Know It Now: Five Great Questions to Ask a Recruiter
You may think you’ve done this enough times to know what you know and how best to interview for your dream job. Sure, practice is everything. But sometimes you get so comfortable in our habits of how you dress or show up for a meeting, or how you prepare by maybe even carrying a lucky talisman around, that you might appear a bit “auto-tron” in your delivery. It’s not that you are getting set in your ways, but changing it up is never a bad thing especially when you are out to impress.
Knowing it now and showing up for the interview means you need to take a few lessons in delivery and practice and maybe add a few new techniques that keep it interesting for both you and the recruiter. If you have not changed your job interview repertoire in awhile, try a new approach and ask some tough questions that may put you in the lead to become the perfect candidate:
1) Turning the Tables: Why not begin the interview by asking the recruiter how long they’ve been with the company and what keeps them still interested in the job? Waiting for them to probe you about your job history and interests is fine, but taking the lead and forming a bond with the recruiter by wanting to know a little more about them instead of it being all about you establishes a comfort level and gives you an opportunity to learn more about the company and the culture in an easy and casual way.
2) Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane: Inquiring as to the history of not only the company but the particular position you are applying for allows you to gain further insight into the job and whether or not there are any apparent red flags that might not ordinarily come up in the initial interview. Asking upfront how long the job has been open, if new, why did the company choose to create the roll at this time and has the company ever had a position like this before, shows that you are not only interested in the company but if the position is valued within the company as well. If it’s a replacement position you will want to know why the person left and what if anything they can share with you about the former employee or circumstances to make sure there is nothing about the job or the supervisor, etc. that might set you up for failure.
3) Show Me The Money: You don’t necessarily need to know specific dollars and cents but finding out what financial internal resources will be given to this position in the way of staff, budget, etc., offers you some insight as to whether you will be up all night doing the work of ten or, if you will have the company buy-in and commitment to hire and plan with the necessary resources to do the job right and maybe even be home for dinner on most nights.
4) Becoming Brave Heart: So many people leave the interview with little or no sense of how they did or where they stand in relation to next steps or if they are even close to being considered for the job. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions and inquire as to where you stand up against other candidates they may be considering and what if anything about your background is or is not a fit for the job or the company. If you don’t ask you might never know and it’s no fun to keep playing the guessing game and wait around for months for a response.
5) “The Sordid Topic of Coin”: Well now that you know they like you and want you back for more, the uncomfortable topic of how much the position is paying always seems to hang in the air like burnt morning coffee. Don’t think that just because they didn’t bring the topic up you should avoid it as well! You should have an idea of what the position is paying and you definitely should KNOW what you are willing to take if a job offer were extended to you. Waiting until the final round of interviews, or when they ask for your references is NOT the time to inquire about the salary range, budget or offer. Find out first and be up front about your expectations so in the end they know where you stand, you know where they stand and remove any of the surprise when the final offer letter is in hand.
Take some assertive steps in better preparing yourself the next time you are in front of a recruiter for a job you just can’t live without. It’s not only wise, but sets you up for a better game of “career match” any day of the week.
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