Questions to Ask Recruiters
When the recruiter asks, "Now do you have any questions?", it's important to have a few ready. It shows you're interested in the company and are serious about your career plans. Tailor the questions you ask to your career interests and goals. Don't ask questions just for the sake of asking questions -- make sure it is information that you need. Also, try to avoid asking questions that are answered in the company's annual report or employment brochure. Recruiters know when you haven't done your homework! Here are some suggestions:
- What entry-level positions in (mention your career interest) are available in your company, and what kinds of people do you hire to fill them?
- What do I need to know about the application process?
- What specific tasks would I perform on the job?
- What skills, work experience or educational background do you look for when you recruit for these jobs?
- How do these positions fit into the overall organizational structure?
- What are the primary results a person in this position would be expected to achieve?
- What percentage of time would be devoted to each of the responsibilities of the position?
- What challenges and opportunities are associated with the position?
- Does your company have formal training programs, or do employees receive on-the-job training? Who is eligible?
- How does the company measure performance? How often are performance reviews given?
- What are the backgrounds of other employees in your company or department?
- Can you describe the corporate culture?
- Are internships available?
This is not just a chance to get a great job right now... It is an opportunity to plan for your future and find a career that is right for you.
The following is a guideline for questions and ideas you may want to consider if you are seeking information in order to make a career decision.
The Informational Interview
- What specific tasks would I perform on this job? (For example, a salesclerk would answer questions, tidy displays, unpack merchandise, write sales slips, make change, and so on.)
- What is the job environment likely to be?
- What is the typical career path in this area of specialization? Can I progress at my own pace, or is the career path structured? How long does it usually take to move from one step to the next in this career path?
- How much contact and exposure to management is there?
- How do you see the jobs in this field changing over the next five years?
- What can I do to prepare myself for such changes?
- What would be the rewards of working at this job?
- I would find this job particularly satisfying because: (review your passions, values, interests, and life goals for guidance.)
- Is this job compatible with my work behavioral style? If so, in what ways?
- How much training or education would I need? Where could I get it? Am I willing to make this kind of commitment?
- Does this job require specific physical attributes or abilities (strength or health requirements, 20/20 vision, and so on)? If so, what are they? Do I meet them?
- What could I expect to earn as a beginner in this field? What is the average mid-career salary?
- Does this meet my salary requirements?
- What is the projected outlook for this career? Will there be many job openings when I am ready to go to work?
- What aptitudes, strengths, and talents does this job call for? Do I have them? Can I get them?
- What can I do today to begin preparing for this job?
- What classes must I take in school to qualify for this job?
- Where in this town or state could I find a job in this field?
- How does this career mesh with my family plans? Is it consistent with my desired lifestyle? Does it offer opportunities for flexible hours or part-time work? Is the income high enough so I could maintain my family on it alone if necessary? Could I afford the kind of day care I'd like for my children?
- Are there opportunities for self-employment in this field (free-lance work, consulting, and the like)?
- Picture yourself on the job. What would a typical day be like? Use the information you gathered to answer the following questions. Sit down, close your eyes, and actually see yourself going through the day. Pay particular attention to your feelings. Concern yourself with more than just the work. How would you feel in the morning, as you got ready to leave home? What would you do at lunch? How would you feel at the end of the day? How would you spend your evening?