Stephanie Mauney

3 min read


Recruiter Interview Questions

The demand for high quality recruiters is on a major growth trajectory with the job market tightening. So called ‘unicorn’ recruiters can make a huge impact in a company’s ability to attract and hire top talent. What should your company look for in a good recruiter? Rock star recruiters have several qualities that hiring managers can look out for. 


Quality recruiters have a wide network of people they can tap into. You should look for someone that knows the right people and can pull from across the industry for candidate sourcing. A wide ranging network of not just connections but the right connections can be priceless in attracting talent. Hiring managers should ask candidates about their networking strategies, follow up on social media platform visibility, and ensure candidates know how to reach people in their industry. 


Recruiters need to have certain qualities and skillsets in order to be successful. Companies looking to hire recruiters should look for people who exhibit excellent communication skills and attention to detail. They should have familiarity with the popular ATS, sourcing techniques, and Boolean search queries. They must have the ability to make authentic connections with candidates. Recruiters must be able to operate well under pressure. They must be able to think critically and exude confidence. 


Finding a great recruiter means looking for someone with a creditable history of successful hires. Hiring managers will want to look for solid quantifiable proof either in a resume or during the interview process. It’s important to know what recruiting load the candidate has experience with. Are you looking for an applicant used to filling one or two high level positions or someone who has experience sourcing for high volume positions?

Business Acumen 

Knowing and understanding the innerworkings of the business is essential for recruiters to be successful. Organizations should be searching for candidates that have experience with the industry they will be sourcing for. Understanding how the business is successful, where the business revenue stream comes from, and the business growth strategy can make a recruiter more efficient in bringing in the right candidates. Recruiter should be subject matter experts in the industry they are working for.

Recruiter Interview Questions

Recruiters are well versed in the interview experience. Catering an interview specifically to an experienced recruiter is important. Below are example questions that may prove helpful in gaining valuable insight while interviewing recruiters.

Experiential Questions

  • How many positions are you typically filling at any given time?
  • What was the average stick rate of candidates you helped hire?
  • What is your relationship like with your hiring managers?
  • What industry are you most familiar with recruiting for?

Situational Questions

  • Describe a time when you had a great working relationship with a client. What made the relationship thrive?
  • Tell me about a time a successful candidate declined an important role. How did you pivot to fill the position?
  • Describe how you respond when you must let a candidate down.
  • When was a situation where you disagreed with the hiring manager’s decision? How did you react? 
  • Tell me how you would pitch our company to a highly desired applicant.
  • Describe a time you used data to improve your ability to recruit successfully. 

Process Questions

  • Describe your process of building a candidate pipeline.
  • How has your recruiting process changed over your years of experience?
  • Tell me about your method of keeping track of applicants and your follow up procedure.
  • Describe a time when your typical sourcing strategies were not working. How did you fill the role?
  • What tools and technology do you utilize to reach, communicate with, and update applicants? 
  • Where do you look to make connections in your industry and widen your network?
  • How do you keep up with industry trends and the latest recruiting methodologies?

Personal Questions

  • Do you have a personal brand? If so, what is it and how are you building a network subscribed to you?
  • What do you love about being a recruiter? What gives you joy to wake up and start work?
  • What excites you about the future of recruiting in our industry?
  • How do feel building relationships is tied to being a successful recruiter?

Average Salary for Recruiters

How much does a recruiter make? Depends on what type of recruiter you are. Corporate recruiters are generally salaried employees while those that work for staffing agencies typically work on commission. If they place a person in a job the employer pays the agency a percentage of yearly salary, anywhere from 10-30%. A quick check of Indeed’s salary pages show the average salary for a recruiter is $51,489.

Stephanie Mauney is freelance writer and content curator specializing in Human Resources.

About Emissary

Emissary is a candidate engagement platform built to empower recruiters with efficient, modern communication tools that work in harmony with other recruiting solutions.

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