Asking the right questions

Asking the right questions during an interview appears to be more important than ever — and we don’t just mean the interviewer, we mean the candidate.

The discussion over the quality of many candidate experiences rages on. While in the main it has got better, improvement has come at times to the detriment of the reality of work portrayed. A welcoming candidate experience may leave you excited about the opportunity but it can leave you open to failing to ask the challenging questions you should.
This has manifested in many in-house recruiters taking roles they think are different to the description they heard at interview.

Here’s some questions we believe recruiters should be asking and why.

What does the business see the role of talent acquisition as?

It’s great to hear from a head of recruitment that a direct model is being built, but at what stage is the business with that?

If the business is not bought in, where are they on that journey and how will it affect you?

What tools do I get?

Innocuous maybe but if you’re coming from a company where you can download any Google Chrome browser extension you want when you want, how are you going to feel in an environment where Explorer 6.0 is the browser of choice and downloading anything to your work machine is off limits?

Why is this role being hired?

An old one and springs to the ‘growth versus replacement’ argument but even new roles present a challenge. Is this a reactive hire to transact long outstanding roles in a business with no budget, or part of a longer-term plan?

What do you mean by direct sourcing?

 The variety of definitions astounds us, here are some we have heard:

- We use our careers site

- We have an ATS [applicant tracking system] that stores CVs we go back to

- We use job boards

- We only have LinkedIn; an ATS would be a waste of money

- Each recruiter should use their network and Boolean skills to find candidates; we have no budget for anything else

That’s pretty diverse. You need to check that your experience aligns.

What’s next for the person who gets this role?

 It’s basic personal development, but the most common in-house recruitment professional looking for a new job is the one who is stuck at the top of their role, no internal scope for development, no opportunity to manage and so no chance to do so elsewhere.
A business that talks about development and opportunity as part of their candidate experience may not have it in each role.

It’s your career and you know you are being judged. It’s good to want to work for a particular business, but do not be afraid to make sure it’s the right one for you right now.

Andrew Mountney is founding partner at in-house recruitment specialist Aspen In-House

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