The core skills you need to succeed in recruiting—leadership, self-management, resiliency, and being detail-oriented and quick-thinking, among others—have remained consistent over the past few decades. But how you use them has changed markedly thanks to technology.
So, where does that leave you when you’re interviewing for a Staffing Recruiter firm as a job?
It depends on a number of different factors, including your work experience and familiarity with the industry. That said, most early-career candidates will not have recruiting experience going into the interview.
And that’s fine!
Just remember that the questions will be broad enough to allow you to demonstrate these fundamental skills in a way that wows your interviewer and leaves a lasting impression.
Recruiting expert Casey Weickgenannt from Apex—one of the premier staffing and recruiting agencies in the country—opened up about her experience hiring for these roles. What are the most common interview questions she asks? How should you answer them? How do you follow up appropriately?
Check out her answers to these and other pressing questions below.
What are your strengths?
This question, while standard to most every interview, actually has a few specific right answers when it comes to recruiting.
According to Weickgenannt, there are many questions hiring managers are looking to answer. “Are you money-motivated? Do you thrive in a fast-paced environment? Can you multitask?” This question gives you an opportunity to show that you are all of those things—and more, she says.
Emphasize your ability to multitask even in a hectic setting. Talk about how you build relationships and are a quick learner. And don’t just say what you are, show them. Speak eloquently and confidently to prove to the recruiter that these are among your many, many strengths.
Do you have leadership skills/experience?
This is one of the more concrete questions in a recruiting interview, which means answering it should be a little more straightforward. This is the time to talk about any clubs or teams you’ve started or belonged to. Specific experience works, too.
Talk about a time when you took the reins on a group project or organized others to accomplish something. Leadership means different things in different settings, so think about your own experiences and how it applies.
Do you like working with people?
This question is key when it comes to recruiting. “Our product is people, and people are very unpredictable,” Weickgenannt says.
That means you need to understand how to work with all kinds of people. So, to ace this question, communicate that you not only enjoy being a service-oriented team player, but also are skilled at handling the twists and turns of working with a range of personalities.
At the end of the day, Weickgenannt stresses, the most important qualification for a Staffing Recruiter boils down to essentially one quality. “We’re looking for somebody who has very strong interpersonal skills,” she says. “That’s definitely the most important qualification for us. Someone who’s able to connect with others and have strong communication.”
What would you do if…?
These types of behavioral questions—during which your interviewer will present a scenario and ask how you’d handle it—are very common for Staffing Recruiter interviews.
First, don’t panic.
The important thing to remember is that you will receive a lot of training once the job begins, so it’s more important to show that you’re resourceful, clever, and smart. Don’t perseverate on the fact that you’re unfamiliar with the specifics or tactics you’re presented with.
Weickgenannt also recommends researching common behavioral questions. “There are plenty available online,” she says. Yet no matter what, always make sure you:
Polished answers will demonstrate your public speaking skills and sales skills.
Engage with the interviewer.
Make sure you’re actually engaging with what the interviewer is asking. This way you can learn about the position and better prepare for later in the interview process.
Ask thoughtful questions.
Do your research beforehand so that you can ask an informed question when the interviewer turns the tables. Additionally, you should think of a question based on something the interviewer either said or asked. And avoid topics like benefits, vacation time, or salary. Those can be ironed out later.
“A candidate who can stand out in the application process is someone who’s being responsive,” Weickgenannt says. “Following up, keeping open the line of communications—that’s really memorable.”
These interviewers are handling a ton of applications for a variety of jobs. Following up by thanking them for their time and reminding them of your strengths is a great way to ensure you’re going to be top of mind when decision time comes around.
Interested in a career in recruiting? Apex is hiring on WayUp now, so check out their open roles and apply!