12 Best Questions To Ask Recruiters When Interviewing

by | Interviewing

One of the first steps in a modern-day interview process is meeting with a recruiter. As you prepare for your intro call, you’ll want to develop questions to ask the recruiter at the end of the interview.

As an interview coach, job seekers often want to know, “What are the best questions to ask recruiters during an interview?” Although the most impactful questions are ultimately those that help you land a job you love, I spoke with several recruiters, HR experts, and people leaders to compile a list of the 12 top questions you might consider asking recruiters during your next interview.

Why Is It Important To Ask Questions During An Interview?

Before diving into the questions themselves, let’s briefly discuss why it’s important to ask questions during an interview in the first place. For starters, it’s a chance for you to gain insights into the company, culture, and open role. Additionally, it’s an opportunity for the interviewer to learn more about you and how you’re the right fit for the job.

When done strategically, asking recruiters thoughtful questions throughout the interview process can also help you stand out from other applicants and increase your chances of receiving a job offer.

What Are The Best Questions To Ask Recruiters During An Interview?

Once you make it to the phone screen, or interview, with the recruiter, it’s your time to shine! While most of the interview will be focused on your experience, skills, and alignment with the company and culture, there will also be time for you to ask the recruiter your own questions.

While a skilled recruiter will educate you on the opportunity leading up to and during the interview, you might have some additional questions about the company, culture, and role. Here are some questions to consider asking the recruiter:

Understand How They Measure Success

To begin, when evaluating opportunities, it’s important to know how the team and company measure success. With this in mind, Erica White, a Partner at Landing Point, recommends you ask the recruiter:

  • How is success measured?

Learn The Team Dynamics

Your interview with the recruiter is also an opportunity to go beyond the job description and learn about the team and manager you might be working with. Tejal Wagadia, a sourcing recruiter at Amazon Web Services, suggests asking:

  • Can you share the team dynamics for this role?
  • What can you tell me about the hiring manager’s leadership style?
  • When was the last time someone was promoted on this team?

Assess The Company Culture

Your interview with a recruiter can also give you deeper insights into the company’s culture and values. Many years ago, MaryBeth Hyland, the founder and chief visionary behind SparkVision, posted a handful of questions on social media to help job seekers understand the company’s culture, which I’ve shared with countless clients and would feel remiss to not include in this article. Here are two of my favorites:

  • What is your turnover like, and what do you think is the greatest opportunity to reduce it?
  • If there was one thing you could change about the culture, what would it be and why?

Clarify The Company’s Priorities

You can additionally use the interview to clarify the company’s priorities and glean specific examples of their values in action. Sheryl Marymount, fractional chief human resources officer at Sheryl B. Consulting, suggests asking recruiters the following questions.

  • How has the company supported your career advancement? What kind of continuous learning and career development programs are available?
  • Can you give me examples of how the company demonstrates its values?
  • Can you give me examples of how the company encourages diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?

Make The Recruiter’s Day

It doesn’t hurt to make your recruiter feel good when speaking with them. In this respect, Katherine Castro, a DEIB program manager at Airbnb, appreciates it when candidates ask about her well-being. As she explains, “It always makes someone’s day just to be asked.” Try inquiring:

  • How can I make your day?

Ensure You Have Communicated Your Qualifications

Because the interview with the recruiter is typically the first call in the hiring process, you’ll have a limited amount of time to communicate your career story and qualifications. Ryan Drawdy, senior manager of people at Pavilion, says you can ask this question at the end of the interview:

  • Is there anything you’re assessing for in this role that I haven’t adequately covered in our time today?

Leave With Clear Next Steps

Finally, it’s important to leave the interview with a clear understanding of the next steps in the hiring process. Consequently, Wagadia suggests that you ask the recruiter:

Conclusion: Best Interview Questions To Ask Recruiters

To summarize, here are 12 questions to consider asking recruiters during your next interview:

  1. How is success measured?
  2. Can you share the team dynamics for this role?
  3. What can you tell me about the hiring manager’s leadership style?
  4. When was the last time someone was promoted on this team?
  5. What is your turnover like, and what do you think is the greatest opportunity to reduce it?
  6. If there was one thing you could change about the culture, what would it be and why?
  7. How has the company supported your career advancement? What kind of continuous learning and career development programs are available?
  8. Can you give me examples of how the company demonstrates its values?
  9. Can you give me examples of how the company encourages diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?
  10. How can I make your day?
  11. Is there anything you’re assessing for in this role that I haven’t adequately covered in our time today?
  12. What is an appropriate timeline for me to follow up with you after the interview?

[Read: How To Best Prepare For An Interview With A Recruiter]

Again, please remember that the best questions allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the company and job opening while also allowing the recruiter to learn more about you and how you’re the right fit for the role, so feel free to add your personal spin to these questions. You’ve got this!

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).

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