Recruitment Blog

10 recruiter interview questions to ask for top talent

Sarah Linney
Content Marketing Manager at JobAdder
recruiter interview questions

As a growing recruitment agency, finding and attracting top talent for your team is crucial for the long-term success of your business. 

One of the most critical steps in this process is conducting effective interviews with potential recruiters. 

However, interviewing a recruiter can be quite challenging since they’re the experts in the field themselves! To help you with this process, we’ve put together a list of 10 recruiter interview questions to ask for top talent.

FREE EBOOK: What do high-performing recruitment agencies have in common?

1. What are the most effective recruiting strategies that you have used in your previous roles?

This question will help you gauge the recruiter’s experience and creativity when it comes to sourcing top talent, nurturing clients, engaging candidates, improving time to hire and other essential elements of recruitment.

This will also help you understand how they strategically approach recruitment, and how that differs to their day-to-day tactics. 

2. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest recruiting trends and technologies?

In today’s fast-paced recruiting world, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. This question will help you identify candidates who are constantly learning and evolving with the industry.

It will also provide a good indication of how open they are to adopting new technologies and tools and what kind of learning curve they might have.

3. Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a difficult candidate. How did you handle the situation?

This question will help you identify recruiters who can handle challenging situations with grace and professionalism.

You want recruiters working for your agency who always treat people with respect and compassion, even when they’re being difficult.

The job search process can be stressful for some candidates, triggering feelings of rejection and inadequacy, so recruiters should be able to respectfully communicate with all candidates and lead with empathy.

4. How do you prioritise your workload when dealing with multiple open positions simultaneously?

Recruiters often have to juggle multiple positions at once. This question will help you identify candidates who are organised, efficient and can manage their time effectively.

With a fast-growing agency, you want to ensure that recruiters can handle competing priorities and fill open roles quickly and effectively.

5. What metrics do you use to measure the success of your recruiting efforts?

Tracking and analysing data is crucial to the success of any recruiting strategy. 

This question will help you identify recruiters who are data-driven and can use metrics to optimise their recruitment efforts.

FREE EBOOK: Driving performance with recruitment metrics and KPIs

6. How do you build and maintain relationships with candidates and clients?

Recruiting is all about relationships. This interview question will help you identify recruiters who have excellent communication skills, are empathetic and can build strong relationships.

This also relates to client management and business development, can these potential recruiters nurture client relationships and seek out new clients? 

What strategies do they implement to attract and engage new clients and candidates? How do they interact with people? It’s important to understand the recruiter and their personality and working style as recruitment is all about people. 

7. How do you handle a situation where a client’s expectations do not match the available talent pool?

This question will help you identify recruiters who are proactive and creative and can find solutions to difficult problems.

For example, do they proactively source candidates to expand their available talent pool? Do they ask the client to refine the job ad and job description?  

8. Can you describe your experience working with diversity and inclusion initiatives in your previous roles?

Diversity, equity and inclusion are crucial in today’s recruiting world. This recruiter interview question will help you identify candidates who understand the importance of diversity and have experience implementing inclusive recruitment strategies.

9. How do you handle confidentiality when dealing with sensitive candidate and client information?

Protecting the data and privacy of your clients and candidates, as well as treading carefully when dealing with sensitive information, is absolutely essential in the recruitment industry. 

This question will help you identify recruiters who are trustworthy and can securely handle sensitive information with care.

10. How do you handle rejection when a candidate is not selected for a position?

Recruiting can be a competitive and emotional process. Recruiters have to quickly find perfectly matched candidates for their clients’ open roles, with no guarantee that they’ll progress through the hiring process. 

This question will help you identify recruiters who can handle rejection gracefully and use it as a way to better understand the clients’ needs and requirements.

In conclusion, the above questions are just a few examples of the many questions that you can ask during a recruiter interview. By asking these questions, you can find top recruiter talent and build a strong and effective recruitment team for your agency. Remember to tailor your questions to your agency’s specific needs and goals to get the best results. Good luck!

Recruitment expert Barb Bruno reveals 25 essential strategies to future-proof your agency.

future-proof recruitment agency



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