January 30, 2020

interview questions to ask HR

Interviews can be hard, nerve-racking and the process can often feel like it has been forever, BUT before you even start your interview/s with the Hiring Manager or Hiring team 90% of the time the first person you talk to is the recruiter or the HR person- these are the same people that will give you the first answers on whether this is even the job you want, and these are also the people you need to make the first impression with- even if it's through the phone. 

These people are the ones that will handpick you from the other candidates and pass your resume along to the hiring manager/team- your future is in these people's hands first- so it's important to ask the right questions.

You Should Also Read: 9 Interview Tips You Can't Afford To Miss

10 Interview Questions to Ask The Recruiter or HR

1) How Long Has The Job Been Open?

- Asking this question will give you a clear idea of how long the position has been open. Have they been looking for a candidate for the last month? Or was this just posted? Knowing this will also give you an idea of how many other candidates they have interviewed or are considering, knowing this will help you know your possibilities for getting the job.

If the job has just been posted and you are the first one or one of the first people to be considered as a potential candidate means you have an advantage vs someone that sees the job after it has been posted for weeks.

Note- Just because a job has been open for weeks or months- it does not decrease your possibilities on getting the job- it could just mean they have interviewed a lot of other people and you could be one of many. 

2) Why is This Position Open?

- First things first- understand why this position is even open, is it because the last person moved on to something better, because it is a new position that has been just created or because something else is going on. This will help you understand as a new hire what type of situation you might be stepping into and if this is something that you even want to deal with.

PRO TIP: Don't be scared to ask questions, ask all of the necessary questions you need that will help you decide if this is the job that you want or the company that you want to be apart of.

You Should Also Read: 10 Questions to Ask On A Job Interview

Top interview questions to ask the recruiter or HR

3) When is The Ideal Start Date For This Role?

- Getting as much information about the role should be your number one priority, one of them knowing when the starting date is. This will let you know if this date works for you with your current situation or if this date is too far out that makes you want to withdraw your resume from the list. 

4) What is The Compensation Package?

-Understand this- the compensation package is your annual salary PLUS sign-on bonus (if applicable) along with other benefits BUT most of the time when talking about compensation it means salary and bonus.

Even if you don't ask this question, is good for you to understand the difference between the two. A lot of recruiters/HR will ask you what type of compensation you are looking for (this helps them understand if they can even afford you)- if you throw a number out there that is not really what you want or what a position like this will even pay, this could be a reason why your resume could be removed from the potential candidate list and why you would never hear back from them.

An example of this is- if you are looking for your salary to be $60k with a bonus of at least $5k, your number should be $65k and not $60k. If you say $60k they can easily translate this as $56K for salary and $4k for a bonus- do you see what happens there?

5) How Has This Position Change Over Time?

- You want to obtain as much information on this role as possible (I know I mentioned this already), one of them being how has this role changed with time. This question will give you the answer to the type of tasks this role asks for. This question could give you information such as- this role started as an intern role but now is more project base (something that was not included in the job description). 

6) How Does This Team's Hierarchy Look Like? Where Does This Position Fit Into it?

- There are times where the job description does not clarify the exact position you would have (eg entry-level, associate, senior associate, and so on) because of this is important to ask the Recruiter or HR the exact position to see if this is even the right level for you and what the hierarchy of the team as a whole looks like.

In simple terms, you want to know where you fall. 

7) How Important is Diversity in this Company? 

- This question can honestly be asked to anyone, from the recruiter to HR to the Hiring Manager to anyone else that interviews you. Learning about the company's diversity from different people will give you a clear idea of what it actually is and will help you decide if this is the route you actually want to go.

Not knowing the company's culture or how diverse it is, can actually hurt you in the long run.

top interview questions to ask the recruiter

8) How long have you been working here and how do you like it? (For HR)
How long have you been working with this company and have you place other people in this company before? (For the Recruiter) 

- This question will help you get a feel on how they like working at the company from their experience or feedback they have received from previous candidates they have placed there before. As a potential employee, you want to get as much information about the company and what their current employees think and feel about it. This will help you decide if you do in fact want to continue moving forward with this position or if this isn't the right fit for you. 

It is very important to get as much information about a potential employer before you even start the interview process or start working there. This information will save you a lot of headaches and disappointments. It will also come in handy during your decision process if you do get an offer. 

9) Do You Have Any Advice/ Tips Regarding Anything I can be Doing Today to Begin Preparing for this Job?

- This is a great question to ask a recruiter. By asking this question you will be able to receive some insight and tips from the recruiter- these are tips that they have shared with other candidates and have worked for them or tips based on conversations with the hiring manager. Asking this question will help you prepare for the future interview if or once you get it. 

10) When Do You or the Hiring Manager Expect to Make a decision? 

- Just like knowing when the ideal starting date is, knowing when they expect to make a decision is as important. This question can be asked at different phases of the interview, from the very first call you have with HR (you want to know when you should expect to hear from them to see if you get an interview) to the hiring manager after you have your last interview, or to HR after you have your last interview with the hiring manager/hiring team. The answer to this question will help you know where you stand.

Bonus question ...

11) Who will I be meeting with?

- This question should be asked if you don't get the details on who the hiring manager is or the interviewer (which is very unlikely BUT possible). In the case that your conversation with HR or the recruiter is coming to an end and you still don't know who you might be meeting with, it is very important to ask this question so you could start getting prepared for the interview. 

Keep in mind, only ask the type of questions that you actually care about and/or are beneficial to you. This is for any phase of your interview process, only ask the questions that are going to help make the right decision.

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