Interview Question Guide


Recruiters (sometimes known as Talent Acquisition Specialists) find qualified candidates to fill job openings for a company. Recruiters might work for a staffing agency and fill roles for multiple clients, or they might work for one company and recruit internally. Their primary goal is to help their company/clients hire the best talent as possible while also meeting the demands of candidates throughout the process. A core part of the recruiter role is collaborating with hiring managers and connecting with candidates. Their key responsibilities include identifying position requirements, reaching out and screen candidates for those requirements, conducting preliminary interviews, and scheduling subsequent interviews for hiring managers. Recruiters also own the end-to-end process of talent acquisition. Doing so requires them to coordinate with the rest of the HR team and other internal stakeholders to develop and execute talent acquisition strategies.

Core skills for Recruiters






Candidate Relationship Building




Strategic Thinking




Time Management

How to effectively interview Recruiters

While it might seem difficult to figure out whether a candidate will succeed as a Recruiter in your company, a well-developed set of interview questions that tap into the core skills required to perform in a Recruiter role will go a long way in helping you decide. 

But where do you start? How do you develop a set of great interview questions? 

The best interview questions come directly from a job analysis. A job analysis is an evidence-based method that focuses on assessing key features of a particular role. These features describe both the job itself (i.e., tasks, responsibilities, and performance objectives), and the characteristics required of someone to perform successfully in the job (e.g., knowledge, skills, and abilities). A job analysis forms the basis of many HR practices such as compensation, performance management, and - you guessed it - how to interview and hire candidates. 

At Hireguide, we’ve done the job analysis work for you. We’ve used the method to identify a core set of skills associated with the Recruiter role, and we’ve developed and validated a list of behavioral and situational questions with answer guides that tap directly into those core skills. And that’s not all. We’ve compiled these questions and created a Recruiter Interview Template for you that integrates other interviewing best practices. Skills-based interviews will not only help you make higher quality and evidence-based hiring decisions, but research also shows they enhance fairness and reduce bias in your hiring process. 

Example interview questions to ask

Question 1

Imagine you are hiring for a new role. You have already shortlisted candidates when the hiring team tells you they have changed their desired candidate profile, but the hiring deadline is still the same. What would you do?

Answer Tips

  • Learns about specific update requirements for the new candidate profile
  • Analyzes information to determine whether a new candidate pool is required
  • Considers gaps and proposes a new plan based on the remaining timeline
  • Proposes communicating with candidates (e.g. terminating/changing process)
  • Discusses potential strategies for preventing this scenario in the future

Question 2

Tell me about a time where you were sourcing candidates for a particular role? How did you approach active versus passive candidates, and what practices did you implement to ensure your sourcing efforts were effective?

Answer Tips

  • Emphasizes the importance of understanding the role and the search requirements
  • Uses multiple methods/platforms to reach out to potential candidates 
  • Discusses the pros and cons of different sourcing methods
  • Discusses using specific technology/tools to manage the sourcing process
  • Highlights potential issues and how to avoid them

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