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What are some good questions jobseekers should ask to build rapport with a recruiter?
It pays to be polite and friendly for starters, but demonstrating a sound and in-depth knowledge of the employer is crucial if a candidate wants to make a good impression. If possible, reviewing historical information and annual reports can provide a solid background on the organisation. It’s also worth checking recent news for both the employer and the broader industry. Another good idea is to look at the Facebook and LinkedIn pages of the company. Use the information gathered from these sources as the basis for asking the recruiter well thought-out questions about the role.
Head of Organisational Psychology Consulting,
Stillwell Management Consultants
Questions should demonstrate the jobseeker has thoroughly read and understood the advertisement and, if available, job and person specification. Jobseekers might ask questions that seek to expand on the criteria or details outlined in the advertisement/specification or the jobseeker might provide a brief summary of their background and skills and ask if that is in keeping with what is being sought. Jobseekers might also ask about whether the role is newly created or replaces someone; who it reports to and who reports to it; likely remuneration and whether there are any plans or projects intended for the successful applicant that have not identified in the advertisement/specification.
“What’s your background and why do you like working here?” is a great question that helps you to understand your interviewer’s expertise and why they are a good fit with the organisation. Along with helping to build rapport by finding common ground, this question can help you shape your own answers about what you can bring to the role that the employer would value. Another great question to ask is, “What does success look like in this job?”. It’s a question that can lead to a two-way conversation about a range of topics, like how quickly certain goals need to be achieved, how you’re expected to achieve them and who you could work with to do so. It can also reveal a lot about your interviewer’s expectations, so you can find common ground with your own way of working. At the same time, asking this question demonstrates your high level of motivation to succeed and achieve the required results, so it has dual benefits.
Different recruiters have different business models, so asking a recruiter what their company’s processes are, their preferred way to stay connected with you as a candidate and their desired frequency of that contact can be a good way to build rapport and help manage your own expectations as a candidate. In relation to a specific job vacancy, asking what the ideal candidate looks like in terms of background skills and experience, is another great way to build rapport. Requesting constructive feedback on your application, interview or perceived competitiveness as a candidate against the competition is often also seen by recruiters as a positive reflection of self-awareness.
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