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Executive Recruiter Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated January 24th, 2019 | 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
Tell me about your experience making project bids and completing RFPs.
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How to Answer
If you do not have exclusivity with your client, you may have to put in annual bids or fill out requests for proposals. Most of the time, the agency leader or corporate office finalizes these; however, there are times when you may need to get the job done, or at the very least, assist with collecting the data for the proposals. Discuss any exposure you have with bids and proposals. If you have formal training in writing bids, be sure to mention that as well.
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1.
Tell me about your experience making project bids and completing RFPs.
If you do not have exclusivity with your client, you may have to put in annual bids or fill out requests for proposals. Most of the time, the agency leader or corporate office finalizes these; however, there are times when you may need to get the job done, or at the very least, assist with collecting the data for the proposals. Discuss any exposure you have with bids and proposals. If you have formal training in writing bids, be sure to mention that as well.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have helped in the bid process many times, providing compelling data and analytics that have helped our agency to win large bids with international clients. I have some training in technical writing; however, our agency utilizes an outside agency when it comes to finalizing formal applications and bids."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Although my exposure to project bids and RFP's is minimal, I do understand the data that needs to go into them, to make the applications compelling. I have created a couple of in-depth business plans in my career, and I suspect bids are similar as far as their structure and style of writing."
2.
What do you believe to be the most significant change in recruitment this year?
Recruitment is a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. Your approach will need to change with economic ebbs and flows, workforce legislation, and other trends related to human resources. Show the interviewer that you remain up to date on trends and changes in the recruitment world. Name the resources you utilize for your news and updates. If you would like the interview to have a more conversational tone, feel free to ask the interviewer what they think will be a significant change affecting their industry, this year.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe that virtual reality interview simulations are a game-changer for the interview process, especially when it comes to executive recruitment and the fact that it's difficult to always align interview schedules, for first interviews. Virtual reality technology can help with skills assessment and response analysis, helping clients to 'meet' high-level candidates faster."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Considering the eco-movement, along with significant changes in technology, I believe we will see a significant shift into video resumes, with a move away from paper versions. Keywording and SEO will still be important for applications such as LinkedIn profiles and personal websites; however, I feel that the traditional resume is on its way out for major corporations, in the next few years. With that said, small business will still rely on paper resumes for a long time, as they cannot afford the expensive VR technology."
3.
Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information you needed.
The interviewer wants to hear more about your decision making and critical thinking skills. Many times, a client will call you with a new job order, without giving you all the details you feel you need. Maybe you take the job order but then realize that you forgot to ask if the client would consider relocating a candidate, or you didn't gain clarification on the tech skills they would prefer to see.

Keep your answer career based and discuss a decision you made where you may not have had all of the pertinent information. The interviewer would like to see that you can use logic to make a sound decision. Show the interviewer that you are capable and confident when it comes to independent thinking and decision making. Be sure to include the success you saw in your sound decision making.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As an executive recruiter, ambiguity is a large part of my daily reality. I always do the best with the information I have to keep projects moving. I often find myself making decisions wishing I had just a little bit more data. In these cases, I look at everything I have, create what-if scenarios for several variables and select the best possible option."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Often, our clients are vague on their needs because they don't fully know themselves what they seek. I have had to fill in the blanks many times. I always know my clients well so I am comfortable making executive decisions when they cannot."
4.
Do you consider yourself a persuasive person?
The art of being an excellent communicator is also having the power of persuasion when necessary. There is a difference between persuasion and debating - or even convincing. Persuasion is used when you want to influence someone rather than tell them that they are wrong, and you are right.

As you know, executive recruiters are well-trained and highly persuasive professionals. The power of persuasion is essential if you are pitching a candidate to your client. It is also a helpful skill when you want to gain momentum with your coworkers or have your boss better understand your approach on a staffing project.

It is not a negative thing to be persuasive. Talk to the interviewer about whether or not you consider yourself to be a persuasive individual.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I can be persuasive when it comes to helping my clients to understand the logic behind my candidate submissions. It's important to lay out all data, showing my client the complete picture. I have a persuasive case built for each candidate before I even send them to my client. It's almost like how a lawyer preps for court. You have to be able to change minds from all sides and angles, to be a successful executive recruiter."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Persuasion is a key skill of an effective executive recruiter, in my opinion. Have you ever read the book, 'Pre-Suasion,' by Robert Cialdini? He speaks of the science in persuasion and that there are significant moves to be made before ever asking someone to do something on your behalf. This book has greatly influenced how I use persuasion."
5.
When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your researchers, principal, and fellow recruiters.
The interviewer would like to know how you plan to start relationships with your new co-workers. Due to a wide variety of personalities, coworker connections can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your researchers, junior associates, and leadership, all at the same time?

Here are some ideas for getting started on the right foot:

- Be willing to accept feedback and help
- Offer to join a committee or volunteer assistance in some way
- Do not have an air of entitlement or act as though you know the ins and outs immediately
- Avoid all company gossip, at all cost
- Be early on your first day (and every day after that!)
- Come dressed appropriately

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job all that I can do is be my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for itself."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Recruitment professionals love to talk so, when I first start at a new firm, I ask them about themselves and what makes them successful. This method nearly always opens up the floodgates, and I can make a fast connection."
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