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How to Interview Your Recruiter

These Are the Questions You Need to Ask in an Interview with a Recruiter

The Questions You Should Ask Your Recruiter in an Interview

Earlier this spring, we surveyed our Recruitment Specialists to learn more about what they think makes a great interview.  We shared some results from the survey in a couple posts last month, where we discussed the benefits of being prepared and some tips on how to be organized for your interview.

One final point in the previous post was to have some good questions ready. As promised, today we’ll share what recruiters believe are fantastic questions for any contractor to ask in an interview.  We divided them into four categories:  evaluate the agency, pick their brain for improvements, learn more about a project, and plan how you’ll work together in the future.

Evaluate the Agency

We’ve posted about this before, but it’s extremely important that you find an agency that works for you. Ask a few of these questions you meet with any agency  and make sure the answers align with your goals:

  • Name 3 reasons why I should work with you over someone at your competition.

  • If you wish to submit me to one of your clients, what does the process look like?

  • How do I ensure no duplicate submission takes place?

  • What clients and industries does your agency currently represent?

  • How does candidate ownership work?  Will it be just you or a full team helping me find a job?

  • How will I get paid?

Pick Their Brain to Improve Yourself

Recruiters meet with hundreds of people throughout their career and know what works.  More importantly, they want to help you! Make sure you get as much advice as possible.  Questions may include:

  • What makes a successful candidate?

  • What can I add to my resume to make it better?

  • What can I do to make myself more marketable to one of your clients?

  • Do you have any suggestions of areas where I can improve in an interview?

Learn About the Project

In our first meeting with a recruiter, you may just be getting a chance to get to know each other, rather than discussing a specific opportunity. If, however, there is a project to discuss, get as much information as possible.  If anything, it will show the recruiter that you’re interested.  Questions you may ask include:

  • How well do I fit into the role?

  • What are the current challenges your client is experiencing?

  • Are there any shortcomings in my application that may prevent you from offering me the job?

  • Would you like me to clarify anything else?

  • Can you provide any more specific information about the project?

Plan How You’ll Work Together in the Future

Meeting with a recruiter doesn’t mean you’ll get a job immediately.  It will take a bit of work up-front, but once you’ve built solid relationships with recruiters from a few different agencies, contract opportunities will start to come easily. Here are a few questions you can ask to get to know each other and plan for the future:

  • What’s happening in the market?

  • What’s the market rate for my skillset?

  • What are my experiences/skillsets that are relevant to your clients?

  • What trends are you seeing out there in the market for technologies/skillsets?

  • When should I hear from you?

  • How often should I stay in touch with you?

Interviewing with a recruiter for contract positions is completely different than interviewing with employers for full-time opportunities.  Rather than trying to sell yourself to a specific company, your goal is to build a relationship and sell your business and yourself as somebody who can bring value to a variety of clients. Are there any questions you would add to the list above that help you achieve that goal?