessional and inexperienced. Show the interviewer that you are capable of digging deep in your candidate interviews.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Competency

    10. Tell me three details an Agency Recruiter should never include in a job posting.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is checking to see how skilled you are with crafting compelling job postings that benefit your agency, protect your client, and attract the right candidates all at once. When writing a job posting, you must consider unconscious bias, keep your client names private, all while making sure that the right keywords are present so that your posting is optimized. As an Agency Recruiter, you will be writing job postings regularly, as new job orders come in or as clients tweak their requests. Discuss what you think should be left out of a job posting.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Competency

    11. How do you use data and analytics in your recruitment process?

      How to Answer

      As an Agency Recruiter, your clients will respond best to your interview and hiring recommendations if these suggestions link back to data. Show the interviewer that you understand how to leverage data and analytics in your recruitment process. If possible, give a specific example of a time when the use of data and analytics led to a successful placement.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Competency

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

      How to Answer

      A great Agency Recruiter will have many tools at their fingertips, allowing them more speed in their research. The fastest acting Agency 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 lean on resources other than yourself to reach the finish line.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Competency

    13. Talk to me about your level of proficiency with the LinkedIn Recruiter platform.

      How to Answer

      LinkedIn Recruiter is a widely used online talent solution that many recruitment agencies utilize. LinkedIn Recruiter subscriptions can be costly for an agency, so the interviewer would like to know that you can fully utilize the platform's features, making their investment worthwhile.

      With LinkedIn Recruiter, you can easily search, connect with, and reach out to talented professionals across the globe. The platform also acts as a candidate relationship management system, allowing you to prioritize tasks and track conversations with viable candidates.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Diligence

    14. As an Agency Recruiter, which publications and resources do you turn to the most to keep yourself educated?

      How to Answer

      There are a plethora of resources available to you as an Agency Recruiter. You could discuss any tools that your employer provides you, some you found on your own, or those that other recruiters have recommended to you. The interviewer wants to see that you have a keen interest in learning and staying on top of the ever-changing recruitment game. This question offers an opportunity for you to ask for recommendations if you are comfortable.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Diligence

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

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants assurance that you will keep your eyes open for opportunities to secure new clients or revive a client who has not placed a job order with your agency in some time. Discuss the ways you approach business development opportunities. Be sure to show that you are enthusiastic about helping your agency succeed.

      If you have a real-life example of a time when you approached a client and landed a new opportunity, this is a great time to include a story-based example. When delivering your story, try using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to ensure your example is clear and engaging.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Diligence

    16. How do you properly qualify potential new agency clients? Is it necessary to you to that your clients are ethical, or will you take any job order?

      How to Answer

      Responsible Agency Recruiters and their agencies will always interview their clients before agreeing to take on their job orders. Some of the things you should look out for is a history of constant employee turnover, sexual harassment accusations, stories of discrimination, poor health and safety records, and lousy employee reviews on review sites such as Glassdoor. If a client mentions they have burned through multiple recruitment agencies, this is another major red flag. Discuss with the interviewer your thoughts on ethical hiring and your process when it comes to onboarding new clients.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Experience

    17. Walk me through the types of placements you have made in your agency recruitment career. In which industries are you most interested?

      How to Answer

      Any industry can call for a recruiter's assistance; however, certain industries are better known for regularly engaging recruitment agencies. These industries include:

      - Healthcare
      - Manufacturing
      - Food & Beverage
      - IT & Software
      - Accounting
      - Office & Admin
      - Engineering (all types)

      Share with the interviewer what your specialties are as an Agency Recruiter or which areas interest you the most. Perhaps you have a degree in a specific field of work. Maybe you worked in high-commission sales in the past, making you great at spotting terrific sales candidates. If the agency you are interviewing for has a specific niche, avoid singling yourself out or talk yourself out of the role. Be sure to qualify yourself by highlighting your industry experience and making the connection between this experience and the recruitment agency's client focus.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Experience

    18. Do you have experience writing resumes, and coaching candidates on how to best present themselves to a client?

      How to Answer

      As an Agency Recruiter, much of your work will be prepping candidates to put their best foot forward when they meet your clients. Preparation could include coaching them on highlighting their best skills and achievements in their resume or working with them on answering tough interview questions. Discuss the experience you have working with your candidates on a deeper level to ensure they are fully prepared to give your client an exceptional first impression.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Experience

    19. Recruiting in an agency environment requires a lot of selling. Do you have any sales training?

      How to Answer

      Many Agency Recruiters will run a 360 desk. The term 360 means that the recruiter will handle everything from acquiring new clients, landing new job orders, finding the right candidates, placing them, and all the paperwork required from start to finish.

      Many of these tasks require the same skill set that a professional salesperson would have. Discuss any sales training you have and how you believe it will help you 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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Experience

    20. Do you have experience using an Applicant Tracking Systems? Which ATS do you know best?

      How to Answer

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

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Experience

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

      How to Answer

      One of the most exciting parts of your job as an Agency Recruiter is when your client tells you they are ready to make a job offer to your candidate! Congratulations - you did it! Now, it's time to hit the job offer stage.

      Many things can get in the way between a job offer and acceptance. As a talented Agency Recruiter, it's up to you to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. The task of navigating a job offer includes controlling the conversation regarding salary and counteroffers. If possible, talk about the experience you have with job offer negotiations, giving a real-life example of a challenging offer you navigated.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Experience

    22. Why would a client prefer to hire a temporary employee vs. a permanent employee?

      How to Answer

      There are a few primary reasons why your client would lean towards temporary placements over permanent hires. It may seem more expensive to have a temporary employee, but the math will often make more sense to an organization. Some of the reasons why a client may prefer a temp:

      - Temp employees fill employment gaps while companies formally assess their hiring needs.
      - Companies gain ideal staffing levels without the commitment of hiring a permanent employee.
      - Temp employees usually do not require perks like paid vacation, workers' compensation, or health insurance.
      - A staffing agency handles a temp workers' payroll, truancy, and other matters, saving the company a lot of time and resources.
      - When a temp employee does well, the company can hire them down the road. Moving a temp employee to a permanent role after they have proven themselves through excellent performance is a safe bet!

      Discuss with the interviewer the reasons why you believe your clients prefer temp hires over permanent employees.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Experience

    23. Walk me through your process after receiving a new job order.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you are well-organized and fully understand your responsibilities as an Agency Recruiter. If you have many years of recruitment experience, this question should be simple for you to answer. If you are newer to your recruitment career, think about the tasks listed in the company's job posting.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Experience

    24. What is the most critical area of training for a new Agency Recruiter?

      How to Answer

      New Agency Recruiter training can be intense and will cover a broad range of topics, including:

      - Cold calling
      - Business development
      - Employment diversity
      - Business ethics
      - Health and safety
      - Legal practices
      - Candidate selection
      - Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
      - Boolean search and keywording

      This list is to name just a few areas of training! Discuss with the interviewer what you believe to be the essential skill for a new Agency Recruiter. Then, express how strong you are in that particular topic. If you are a more seasoned recruitment professional, you can also talk about your experience in training new Agency Recruiters.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Leadership

    25. How do you help your clients to make sound hiring decisions?

      How to Answer

      There are many ways that an Agency Recruiter can influence a hiring manager and help them through a challenging hiring process. A skilled recruiter will act as a partner to their clients, be a listening ear, an educated hiring partner, and a person with sound judgment to explore ideas and thoughts. Discuss how you help your clients make the best hiring decisions.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Performance

    26. How many permanent placements did you make last year?

      How to Answer

      Agency Recruiters work fast, so the interviewer wants to know about the work volume you have handled in the past. For instance, if you made only three candidate placements in a year, that likely means that you will not work well in a fast-paced agency environment.

      Some Agency Recruiters will place a dozen or more candidates per quarter amounting to nearly 50 placements per year. If you work for a boutique firm, that number may be less. Discuss with the interviewer how many placements you are accustomed to securing, assuring them that you are a high performing Agency Recruiter.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Salary

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

      How to Answer

      Many Agency 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 agency 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 may not be the exact point of this question. Assure the interviewer that you are confident in your ability to be a top performer, regardless of commissions or a comfortable base salary. Show that you can work hard and be paid based on your performance alone.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

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

      How to Answer

      The appearance of your candidate can be just as important as their skill set. If your candidate is meant to be placed in a client-facing role or in a sales position for instance, it is especially important that they are presentable and professional. As an Agency Recruiter, you know that you would not send your client a restaurant management candidate who had poor hygiene or a legal assistant who wore sweat pants to an interview.

      The interviewer wants to see that, no matter how talented your candidate is, you would be comfortable handling the situation appropriately. Yes, it's uncomfortable to tell a candidate that they need to clean up their appearance; however, you will come across uncomfortable situations like this as an Agency Recruiter. Discuss how you would handle the dilemma. If you have ever experienced this situation, you can give a real-life example by telling your story using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    29. What steps would you take if your newly placed candidate quit without notice?

      How to Answer

      Agency Recruiters have to face the fact that job seekers can often face self-doubt. Some candidates are not always upfront about their job search, and they may be weighing other options that they have chosen not to disclose to you. As an Agency Recruiter, you will come across candidates who don't show up to work, quit their job without notice, or decide partway through their probation period that they want to leave their new job in accounting and become a dolphin trainer (seriously- it's happened!).

      The hiring authority wants to see that you can handle these cases with poise and professionalism, jumping into action to repair your client's situation immediately. If you have encountered this situation, provide a story-based example using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result). This approach will make your response feel more engaging and memorable.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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  • Scenario Based

    30. How would you make an average candidate appear more attractive to a client?

      How to Answer

      As an Agency Recruiter, you will find that many qualified job seekers look plain terrible on paper. Even the most talented people are not great at writing a resume, after all. The interviewer would like to know what you do to make a candidate appear more enticing to a client, before submitting their resume. Discuss the steps that you take to repackage or coach a candidate, making them easier to place with your clients. Express your interest in helping people to find suitable jobs, while also touching on why it's important to represent your agency in a professional light.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 5th, 2021

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