You’re meeting with a recruiter for the first time and don’t really know what to expect. After 30 or so minutes the interview seems to come to a stop. She looks at you and says: “Do you have any questions for me?”  Now what?  Take heart. Here are  a few good questions that will help you feel reconnected .

Why is the Position Open?

This is one of the best questions to ask as it can often get to the heart of an organization’s short and longer term goals. In many cases your recruiter or even the hiring manager is restricted from giving you the “real skinny” as it is sometimes inappropriate. But you should always expect to receive enough insight to generally gauge the company’s culture and expectations for new hires coming in. Then you can see where you fit it which brings us to our next best question…

Where Do You See Me Fitting Into This Organization?

This reinforces that you are interested in a long term career and are not just taking a shot at getting a job. Another way to ask this question is, “Where do you see someone with my skills and ability in this company next two, three or five years?”  Just as a good recruiter wants to know where you see your career going they should also be knowledgeable about their clients plans for the future and then be willing to share with you the various options available within their client organizations.

Can you tell me the name of your client?

When we are short-listing candidates for interviewing a recruiter should always disclose to you their client’s name. Often to protect our clients, we cannot divulge our clients’ identity unless they specifically request or give us permission to do so. By the same token nor do we disclose your identity to any client without your explicit consent.

When we contact you because you have been short-listed for a specific role with one of our clients we will always disclose full details about the job and who our client is. At all times your file and all discussions and correspondence remain absolutely confidential between us until such time as you give us your permission to be put forward to one of our clients.

When Will the Interviews be Scheduled?

In short, as soon as is humanly possible. We work with our clients with a high level of urgency in all instances and work to ensure that interviews take place quickly and efficiently. Positions are open to solve a problem, and the longer that problem goes unsolved, the more money our clients are losing in reduced customer service, lagging morale and productivity and worse, broken promises with customers because they are unable to deliver on time.

If This Doesn’t Work Out, Can You Get Me Another Job?

The first thing you need to know is that in Canada it is illegal for a licensed employment agency to charge a job seeker for a job referral. And that is not what a recruiter is paid to do. We are hired by employers to find outstanding employees who they cannot, or don’t have the time or resources to, find on their own.

There are however businesses who specialize in assisting job seekers with resume development and interviewing skills training. We refer many job seekers who need these services to our partners at TQM Consulting who specialize in the field of career counselling for individuals.


Barbara Ashton is the President and Founder of Ashton & Associates Recruiting.

Ashton & Associates Recruiting  … Helping you hire right. Every time.

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