10 Questions every Manager Wished Recruiters would Ask

For recruiters, success is all about being able to source, recruit and submit the best candidates in the shortest amount of time. Many skills contribute to being able to make this happen, and one of them is the ability to go beyond a candidate’s resume or online profile to determine if they are truly a fit for your position. This requires thinking like a hiring manager and knowing the right questions to ask to create a more in-depth profile of your candidate. The better you know your hiring managers, the more detailed and specific the questions can be, but here are 10 basic questions to help reveal details about candidates that most hiring managers will want to know.

  1. What kind of  company culture you looking for and what is your current culture like? Not every candidate that is capable of doing the job is a good fit for the job because culture does play a role in candidate success. Find out what motivates your candidates, their preferred work environments, learning and communication styles. Discuss their current work environments and what they like and don’t like about them. This information will help you and the hiring managers determine if they’re likely to be cultural fits, which leads to happier, more productive employees.
  2. Who else is involved in the decision making process? No matter how independent or confident a candidate may appear to be, most people don’t make a decision about a job on their own. Finding out who is involved in the decision making process and what might be important to them will give managers an idea of what non-job related factors may affect the candidate’s decision.
  3. Why do you really want the job? This question can give you a glimpse into candidates’ passion for and understanding of the work they’ll be doing. You want to make sure why they really want the job matches up with what they’ll really be doing.  
  4. What is your current salary?  A common question for recruiters to ask and not one that candidates like to answer. It’s important to remember that many candidates may be vague or even exaggerate their comp. Counsel candidates to provide honest answers of what they’re currently making and ask for proof. If they are looking for an increase in salary, and you know it’s a possibility, encourage the candidate to prepare an argument for why they deserve it.
  5. What are your salary expectations? In other words, can your clients afford the candidates you’re bringing to them? If salary expectations and what hiring managers are authorized to offer are too far apart, it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
  6. Have you ever been fired? If the answer is yes, you will want to make sure you and the candidate have a good explanation. It may be an uncomfortable question, but it needs to be asked. Advise your candidate to have an explanation for any gaps in their resumes, most hiring managers will want the details.
  7. Tell me about yourself? This is an open-ended question that many hiring managers ask and many candidates have a hard time answering in a succinct and compelling way. Asking this will reveal what candidates think is most important to share about themselves, their work histories and experiences. Additionally, it gives them practice answering this question and an opportunity for you to help them deliver an answer that highlights their skills, experiences and personalities.
  8. What’s your ideal work environment? This question can reveal if candidates prefer to work alone or on teams; thrive in more structured environments versus freer ones; like direction and training versus more autonomy. If you know your hiring managers well and how they prefer to work, this question will help you determine if candidates are good fits for them.
  9. What do you want that your present job doesn’t offer? You should know what your candidate is looking for. Whether that’s more insurance coverage, different office hours, upward mobility, or a more fulfilling work experience, asking what them what’s missing from their present job can give hiring managers a glimpse into what motivates them and what they may consider deal breakers.  
  10. Are you interviewing elsewhere? You and the hiring managers want to know who your competition is. Ask candidates if they are interviewing with other companies and if they’ve gotten any other offers. This information can help incentivize hiring managers to keep the hiring process moving and make an offer quickly – especially if the candidate is the perfect fit!

While asking some of these questions may not be comfortable, they will help you gain a deeper knowledge of you candidates and help determine early on if they’re a good fit. Asking these 10 questions will help you eliminate unqualified candidates, speed up the hiring process and make more successful placements.

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