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What are the common executive search interview questions?

Interviewing for a position in recruitment can be a challenging task. It’s a fast-paced and demanding industry, but also a highly rewarding and fulfilling career. Therefore, you want to ensure that when it comes to your interview, you’re fully prepared and are able to competently answer the type of questions that are designed to test your knowledge, communication, and passion for the industry.

Here are some of the most common questions that you can expect to hear during a recruitment interview.

Why do you want to work in the recruitment industry?

Recruitment employers are looking for candidates who will not only be a good fit for their company but who have a genuine desire and passion to work in the recruitment field. In your answer, be honest and make sure to highlight the reasons that fuelled you to apply for the role, be that a love of meeting and talking to new people, or the thrill of helping someone achieve their career goals. 

What qualities do you have that make you right for a role in recruitment?

Your interviewer will be looking for you to identify several core skills that are needed for you to succeed in recruitment. Make sure to have examples ready of times you’ve used effective communication, organization, problem-solving, and negotiation, as well as any other unique skills you feel you could bring to the role.

How would you handle a candidate who is unqualified for a particular role?

A tricky situation that every recruitment professional will encounter at some point in their career is being faced with a candidate who is underqualified for the potential role. You’ll need to demonstrate an ability to maintain a professional relationship with the candidate while prioritizing the needs of the employer. 

What do you know about our organization?

Interviewers want to know that you have a genuine interest in their company, so will often ask this question to see how well you have prepared and any prior research you have undergone before the interview. Make sure to carefully read the company website as well as the job description to pick out any key points of interest or areas that align particularly well with your own experience or values. 

What has been the biggest challenge or setback in your career to date?

A role in recruitment requires you to be able to confidently face challenging situations. Your interviewer wants to know how successfully you handle adversity. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the example you give, highlight the opportunity for development and how you would use this experience to overcome future setbacks.

Some other common recruitment interview questions include:

  • How would you fill a vacancy that you cannot find applicants for?

  • Can you give an example of a time you failed to achieve a goal or target and why?

  • What are your career goals?

  • How would you go about generating new business?

  • What other recruitment companies have you applied for?

  • How would you handle a difficult client?

  • Why did you leave your previous role?

While preparing for an interview can be a challenging and nerve-wracking time, ensuring you are fully prepared, have a good understanding of the role, company, and the industry, and carefully think about your answers will put you in the best position for a successful recruitment interview. 

Whether you’re just starting out on your pursuit of a new career or are unsure about your next steps in securing the right role, get in touch today.