John Bernatovicz

Ask Your Own Questions When a Recruiter Calls

phquestWhether you are looking or not, it is awesome to get a call from a recruiter. This means someone in your network recommended you or that the recruiter found your online brand impressive to take the time to reach out to you.

But after you are done patting yourself on the back, make sure that being flattered does not lead you down a path that you are not interested in or suited for. Yes, any recruiter will be thorough and ask you a number of questions to see if your qualifications match – but it is your job to make sure that the opportunity interests you. Ask questions – here are a few we suggest:

“What qualifications are your client looking for?”
Ask what the main, most critical qualifications are – and ask for a copy of the description to be emailed to you. And if they don’t match yours foster the relationship with the recruiter so that you will come to mind when an opportunity that does match your qualifications emerges.

“Can you tell me more about the job?”
Get to know what the day-to-day job is – as if it isn’t something that sounds interesting, don’t waste your time or the recruiter’s. Just because the job is new, pays more money, or has a fancier title doesn’t mean you will be happy. If the job doesn’t sound right for you, say so.

“Has the hiring company contracted with you exclusively?”
Why do you care? If the employer is faced with a tough choice between two candidates, one from a recruiter and one the company generated you may be swimming upstream. On the positive side, if the recruiter has an exclusive relationship (which Willory tends to have), they will be able to get your resume in front of the right person and pitch you effectively.

“How long has the job been open?”
If you get an answer that seems excessively long – be wary – the hiring entity may not only be indecisive in the hiring process, but perhaps difficult to please as a potential employee.

“Why is the position open?”
Turn over is natural, be it someone leaving or being asked to leave. Both can be informative. Perhaps there was a promotion or this is a new and exciting opportunity – both good things!

“What’s the job pay and should I assume medical and other benefits are included?”
Make sure you understand the whole package – bonuses, health benefits, etc. as merely salary range can be misleading either on the plus or minus side.

“Where is the job?”
This is your math to figure out – how long of a commute you can stomach or if you will (if necessary) relocate.

“What is the hiring process and how far along are they?”
More than anything, this will set your own expectations should you move forward as to how long it will take, the steps required, etc.

“Who referred you to me?”
Only you can answer how much weight the referring party has in your decision to move forward. But if you get a name, you can approach this person for more information that will give you an edge in the interview process.

No reputable recruiter should push back on any of these reasonable questions – so if you get some, think twice before you move forward.

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