Recruitment can be tough and certainly will not be for everyone, the pace can be fierce and demands high, and you will have to juggle multiple projects and be highly adaptable to quick changes. However for people who thrive in a competitive environment, recruitment is the ideal career choice. If you have already decided that it is the career move for you and have applied, it’s time to start preparing for interview. Here are some common recruitment consultant interview questions and what to think about when preparing your answers:

  • Why do you want to work in recruitment?

It is really important that you show your enthusiasm for working in this industry and also for the company you are interviewing with. Do your research and show that you understand the company and what it is like to work there, as well as showing a good knowledge of the industry as a whole. 

  • What qualities do you have that make you right for this job?

There are a number of core skills that are needed to succeed in recruitment. Organisation, communication, problem solving and negotiation among them. Give examples or scenarios of where you have had to rely on these traits as a part of your answer. You can read more about the most important skills needed to be a recruitment consultant here.

  • What has been you biggest challenge or setback to date?

These questions can be tough, but it is important that you can give examples of times you have faced adversity. Recruitment is a tough job and there will be set backs, the interviewer wants to know how you handle challenges. While the question is asking for an example of a setback, your answer should centre on how you did or would overcome a setback. Use this as an opportunity to show that you are not fazed by challenges and able to tackle tough situations.

  • Why are you leaving your current role?

You can be honest about your motivations with a questions like this, but it is important that you are not airing grievances you have with a former employer. If you want to progress your career faster or earn more money, then be honest about that. However if you had difficult working relationships with a manager or colleague it is best to keep this to yourself. The interviewer wants an ambitious team player

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

This question may be quite similar to one around biggest challenge or setback in that your answer should revolve around how you would overcome a challenge such as this next time. Proving that you are able to learn from mistakes and setbacks is a key part of professional development and no recruitment consultant would be where they are without having had to overcome adversity.

  • What key attributes do you think are required for this role?

This is an opportunity to show that you understand what is going to be required of you and a chance to sell yourself. Identify the key characteristics that are needed to perform well, but more importantly, back this up with example of your competency in these areas.

  • What are your career goals?

Recruitment is a challenging career and one which ambitious people will do well. The interviewer wants to know that you take your carer seriously and have thought about where you want to go. They want to know that you are ambitious and ready to put in the hard work to take your career forward. They are likely looking for someone to come in and be in it for the long haul.  

  • Why should we choose you?

This is often the closing question and gives you the chance to sum up much of what you have prepared. It’s all about showing enthusiasm and displaying why you are the person they cannot miss out on. Prepare your answer for a question like this and even if you are not asked it directly, your response can help you to answer some broader questions, or even serve as a bit of a closing pitch at the end of your interview.

Working as a recruitment consultant is fast-paced, challenging and highly rewarding. You’ll need to be extremely organised, a strong communicator, be highly adaptable and have a thick skin. For those who excel in this industry, it is a highly rewarding career, both from a personal perspective and from a financial one.

If you would like to learn more about the work of a recruitment consultant visit our Work for Us page where you can find out all you need to know about this industry. If you like what you see, we would love to hear from you as we are always on the lookout for talented new consultants to join the team.

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