Posted October 11, 2019

BeachHead Recruiters reveal – Discover the top Questions to ask a Recruiter

BeachHead Recruiters Reveal - Discover the top questions to ask a Recruiter

So imagine this scenario, you are working, and your phone rings. It’s a call from a Recruiter asking if you’re open to new opportunities. Whether it is an ideal position or not, it is important to be prepared so you can assess the opportunity. From the BeachHead experts, here are the top questions you should ask a recruiter.

Tell me something about yourself?

You must have been asked this question at some point during interviews. However, it is a great question for you to ask the Recruiter on the phone. We recommend that you assess the potential expertise of a recruiter and the staffing agency. Variations could be “How long have you been with your current organization?”, or “How long have you been headhunting for this industry?”

The nature of the question assists in understanding the background of the recruiter, the staffing firm they represent and determine their credibility. An established staffing firm with long term client relationships is more capable of representing you effectively.  Further, a recruiter with more experience would be more knowledgeable and in a better position to determine if the position is a fit for your skills and knowledge. With their experience, the probability of you finding your ideal position increases tenfold. In contrast, inexperienced staffing agencies may lack the skills and relationship to benefit your career.

How long has this position been open, and what is the timeline to hire?

Before applying for any role, it’s good to get some clarity on the timeline for hiring. Not only will it help you combat the anxiousness when you wait to hear back from the recruiter but it will also help you understand if it’s the right company to work for.

Ideally, you do not want the position to be open for too long. In some instances, this could mean that the hiring manager is unsure about the job requirements. It could also be an early indication that the manager is extremely picky, or the position itself is undesirable. On the other hand, for new positions, generally, managers tend to take time and review different candidates. Thus, be prepared for some delay in the recruiter’s response after you’ve applied.

What are the top 3 technical requirements or “must-have” for this position?

While a great deal of interview success does depend on your personality and soft skills, the employer will hire the candidate that has the aptitude for the role.  We recommend you determine if the position aligns with your skills and expertise.

You should avoid applying if the skills do not align. If you do possess the right qualifications, use this insight to prepare for the interview.  We recommend you highlight these skills and give specific project-based examples during the conversation with the employer.

Is this a backfill or a new position?

This question offers a great insight into the potential employer. If it’s a new position, it could symbolize that the company is in the growth phase. They are likely expanding, could be restructuring, either of which bodes well for your career progression.

In the case of the former, you should find out more information by asking why the previous employee left. Positive explanations, such as they were promoted or transitioned into a different team, are a good sign. High turnover, however, is a red flag and should be avoided. If the recruiter hesitates or becomes evasive, that should tell you a lot about the employer.

What can you tell me about the hiring manager?

The recruiter has likely worked multiple times with the same hiring manager in the past. Thus, they are the best source of information on your prospective future employer. As the hiring manager could be your future boss, it’s best to find out as much information as you can about them.

Use this question to understand the personality, working style, and experience of the hiring manager. Ask specific questions that allow the recruiter to comment on their working relationship with the hiring company. This information can be further used to decide the overall communication strategy for your interview.

Do you have any reservations about me or my qualifications for this position?

While this question can make you seem aggressive if asked directly to the manager, it’s one of the smartest questions to ask a recruiter. It provides you with an opportunity to address any concerns that the recruiter might have about you as a fit for the position, head-on.

Use this opportunity to address any education gaps or sabbaticals that you might have. It could also be your chance to talk about specific skills that are not evident from your resume. Sure, it takes some gumption to inquire, but why allow a possible reservation to turn into a reason to offer your desired opportunity to anyone else.


There you go! A list of great questions, to keep handy. Not only will these help you obtain the maximum amount of information but will also provide you clarity on whether you should move forward with the application or not.

Ready to talk to one of our recruiters? Send us your resume at and we will help you find your perfect fit. For more exciting tips and tricks remember to like us on Facebook and do follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Apply to all our latest job openings here.