Being prepared for any possibility is a key skill for a recruitment consultant. And if you’re here to research the most common recruitment consultant interview questions that you might face in your interview then you’re already showing the signs of a successful recruiter.
But if you’re unsure if recruitment could be right for you, then thankfully there are plenty of articles out there to help show you what it’s really like working in recruitment.
We’re experts at conducting interviews here at Herd Digital, and we know what makes a successful recruiter. And so we asked Herd Digital Managing Consultant, Alexis Wilkie, and Practice Lead at Dynamic Search Solutions, John Marks, for the recruitment interview questions and answers for recruitment consultants that they typically ask when interviewing potential consultants. Including what questions they ask, why they ask these questions, and the answers they are looking to hear.
This is a question that everyone has heard. But there are a few different reasons for this question that you might not know. Your interview wants to find out how well you can tell an in-depth story, and how well you can communicate about something you know a lot about; yourself. This is also an opportunity for you to talk about your strengths and past experiences, and how these relate to recruitment.
Example answer: “I graduated last year with a degree in business studies. This combined with my previous experience working in a sales position for a telecommunications company means I am business and goal orientated. I also excel at communication and persuasion, as I previously spoke with potential customers and clients over the phone and communicated the benefits of the service we provided to great effect.
Now that you have conveyed your past experiences, your interview will want to know what you’re looking for moving forward and what you want to achieve in your job.
Example answer: “I’ve always been driven and worked hard in my previous jobs. But now I’m looking for a career where I can feel the benefits of my hard work. I’ve also had team management experience before and I really enjoyed that. Which is something I’ll be working towards.”
This tells the interviewer what you consider your strengths and weaknesses to be, areas you would be good at, areas you would need support in, and give them an idea of what skills you think it would take to make a successful recruiter.
Example answer: “My strongest skills are my communication skills and ability to persuade. I’ve always been sociable and enjoy talking with people as part of my work. This has only been strengthened by my previous experience in sales, and is something I’m excited to continue to develop.”
This shows if you understand the reality of working in recruitment and if you’ve done your research into not just recruitment, but the individual business. For example, as a digital marketing recruitment agency, being aware of the specific trends that affect digital marketing is a sure-fire way to impress your interviewer.
Example Answer: “A recruiter typically spends their day searching for people looking for jobs using job sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, sending messages, emails, arranging interviews and making phone calls. So being organised is crucial with all this going on in the workday. In previous roles I would section up my day to make sure I stayed on top of everything, which will be an invaluable skill for this job.”
The reason why you want to work in recruitment isn’t as important as the fact that you have a reason. If you’re new to the industry and don’t have sales or recruitment experience, why should they hire you? Your interviewer wants to make sure you’re committed to the job before they invest time, effort and money into making you an effective recruiter.
Example Answer: “Recruiters can earn a lot of money. While I don’t have much experience in recruitment, I’ve never had a problem with working harder or working that bit longer than my peers. And this will be even more the case when I’m working for myself, and more deals means more money in my pocket.”
There’s no wrong or right answer to a question like this. But what it does do is help your interviewer gauge if you’d be a cultural fit for the office and for the team you’d be joining; give you the chance to talk about any particular hobbies you enjoy and show something you’re passionate about; or even any sports or hobbies you enjoy that are competitive nature, another great skill for a recruiter.
Example Answer: “I’m quite into fitness, and I try to go a few times a week. Although I don’t always succeed with that! I also play football in a 5-a-side league every week. It’s not that serious or competitive but it’s something I really enjoy. And I’m quite a sociable person as well, I’m out on every weekend with friends.”
It’s not easy being a recruiter, sometimes you face rejection after rejection. But your interviewer wants to hear about a time where you persevered despite these setbacks, and overcame adversity.
Example Answer: “When I was looking for my first ever job I went to a lot of interviews. I was rejected again and again and I considered just giving up. But instead I asked the people who had interviewed me why I hadn’t been given the job. I assumed it was because of my lack of experience. But the interviewers who got back to me actually gave me some great feedback on how to present myself. It was this feedback that helped me get my first job.”
Exactly what you convinced someone to do isn’t really what the interviewer wants to see, what they want to see is your ability to persuade. Because whether you’re speaking to job seekers or hiring managers, you need to be able to help them understand just what you can do for them or their business.
Example Answer: “When I was younger I wanted a dog, but my parents didn’t believe I was responsible enough. But I did my research, went back to my parents with all my new knowledge of the responsibilities of owning a dog and argued my case. I showed them I knew what I was getting myself in for, that I would be responsible enough.”
The recruitment interview questions you are asked may be different, but don’t panic! The three attributes that your interviewer wants to see from you remain the same. And if you know what your interviewer is looking for (don’t worry, we’re going to tell you what that is), then you will be prepared to answer any questions you face!
It’s not easy being a recruiter. Sometimes you hear 30 no’s before you hear that one yes that makes it all worth it. You need to demonstrate to your interviewer that you have the drive and resilience to persevere.
As a recruiter you help people. You help clients find the talent they need, and help candidates find jobs that will progress their career, help them earn more, or make them happier in their work. But it’s not always easy to convince a client to trust you by filling a position for them, or a candidate that you will represent them to the best of their interest.
So it’s your job to communicate to the people that you speak to that you’re trustworthy, you’re there to help them and you’re an expert in what you do.
No recruitment process is smooth. Sometimes the interviews you arrange fall through due to reasons outside of your control. Or maybe a candidate gets cold feet about leaving their job. So you need to show that you’re no stranger to overcoming challenges, and you’re motivated to think of outside-the-box solutions.
It’s these soft skills that will make you successful in a career in recruitment.
Of course if you’re going into an interview process, it’s important to brush up on your interviewing skills, not just on the questions you’ll face.
So know your CV like the back of your hand (your interviewer can and will ask you about any small part of it) remember the importance of body language in an interview, and prepare your own questions to have for your interviewer.
You should now be confident to go out and crush your recruitment consultant interview! Or if you’re not interviewing yet but want to be, you can apply to become a Digital Recruitment Consultant at Herd Digital here.
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