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12 Nov 2020 Austin Belcak

These Are The 20 Best Questions To Ask Recruiters

If you’re looking for a job, you don’t need to speak to a recruiter. But it sure can help. That’s because recruiters have in-depth information about available jobs that would be difficult to find elsewhere. But just because they have a wealth of information doesn’t mean they’re always going to share it openly. Oftentimes, it’s best to have a list of questions to ask recruiters instead.

In this post I’ve put together 20 of the best questions to ask recruiters so you can use to get more information about the company and the role. But before we dive into those, I want to first talk about why it’s important to ask questions at all!

Why It’s Important To Ask A Recruiter Questions

Asking a recruiter questions can help you in more ways than one. In fact, there are 5 core things you can achieve by asking the right questions:

  • Determine whether the job is a good fit for you
  • Detect potential red flags about the job and company
  • Learn about the hiring process
  • Evaluate the experience of the recruiter
  • Gain information on the salary range

Pretty valuable stuff, don’t you think? Let’s look now at which questions will help you achieve each of those goals.

List Of The 20 Best Questions To Ask Recruiters

You may not need to use all of the following 20 questions to ask recruiters as they will likely share some of this information as they talk to you about the role and company.

But having these questions in the back of your mind will help you tactfully prompt the recruiter to fill in any gaps. It also saves you from having to ask these questions during potential interviews with the hiring manager.

To help you out, I’ve divided up the questions into the 5 goal-based categories I mentioned before.

Questions to Determine Whether the Job Is a Good Fit for You

#1. Can you tell me specifically what type of projects I would work on?

You can’t always get the full picture of what your day-to-day duties will look like from job descriptions. But you might be able to find out by directly asking the recruiter. If their answer is vague, press them a bit to give specific examples.

#2: What are the most important skills?

Job descriptions usually include a bunch of required skills. You may not meet all of them — and that’s okay. Most people won’t. Use your conversation with the recruiter to find out which skills are non-negotiable to perform well in this role. If you do possess those skills, make sure to highlight them in your resume and cover letter!

#3: What is the company culture like?

Even a seemingly perfect job can end up being miserable if the company culture is no good. Ask the recruiter about the company’s values, work environment, and anything else that might affect you not enjoying your time there.

#4: Why do you think I’m a good fit for this role?

Sometimes a recruiter may reach out to anyone that vaguely fits the qualifications of the job description. But that doesn’t mean you’re actually a good fit for the role. Ask this question to evaluate whether they’ve made the right assumptions about the type of work you’re looking for.

#5: What can you tell me about the hiring manager?

When you ask this question you may be able to gain insights about what it’s like to work with the hiring manager. What’s their working style like? Does the recruiter enjoy working with them? This can also help you determine whether you’ll enjoy working with this person.

#6: How did you find me?

These days, 87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn to find candidates. By asking this question you may be able to determine which keywords the recruiter used to find your profile. Do those keywords match the type of work you’re looking for? If not, it may be time to update your LinkedIn profile.

Questions to Detect Potential Red Flags About the Job

#7: How did the position become available?

It’s important to know what you’re walking into. Is it a brand new role or is it one that was once filled by someone else? Neither scenario is on its own a bad sign. But it’s important to know going in if there was a person before you and, if so, under what conditions they left.

#8: How long has the job been open?

By asking this question you’ll get a sense of whether it’s been hard to fill this role or not. If the recruiter shares that they’ve been trying to fill this role for a long time, that could be bad. For example, it could mean that people become disinterested in the job as they move through the hiring process. It could also mean that the hiring manager is particularly picky.

#9: What’s turnover like at this company?

A high turnover rate is one of the biggest red flags for a toxic work environment. Do employees tend to stay with the company for a long time? Or are people quick to leave soon after they’ve started? Pay close attention to how the recruiter talks about this.

Questions to Learn About the Hiring Process

#10: How quickly are you looking to fill the position?

Getting the answer to this question will help you know when you can expect to hear back after applying and potentially start your first day of work. This helps you make sure the timeline fits with your needs.

#11: What are some reasons that other candidates haven’t been selected?

Where have other candidates gone wrong? Was it something in their resume? Something they said in an interview? Use what you learn to tailor your strategy for applying to the job.

#12: Would you recommend any changes to my resume or cover letter?

This is one of the most valuable because the recruiter wins when you win. So, they’ll be open to suggesting changes to your resume and cover letter if they think it will give you a better shot at impressing the hiring manager.

#13: What will the interview process be like?

Will the interview be one-on-one with the hiring manager? Should you expect to start with a phone interview? How many rounds of interviews should you expect? Not only does this give you insight on how to prepare, but it also helps you to manage your expectations.

#14: What kind of questions should I expect during the interview?

The recruiter knows exactly what the hiring manager is looking for. So, they may have some idea of the questions that will come up in your interview. At the very least, they can likely point you in the right direction. Use this information to your advantage as you do interview preparation.

#15: Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?

You probably won’t want to ask a question like this. But the fact that the recruiter can look at your profile from the employer’s perspective is extremely valuable. And if they do have reservations, at least you know in advance. From there, you can make plans to address those things in your cover letter or interviews.

Someone Looking Through A List Of Questions To Ask A Recruiter

Questions to Evaluate the Experience of the Recruiter

#16: How long have you worked with this company?

Internal recruiters usually have more insider information about the company. But that may not be true if they haven’t worked there long. Their answer to this question can help you to evaluate whether they’ve been there long enough to really understand the company culture, turnover rate, etc.

#17: How often do you communicate with this hiring manager?

How well does the recruiter know the hiring manager? Are they informed when there are updates to the role or hiring process? If not, you may not be getting the latest information, which could cause potential issues down the line.

#18: How long have you been recruiting in this industry?

Does the recruiter have experience helping candidates of your experience level? Are they familiar with which of your skills are most important to the job? This is not to say a new recruiter can’t help you. But you’ll want to know upfront how much weight you can give to their advice.

Questions to Gain Information on the Salary Range

#19: What is the salary the company has budgeted for this role?

This question is very straightforward. And the recruiter may not respond to it directly. But they may offer you a range and help you evaluate whether or not it matches the salary you’d need for this new opportunity to be worthwhile.

#20: Does the company have a general salary range in mind for the position?

This question is similar to the last one. But it offers a softer approach that the recruiter might be more receptive to. A range could also come in handy when it’s time to negotiate your starting salary.

Final Thoughts

These questions to ask recruiters can provide you with a wealth of information that can help you:

  • Determine whether the job is a good fit for you
  • Detect potential red flags about the job and company
  • Learn about the hiring process
  • Evaluate the experience of the recruiter
  • Gain information on the salary range

You just need to ask them the right questions. Use the ones I’ve shared in this post to get all the information you need to get closer to landing a job offer!

Want More Research-Backed Interview Questions?

Click here to get my Interview Question Cheat Sheet with 19 MORE questions!

Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.

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