Questions to Ask a Recruiter Before a Job Interview

Questions to Ask a Recruiter Before a Job Interview
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Working with a recruiter will always give your job search a strategic advantage. Whether you’re actively looking for a career move or one of them reached out to you with a unique opportunity, there are a series of questions to ask a recruiter that will let you know if their suggested job opening is best for you. 

If after the approach, the job description caught your interest and now you’re getting ready for an interview, there are a few pointers you’ll like to talk about with your recruiter to be locked and loaded for the meeting. 

Preparing for a job interview

If you’re looking for a new job or simply reaching out to a new company that’s interested in your profile, you should approach the interview process with seriousness and professionalism. Besides giving an excellent impression to your possible new employer, preparing for a job interview will ease the tension or nervousness you may feel.

Showing up on time, having your portfolio on point, preparing a script for possible questions, or simply picking your attire carefully are a few actions you can take to be more comfortable during your interview and will definitely leave a great, long-lasting impression.

How can a recruiter help you prepare for your interview? 

A recruiter’s ultimate goal is to streamline the hiring process, from both the hiring manager’s and the candidate’s standpoint. This means they’re more than willing to get you sharp and ready to meet a decision-maker and put your best foot forward. After talking to job-seekers and hiring authorities on a daily basis, they’ve gained experience in how a company’s recruitment process works, particularly the ins and outs of their interview process. 

If a recruiter reaches out to you or one of them is assisting you in your job search, you have a unique opportunity to gain insight into strengthening your profile while preparing to interview for a specific role. The knowledge is right there for you to take advantage of.

Questions to ask a recruiter before an interview

Whether you’re working with a third-party recruiter or were contacted by an in-house recruiter, there are several topics you can talk about with them that will get you more confident and prepared for your job interview. Here are some questions to ask a recruiter before a job interview that will set you up for success. 

How is the interview conducted? 

Before discussing whether you have the right skills on your resume or other details about your profile, you should understand the company’s interview process. You should be aware of how many interviews you will likely undergo, and if these will be remote or in person. So, if you want to plan your schedule and set available times for this process, make sure this is one of the first questions you ask a recruiter.

Is there a dress code for the interview?

There are no obvious fool-proof standards when it comes to first impressions and being prepared, especially if you’re going to an on-site interview. Though there may not be a specific attire for the interview, your recruiter can give insight about what the company culture is like and if they’re more polished or casual, so you can use it as a guide for how you dress. A general rule for avoiding being overdressed or underdressed is to wear something a notch up from the company’s standard. 

Who will be interviewing me?

This is another question to ask a recruiter that will give you an advantage during your job interview. Knowing if one or two decision-makers will interview you or if it will be a panel or group interview format will allow you to prepare yourself and stay confident. The titles of your interviewers will also offer some foresight into what sort of questions you’ll be asked. Research their backgrounds and roles so that they know you’ve done your homework when you greet them by name.

What questions should I expect? 

Recruiters work closely with decision-makers and have constant communication with them. This means they have a sense of what type of questions managers are likely to ask: behavioral interview questions, technical or resume-focused, brainteasers, or simply general questions they like to ask before hiring a candidate. Having these in advance will give you a head start in practicing well-rounded answers for your interview. 

What type of skills should I highlight?

The job description will work as a guide with this one, but asking this question to a recruiter will give you detailed insight into what skills you should include to hold your interviewer’s attention. Keep in mind that this is not a suggestion to tweak your resume or be untruthful during the interview. On the contrary, knowing this will allow you to brush up on your skill set or any other informational areas you may lack. 

Should I bring or present my portfolio?

A portfolio is another excellent choice for showcasing your experience and abilities. Whether it is an on-site or remote interview, you should ask the recruiter if bringing or sending your portfolio along with your resume will strengthen your case. Having an updated portfolio will help you fill the gaps in your resume or profile, so this is a good time to renew or collect work samples from previous experiences. 

Is there a test I should be prepared for?

Whether you’re being interviewed for a C-level or entry-level position, the hiring manager will likely want to test your skills. Therefore, another good question to ask a recruiter is if you should prepare for any assessments. Even though they may not be involved with the tests, they can guide you through the different evaluations they’ve seen while recruiting for similar roles.

How many candidates are interviewing for the position?

Knowing how long the company will be doing interviews or how many candidates they’ll be meeting is a piece of valuable information that will give more insight into the interview process. This is why it is one of the most common questions asked of recruiters before an interview. Besides, it will allow you to set your schedule and be aware of the time frame when expecting an answer. 

Is there an ideal candidate for the position? 

Lastly, if you want to get to the big day more confident and sharp, this is an excellent question to ask a recruiter. Beyond the expected qualities for the role, a recruiter can give insight into other aspects necessary for the role, like the type of personality, leadership skills, and work and time management abilities. Matching the hiring manager’s expectations will give you the competitive edge you need to crush your interview. If you want to improve your job search or find the best jobs in your industry, head to gpac’s job board or contact one of their recruiters to get guidance from top-notch professionals in the digital recruitment industry.

Contributed by Luis Arellano

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