Hi Everyone

What are the top five questions you would ask or have asked when on an informational interview or meeting with a recruiter?

Or were asked by candidates while interviewing them?

Thanks very much. Have a great weekend!


juliahhavener's picture
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Is this a specific company's recruiter or a general one? Is there a position that you're discussing specifically?

tron's picture

I'll give you a couple I asked in a recent internal job interview (I was interviewing for the job... didn't get it, but thats a long political story...)

Do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job and fit in?

Is there anything else I can elaborate on so that you would have a better understanding of my suitability and qualifications for this position?

What can I do in the first 90 days to make your job easier?

I hope those help start a conversation here, and help you a bit.

vinnie2k's picture

My experience (albeit short) tells me that I will ask a lot more about the company, how it operates (decision-making style, culture, etc.), but also: give me the company's SWOT analysis! I want to know what the company's challenges, the major initiatives the company is undertaking, etc.

The other thing I would ask is to meet some of my boss's peers.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Everyone

Thanks for your responses.

Julia, I managed to get the VP of Hr to respond to me and she will give me 15 minutes on the phone next week as she is in another city.

It is for a newly created position (Director of Marketing) in a newly merged company (a provider of corporate training) that would leverage my teaching and my marketing.

wendii's picture
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Hi *rntt

We had a candidate who asked:

What do you want the department to have achieved in 6 months and how will I have contributed to that?

Which blew us away and was talked about for weeks.

Anything other than the what's in it for me questions are a relief for interviewers, but here's some suggestions:

*How do you expect this department to contribute to the business
*What do you expect me to have achieved in the first 6 months
*What do you think makes this business/department special
*Why do people like to work in this business/department
*When do you need someone to start?
*What other departments will I be involved with
*What would you love to do that you can't get done without someone in this position
*What makes someone a success in this department/business
*How do you work with other departments
*When could I start meeting clients
*What would be the first thing I could do to contribute to this department's success?
*Do you currently have one-on-one's, staff meetings?
*How do you like someone to work with you?
*Is there anything I should familiarise myself with in order to be a quick asset to this department?
*What's the biggest problem you're facing right now (and solve it for them on the spot.. that will get you the job!)
*What's your long term plan for this department?
*How do you see my skills fitting into this department?
*Why is this position open?
*Is there anything I havn't covered that you would like me to?
*Is there anything you were looking for that I havn't demonstrated?
*What's the next step in this process?

I want the next place I work to be really innovative, so I ask - what's the most innovative method of recruiting you use? which could be adapted for anything you are looking for. I'd also advise having at least 10 questions prepared - because you can guarantee if you only have 3, the interviewer will answer them all during the interview and you will be left trying to think of one on the spot - and not many people do that successfully.

Questions for recruiters

*Can you tell me the names of some of your clients?
*What type of roles do you recruit for?
*What salary ranges do you recruit for? (look for niche companies - they are more likely to sell your niche skills well)
*How do you introduce candidates to companies? (Be wary if the answer is mailshot)
*Would you like me to come in and interview with you? (Answer should be yes!)
*When was the last time you placed someone like me?
*What is the market like for my skills? (look for accuracy and understanding)
*How will you sell my skills? (look for specificity)
*I would like a role as ***** when was the last time you placed one of those?
*Is there any training I should get to boost my employability?
*Is there anything I havn't covered that I should?
*Do you see any problems on my CV I should address?

I hope that's useful.


juliahhavener's picture
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Highly, Wendii! Excellent list and clear examples.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Everyone

Just wanted to let you know that I had what I think was a rocking phone interview. The VP was so nice and articulate, telling me all about the new culture and company needs, hiring process, fit etc.

I asked many of the questions you all provided...and after about 8 of them, she stopped and said.. "btw, how come your resume isn't on our system?" I took this to mean that I was making a positive impression on her and she wanted to know more about me.

I told her I wanted to make sure I understood exactly what they were looking for and the corporate culture before I immersed myself, kind of my little SWOT.

Overall, a positive experience. I made well over a page of notes and I am confident I can submit an excellent covering letter and resume that will get them excited.

Thanks to you all


juliahhavener's picture
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Awesome! I can't wait to see how this progresses for you.

wendii's picture
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I'm sure you were fantastic. Well done!


rthibode's picture

*rntt -- Congrats on moving forward with energy! Lots of people would still be in their pyjamas licking their wounds.

wendii -- great list! Thanks for the resource.

kenstanley's picture

Wow guys, great stuff here. I'll use some of this in the future. Be sure to let us all know what the outcome is.


Mark's picture
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I love it when a plan comes together!


asteriskrntt1's picture

Just a quickie update

I just came back from an interview but it wasn't for the one originally discussed in the thread. It is a major international corp doing a major reorg and building an in-house sales and marketing team. They wanted to talk to me about 3 new positions.

So on the walk to the subway and on the subway, I listened to the "first ten minutes" and "Weakness" podcasts YET again and went in pretty fired up for the 30 minute get to know you screening.

TWO hours later...yes....we talked for two full hours... wow... I am exhausted. I think the recruiter might have liked me. I am pretty sure I will be going to interview number two (although nothing is guaranteed). All I know is that for the first time in a long time, I did nothing to shoot myself in the foot, closed a number of times in the interview and felt really good about the process. Thank you all.

With much gratitude,


wendii's picture
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Hey *

You might have noticed: we wern't there. You did it all on your own.

And you were great.

I'm so glad it went well for you.


thaGUma's picture

Cudos [color=blue][size=24]*[/size][/color] :D

juliahhavener's picture
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Awesome RNTT! I can't wait to see how this turns out for you. Doesn't that close feel [i]good[/i]?!

jupiter's picture

* sehr gut!
I am a future manager, just a student at the moment but within 4 months I am finishing my education and I am so glad that we have [b]this forum [/b]as well as [b]M&M[/b]. Sorry for using I, I, I, I just want to say THANK [b]YOU[/b] ALL! I am looking forward to MT in the future as well as to practising some of your great tips on my next job interview.

Yours sincerely


Mark's picture
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It's okay to say I when you say I thank you. We're thrilled you're getting value here. You're the reason we're doing this: to help managers AND future managers.

It's a privilege to serve you.


jupiter's picture

Thanks Mark

I enjoy the [b]high moral [/b]of your teaching :D.

With best wishes

asteriskrntt1's picture

Awwww...thanks everyone.... you are making me blush! :oops:

As Mark says, I may have been the one in the ring.... but I would never have made it into the ring without the efforts and support of many wonderful people.

Make it an amazing weekend!