Recruiter Expectations And How To Manage Them



An important aspect of your preparation for an interview is to understand the expectations and what generally job recruiters are looking for, while speaking with you.

During the hiring process, the recruiter will measure and assess different skills and capabilities. This depends on the role you are considering and the organization you are applying to. There are, however, a few aspects that are common, setting clear expectations towards you as the candidate for the role.

Here are the most common aspects to be mindful of:

Time awareness
Motivation questions
“Second-type” questions
Recruiter expectations on behavioral questions
Questions for job recruiters

Time awareness

Every interview with a recruiter has a time limit during which the interviewer needs to ask several questions. Remember that recruiters ask each candidate the same questions, in order to asses them in a fair manner. If your answers are prolonged and include irrelevant information, you might end up in a disadvantaged position.

Provide clear, straightforward answers to the questions job recruiters ask and be mindful of your speaker’s time. What employers look for, especially in a virtual interview, is the capacity to summarize and stick to relevant information.

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Also, be mindful to actually respond to the questions you are being asked. What interviewers want to hear is not what you prepared at home, but exactly what they are asking you. So listen and be present in the moment. To match recruiter’s expectations, show you are adaptable and flexible. It’s a quality all employers are interested in. You’ll paint yourself as a resourceful person in no time! 😉

Motivation questions

Why do you want to leave your current employer and why do you want to work for us? These questions may seem simple and innocent at first glance. However, the chances are there’s a secondary meaning to them.

What do recruiters look for with this question? To see if adding you to their team would be a risk to the image of the company!

recruiter expectations and interview with recruiter

Do not badmouth your current and past employers and avoid expressing extreme discontent with them. On one hand, this indicates to your potential future employer that you may promote a negative image of them in the future. On the other hand, this can indicate your communication style is not based on constructive and reasonable information, and you have a tendency to complain.

A recent study explored the factors influencing employees to badmouth their companies on social media, revealing that higher job demands are linked with increased turnover intentions, which in turn lead to more negative comments about the company online. The research underscores the importance for managers to focus on reducing turnover intentions as a strategy to limit negative public remarks by employees​.

You need to demonstrate that you are a person that people would enjoy to be working with on a daily basis. So show your good side!

“Second-type” questions

When it comes to answering second-type questions, do your homework and do a thorough research about the company you are applying for. Your answer to this type of questions tells your interviewers how much effort you put into preparing for the interview. Depending on your areas of interest and motivation, you should focus on:

  • The recruiter’s company products/services that are of interest to you.
  • The job description and how you can best read it.
  • Recruiter’s company customer service activities.

Maybe you know someone who works for the company and you find the internal development opportunities attractive. Don’t be afraid to mention that as well. What interviewers look for is interest in their company! Plus it also shows the willingness of going the extra mile to do the research.

Your motivation, drive and goals should also be aligned with the company culture and structure and you should also exhibit reasonable expectations. Be yourself at the interview! The company will most likely decide at a later date weather you are a good fit or not. What employers look for in an interview is the capacity to relax under pressure.

Recruiter expectations on behavioral questions

During the job application process, interviewers often inquire about your past experiences to identify your responses to behavioral questions. This method is a common tactic used to evaluate how you’ve handled various situations in the workplace and can provide valuable insights into your problem-solving and interpersonal skills.

One example is “tell me about a time when you…” or “describe a situation when you…”. The purpose of those questions it to assess a specific skill and/or competency necessary for the job.

Our recommendation is to prepare your answer using a STAR technique:

  • S (situation) – describe a specific situation or challenge you experienced, including details relevant to the question.
  • T (task) – describe your personal role in this situation/challenge.
  • A (action) – describe what actions did you take in order to tackle and/or solve this situation.
  • R (result) – describe what was the tangible result of your actions? Were there any take-aways? If yes, what were they?

Don’t ignore your body language either. What do interviewers look for? A person who is as calm and has an open and friendly posture. Maintain eye contact to gain their trust.

Questions for job recruiters

What are the recruiter’s expectations from you at the end of the interview? Your own questions or ideas!

Don’t be afraid to prepare questions for the interviewer, especially the ones that truly interest you. That will help you spot red flags in the recruitment process, team and the company. You naturally want to understand the scope of the role, what is the team structure or how the interview will look like.

job recruiters questions floating

Apart from that, you can go one step further and ask your interviewer what do they value in the company, and why do they work for it?

Among our recommended questions, we can enumerate:

  1. Recruiter’s need to fill the position?
  2. What skills is the recruiter looking for?
  3. The biggest challenges you will face?
  4. What does the recruiter see as “the right fit”?
  5. How vital is your position in achieving the goals of the company?

Maybe the company recently released a new product or service which is storming the market. Candidates should consider asking about the company’s products and their perception in the market.

At the end of the day, we spend at least a third of our lives at work. We deserve to receive the most accurate hiring information before making such an important life decision.

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