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Internal Recruiter Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| 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 a time when you influenced hiring practices at your current or former employer.

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Internal Recruiter Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Tell me about a time when you influenced hiring practices at your current or former employer.

      Possessing the skills to change or improve a hiring practice in the workplace is a valuable asset to any employer. Talk to the interviewer about a time you recognized a need to change or enhance a hiring practice. Touch on the steps you took to implement the change and how you measured the success of this initiative.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "When I first started as the Internal Recruiter for ABC Company, the standard interview practices were not consistent between department managers. Too often, when new hires arrived, we found they lacked the behaviors that would enable them to be successful within our culture. I took the initiative to implement more behavioral interview questions in the interview process. I also introduced online skills testing for most roles. To implement, I gained buy-in from our leadership team by including them in the process of creating the interview questions and determining the set benchmarks for each role. We all worked together to create a system that would equip our leaders and department managers with the skills to effectively and consistently interview candidates. Then, we measured our success by monitoring turnover, retention, and time-to-hire metrics. We changed the process and, therefore, improved our turnover rate by 15% in the first 3 months."

  2. 2.

    When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.

      The interviewer would like to know how you plan to start relationships with your new co-workers and leaders. Due to a wide variety of personalities, coworker connections can take time to form. Discuss the action steps you take to ensure that you have an active communication line with your co-workers, team, and management right from the start.

      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
      - Ask meaningful questions as a way to make connections
      - Be early on your first day (and every day after that!)
      - Come to work dressed appropriately

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As a people-focused professional, I understand that some relationships come quickly and others take time to nurture. When starting a new job, I am my true self and let my personality, integrity, and reliability speak for themselves. I also understand that people like to talk about their lives. I can create new relationships with others by asking them about their life, interests, and accomplishments. From there, we can find common ground and make a lasting connection."

  3. 3.

    Do you have experience coordinating interviews, and documenting the candidate journey?

      A significant part of working as an Internal Recruiter is coordinating the movement of numerous talent acquisition projects. The interviewer would like to understand your experience when it comes to managing the interview process, taking care of candidate documentation, and handling action steps critical to successful onboarding. Take the interviewer through your process, and be sure to include details of any software, tips, tricks, and tools that you utilize to ensure you remain on track and organized.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current position I am responsible for the talent acquisition of approximately 60 new hires every year. This volume means that I require complete organization, and every step needs immediate documenting. I lean on Sage People, a cloud-based HR system that allows me to track every action we take with a candidate. I book interviews and track them in Outlook, which everyone on our team uses. I have excellent follow-up habits, which is a must to staying organized and well-coordinated as a busy Internal Recruiter."

  4. 4.

    Why would your employer prefer to hire a temp over a permanent employee?

      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 your company leaders analyze hiring needs
      - Your company can maintain ideal staffing levels without a permanent commitment
      - Temp employees may not require paid vacation days, workers' compensation, or health insurance
      - A staffing agency handles payroll, truancy, and other matters, saving your team a lot of time
      - When a temp employee does well, your company can hire them down the road, after they have proven themselves through excellent performance!

      Discuss with the interviewer the reasons why you believe a company may prefer temp hires over permanent employees. The more you know about this topic the brighter your recruitment expertise will shine!

      Rachelle's Answer

      "From discussions with my current leaders, they prefer hiring temp employees when they have an increase in projects and work, but there is an end in sight. My current employer is in the logistics industry and we just landed a 1-year contract with Kraft. When the contract is over, it may not be renewed. For this reason, we need the human resources to serve our clients' needs; however, we do not need a long term employee commitment. We staff about 60% of our warehouse with permanent employees and 40% are temps."

  5. 5.

    In an interview, how do you evaluate the performance of an executive candidate who is under a non-disclosure agreement with their current employer?

      As an Internal Recruiter, you will be interviewing for all role levels within your company. You will find that many high-level candidates are under a non-disclosure agreement, disallowing them to put specific numbers, percentages, goals, targets, and achievements on their resumes. A non-disclosure agreement also stops candidates from speaking as freely as they would like when you are interviewing them. Talk to the interviewer about other evaluation methods you can use when working with candidates under a non-disclosure agreement with their current employer.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my current company, the industry is very competitive, and many of the candidates I interview are under an NDA. To get around this, I utilize personality tests and other skills testing tools. These resources help me assess where a candidate truly stands in skill, knowledge level, and even ethics. Particular behavioral questions can be asked, such as, 'How do you believe you rank in performance compared to your counterparts?' These types of questions often provide me with an idea of where the candidates self-ranks."

  6. 6.

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

      LinkedIn Recruiter is a widely used online talent solution that many Internal Recruiters utilize. To have a subscription is not a small cost for an employer, so the interviewer would like to know if you can fully utilize the platform, making it worthwhile. With LinkedIn Recruiter, you can easily search, connect with, and reach out to excellent candidates who appear qualified for your open roles. The platform also acts as a candidate relationship management system, allowing you to prioritize better and track conversations.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have used LinkedIn Recruiter for about four years now, and I log into it every day. I appreciate the features such as candidate spotlights, allowing me to see the best matches for my job postings much faster. Also, I can identify candidates who have not completed their application which is a great new feature. I am very proficient in LinkedIn Recruiter and could even train other people on your recruitment team if needed."

  7. 7.

    Do you have experience preparing or leading new hire orientation?

      New hire orientation is how an organization welcomes a new employee into their company. The purpose of this orientation is for your new hire to feel comfortable and to adjust quickly. The better your onboarding process, the less likely the employee will quit. New hire orientation could include safety training, walk-throughs of various departments, job shadowing opportunities, employee benefits reviews, introductions to multiple stakeholders and co-workers, an overview of the company culture and history, and any other information required for a new employee to succeed. Talk to the interviewer about your experience putting together new hire orientation programs or leading them.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my recruitment career, I have led the new hire orientation for at least 200 new employees, alongside my HR Manager. I strongly believe that a flawless orientation and onboarding process will greatly increase an employees' desire to stay with their new employer long-term. At my current company, when I first joined, their process was pretty weak. I took about a month to dive into the orientation and revamped the program entirely. I have included more information on the organizational structure, what to expect, and more on the company culture. Now that the new hires feel more comfortable and welcome, it has increased our tenure rate by about 18%."

  8. 8.

    How do you help your company to make sound hiring decisions?

      There are many ways that an Internal Recruiter can influence a company and help them through challenging talent acquisition projects. Skilled recruiters will act as a partner to their company and its stakeholders. They will be a listening ear, an educated hiring partner, and a person with sound judgment. Discuss how you help your current employer make the best hiring decisions.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I must act as a solid hiring partner to my company. I support the management team by helping them with interview questions and candidate attraction strategies. I teach them the red flags to look out for in a job seeker and even help them through salary negotiations. Many of my leaders rely on my expertise when it comes to competitive hiring. In fact, just this year, we have managed to attract and hire three key department managers from our competitors. Since I joined Company ABC as an Internal Recruiter, our employee retention rate has increased by 25%."

  9. 9.

    Do you have experience guiding candidates through job offers and negotiations?

      One exciting part of your job as an Internal Recruiter might be making an initial job offer to an excited candidate. As rewarding as this part of your job can be, you must use caution in the process. Many factors can arise between a job proposal to its acceptance, and it's up to you to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. This task includes controlling the conversations regarding salary, negotiation, and counteroffers. If you have had exposure to leading job offers and compensation negotiations, discuss the depth of your experience.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I keep my department managers, company directors, and candidates in close conversation throughout the entire interview and offer process. I ensure that proposals do not go sideways due to bad communication or unrealistic expectations from either party. This year, I have facilitated 18 job offers so far, managing negotiations from salary to start date and even benefits. I keep up to date on market trends and what our company competitors are offering. I know what employees are earning based on their location, education level, and years of experience. I am 100% comfortable taking full control during job offer negotiations."

  10. 10.

    What are your top 3 most important activities as an Internal Recruiter?

      The interviewer wants to see that you have a full understanding of your responsibilities as an Internal Recruiter. By discussing what you believe to be the top 3 activities in this role, you show the interviewer that you have a solid understanding of the work you will be performing if you are hired.

      If you are currently working as an Internal Recruiter, discuss what you now take care of in your role, on a daily or weekly basis. If you are new to the recruitment sector, lean on what you know from research and the job description or job posting.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "The top three most important activities as an Internal Recruiter are to develop and maintain a solid candidate pipeline, create trusting candidate relationships through a welcoming and transparent interview process, and develop strong partnerships with department managers and other stakeholders. These three tasks will ensure that I move the needle on the company's hiring needs, have relationships with enough candidates to fill the company's positions quickly, and great cross-departmental relationships to depend on during high-volume hiring projects."

  11. 11.

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

      Internal Recruiters often work alongside their company's executive team. The interviewer needs assurance that you can fit in with your leadership team, be influential, confident, and persuasive. The first thing you can do to make a professional first impression shows up to your interview dress appropriately, highly prepared, and well researched. Discuss the ways you ensure to embody professionalism every day on the job.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I make sure to embody utmost professionalism in a few different ways. First, I dress the part. You will never find me outside of a suit, regardless of casual Friday. I am sure to be knowledgeable and well researched before entering any meeting. I am respectful, never interrupting my leaders, and I use the time they give me with utmost efficiency."

  12. 12.

    Tell me about your experience in terminations.

      As an Internal Recruiter, there will be times when a candidate does not do their job well, and your employer may ask you to let them go and replace them. Other circumstances may arise where a temp employee's performance is excellent, but their assignment ends earlier than expected due to a change in work volume. Show the interviewer that you can confidently approach difficult conversations around termination or unexpected dismissal. Depending on the size of your company, this task may be left with an HR Manager. If you do not have experience with terminations, discuss how you believe they should be handled.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "In my six years as an Internal Recruiter, I have had to assist in the termination of dozens of people. The reasons may vary, but my approach is always the same: showing gratitude and appreciation for their time with our company. In my current role, I help the HR Manager facilitate exit interviews where we discuss what went well, what they could have done differently, and then we coach them if they are open to feedback. Nobody should be left hanging or wondering what went wrong when they are terminated or their temporary assignment comes to an end. I am sure to handle these situations with complete professionalism."

  13. 13.

    Tell me about a recruitment mistake you made. Were there any details in the process you missed and realized later? How did you adjust based on what you learned?

      The hiring authority is interested in your ability to identify areas for improvement and learn from your mistakes in a positive, constructive way. Accepting feedback and learning from mistakes aids in your professional development as a recruitment professional. Your continued growth also benefits your employer. Talk about a time you made an error in the recruitment process. Briefly discuss the situation, how you course-corrected, and what you learned in the process.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "People are an organization's most valuable asset. Hiring top talent derives from an effective interview and vetting process. Early in my career, I relied heavily on assessing a candidate's previous employer references and education match. This heavy focus caused me to miss an opportunity to weigh their experiences or how they executed their work. My team collaborated and made changes to the interview and qualifying process to improve our results. We learned that asking better questions would help us better assess candidates. We worked together to come up with deeper interview questions that were used to make better hiring decisions."

  14. 14.

    What new hiring or human resources topic is piquing your interest the most right now?

      The interviewer wants to see that you are in-the-know when it comes to trends in the hiring and HR sector. Every year there are new, hot topics that come to light, which results in changing patterns for companies and new opportunities for Internal Recruiters to learn. Talk to the interviewer about one topic related to hiring or HR that has caught your attention recently.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "As an Internal Recruiter and key hiring partner to my employer, remaining on the leading edge of HR practices is critical. Keeping on top of industry news helps me bring fun and modern practices to my work and talent attraction strategies. Learning about the business and its industry supports me as a recruiter, and often, I will help leaders think through problems with creative solutions. Lately, one topic that has caught my eye is the 'gig economy' and how the landscape of full-time employees has changed significantly. I plan to attend an HR conference in February, where I will learn more about this trend. From the research I have conducted, I know that the gig economy will see much of the workforce shift from full-time jobs into freelance workers. A recent study I read estimates that by 2025, 60% of USA-based workers will be independent contractors."

  15. 15.

    How do you use data and analytics in your HR process?

      As an Internal Recruiter, the stakeholders in your organization will respond best to your recommendations if they can link your findings to data. Show the interviewer that you understand how to use analytics in your talent attraction processes. If possible, give a specific example of a time when the use of data and analytics led to a competitive hire, valuable market assessment, or a successful talent acquisition campaign.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Many recruitment professionals rely on the existing processes of their organization, which is an important factor; however, it should not be 100% of the work. I analyze data from our company's previous hires, successes, and failures of the past, employee attrition data, and more. Then, I make hiring recommendations based on what I see to be working for our organization in the future. Most recently, I helped to reduce our unnecessary workforce spend by replacing four low-performing employees with one full-time employee and one part-time staff member. My director was thankful that I took the time to analyze the issues before recommending a new-hire solution that was not as budget-friendly or effective."

  16. 16.

    Tell me how you find qualified candidates. Share an experience in which one of these methods helped you find a great employee.

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  17. 17.

    When hiring, is it important for you to contact a candidate's professional references?

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  18. 18.

    Recruitment can be highly frustrating at times. How do you cope with the fact that you are always putting out fires?

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  19. 19.

    Name one thing you could improve in your process, as an Internal Recruiter.

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  20. 20.

    Which recruitment-related technology and tools you do lean on most often during your day?

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  21. 21.

    What do you believe to be the most significant change in the recruitment process this year?

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  22. 22.

    How do you quickly learn industry terminology for roles that are new to you?

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  23. 23.

    How do you react when you and your leadership team disagree on the quality of a candidate?

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  24. 24.

    How is your recruitment performance measured in your current role?

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  25. 25.

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

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  26. 26.

    When pre-screening a candidate, what is the most important question you could ask?

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  27. 27.

    Do you have experience guiding candidates through job offer negotiations?

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  28. 28.

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

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  29. 29.

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

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  30. 30.

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

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