What You Should (And Shouldn’t) Ask a Recruiter Before an Interview
Recruiters often serve as a pre-interview tactic of sorts. Many companies use them to find good candidates and to weed out or reject unsuitable applicants. Communication with recruiters may comprise an unofficial first round of interviews. The fact that recruiters contacted you on a company’s behalf (or that you got their attention) gives you a chance to use them to your advantage. Here are some questions you should and shouldn’t ask a recruiter before an interview.
How many hours will I need to work every day? Do I need to work weekends?
These questions risk coming across as whiny and like you only want to put in minimum time.
What does a normal workday and work week look like?
This question conveys the sentiment of needing to know a work schedule without the potentially whiny undertone.
What should I do about the interview?
The recruiter is not your friend. Her purpose, especially if she is an internal recruiter as opposed to an external recruiter, is to help the company. Your questions should be direct and focused and not convey a sense of helplessness.
Who will I be interviewing with? What will the interview format be like, and about how long will the interview last?
These questions are clear and serve an exact purpose.
How good do you think my chances are?
The job description mentioned a heavy emphasis on ABC skills. Is my interpretation correct? What else should I emphasize in my interview?
If I get the job and perform well, how long would I realistically expect to be promoted?
In five years, I might like to be doing XYZ thing. Might that be possible with this company?
Can I dress casually on Fridays?
What is the company or department culture like?
In addition to these questions, make sure you aren’t using any outdated methods to your job hunting as well.
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