8 Examples of Recruiter Interview Questions (With Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 29 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many organisations rely on the services of a recruiter to identify and hire the best talent. To get a job as a recruiter, you can expect to complete an interview after submitting your CV. Identifying common interview questions for this position can help you prepare for the recruitment process. In this article, we review examples of recruiter interview questions you can expect when applying for a job with sample answers.

8 examples of recruiter interview questions

Here are some recruiter interview questions with sample answers you can expect when applying for a job:

1. Tell me about a time one of your candidates didn't get the job. How did you handle it?

Recruiters work hard to prepare candidates for job applications. Thus, when they don't get the job, it can affect the recruiter's earnings and morale. Interviewers ask this question to assess how you respond to setbacks. They want to know if you can maintain professionalism and learn from setbacks. When answering this question, it's important to answer honestly. First, discuss how you felt to make your answer more genuine and personal. Next, describe how you handled the situation.

Example: "When my candidate doesn't get the job, it's a difficult experience for me, but I try to remind myself that it's probably more difficult for my candidates. The first thing I do is to call them and inform them of the news. As job hunting can be strenuous, I try to console and motivate them. Then, I have a lengthy discussion with the hiring manager to understand what my candidate did wrong. Based on that knowledge, I can give my candidate updates on how we can improve for subsequent applications."

Related: Headhunting: Definition, Differences from Recruiting and TIps

2. Describe your relationship with your last three hiring managers

Recruiters usually work with hiring managers to identify and hire the best candidates for the job. As recruiters rely on hiring managers to get job opportunities for their candidates, it's important they maintain a good relationship with them. Interviewers ask this question to see how you manage your professional relationships. When answering this question, share your philosophy about working relationships. If possible, you can include details about how you manage your work relationships.

Example: "The relationship I had with my last three hiring managers was very cordial. I treat all my work partners with respect and expect the same from them. When a hiring manager informs me they're searching for a candidate, I take time to understand their requirements and the nature of their organisation. Then I create a list of compulsory attributes and find candidates who have them. This method helps me keep my client satisfaction rates high, strengthening my relationships. As a result, I'm still in contact with my last three hiring managers."

Related: What Is a Recruitment Consultant? (Plus Skills and Salary)

3. Describe how you may handle a top candidate rejecting a job offer

Recruiters spend a lot of time trying to get a candidate a job offer, which some may eventually reject. This can be stressful for the recruiter, as it threatens their relationship with the hiring company and the candidate. Interviewers ask this question to evaluate how you respond to stressful situations. When answering this question, it's important to show professionalism. You can include details about how you felt to make your answer seem more human. Also, ensure you highlight what you learnt from the experience.

Example: "A candidate rejecting an offer I worked hard to secure can be frustrating, but I try to remind myself that it's not about me. My goal is to connect candidates with companies where they can grow. Thus, I try to talk to the candidate to understand their reservations about the company. I ensure I note this down to check for compatibility in this area for future pairings. I also provide feedback to the company."

4. What do you think is the most rewarding aspect of being a recruiter?

Being a recruiter can be a strenuous position, so it's important to stay motivated. Interviewers ask this question to determine your passion and values relating to the job. This question is subjective, so there's no right or wrong answer. If possible, try to provide a personal reason to make your answer more convincing. You can also include an example of an experience that supports your point. Ensure you speak calmly and confidently the whole time. You can also consider including humour for better results.

Example: "I love being a recruiter because it involves playing a pivotal role in the growth of individuals and companies. It's a great privilege to connect candidates with their dream jobs and to see their faces fill with emotion when they get a job offer. I also enjoy the thrill of receiving a list of specifications from companies and working hard to find candidates that meet them. Being a recruiter is a highly rewarding job as I can see the impact of my work on the economy."

5. How would you introduce our company to a candidate?

In addition to convincing companies to employ candidates, recruiters also convince candidates to accept offers from companies. Interviewers ask this question to evaluate your persuasiveness. It allows them to test your knowledge of the company. When answering this question, ensure you include specific details about the company to show that you've done sufficient research. You can provide details about your recruitment process, including how you determine which candidates are likely to be a good fit for the company.

Example: "Founded in 2000, Growthvest is a growing investment bank with over two branches and 20,000 clients, and is looking to expand in the future. What makes them different from other investment banks is their commitment to customer service and the ethics of their profession. They're currently working on a new system that would allow clients to collaborate with their portfolio managers so that they can make investment decisions in real-time. To do that, they need the services of a software developer with your background. Growthvest is innovative and forward-looking and is looking for a software developer with the same qualities."

6. How do you stay up to date on relevant trends in the recruiting industry?

The recruitment process changes frequently. To provide candidates with the best experience that meets the needs of their companies, it's important that recruiters stay informed. Interviewers ask this question to assess your ability to stay up to date with the industry's latest practices. To answer this question, describe the importance of staying updated. Next, provide details about how you stay updated. You can use examples of magazines, newsletters or websites and professional organisations to structure an informed response.

Example: "Staying updated is very important to me, as it affects my ability to prepare my candidates for a role. To ensure I have the most current information, I'm subscribed to the Talent Finder magazine, which regularly publishes tips for recruiters. I'm also a member of my local recruiters' club, where we discuss emerging trends in recruitment and how to leverage them in favour of our candidates. Most importantly, I try to have in-depth conversations with hiring managers before suggesting a candidate. Regardless of the trend, only the company truly knows what it needs."

Related: What Does a Recruiter Do? A Comprehensive Guide

7. What process do you follow when confirming a candidate's references?

One of a recruiter's main responsibilities is assessing a candidate before suggesting them to the hiring manager. Interviewers ask this question to evaluate your work process. Ensure you answer this question clearly and confidently. In your response, provide details about your work process and include reasons for every step.

Example: "When a candidate provides details of their referees, I ask to confirm they're correct. After informing the candidate, I contact their referees by emailing them. My email usually contains a copy of the candidate's resume and a form that the referee can complete. The referee can fill in the form to confirm the details on the candidate's resume and provide additional information about their qualifications."

Related: Complete Guide to the Employee Recruitment Process

8. How do you evaluate your performance?

Interviewers ask this question to determine your self-evaluation process. Self-evaluation is important as it shows you're teachable. You can answer this question by discussing how you assess your skills and structure your self-development goals.

Example: "I evaluate my performance by emailing performance review forms to my candidates and hiring managers. These forms contain various metrics they can use to rate their satisfaction with my services. I review these forms to identify areas where I can improve. I also ensure the reliability of the review process by making them anonymous."

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