28 Great Behavioral Interview Questions to Hire Ace Recruiters

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Mar 1, 2016

Good recruiters — the really effective ones — are genuine talent magnets. They consistently sleuth out top performers whose imagination, expertise, and energy propel your organization forward.

These recruiting aces are a breed apart. They’re proven pros who keep your company top of mind in the talent marketplace. They more than pay for themselves by hiring smartly, quickly, and cost effectively, while helping your employer branding as a great place to work. Recruiting these top-flight recruiters is an art which involves — now wait for it — asking high-yield behavioral interview questions!

Most of us talent acquisition professionals think of ourselves as insightful readers of people.

Hey, our day job is to hire highly effective people! So we’re always looking for ways to enhance our interviewing skills; we want an edge.

Behavioral Questions that Make a Difference

Here are some great behavioral questions that will give you an edge in recruiting ace recruiters. Follow these steps and you’ll attract and hire the best recruiters in the business!

Opening the Interview

  • Tell me about the events that led you to the recruiting profession.
  • Give me an example of your personal and professional goals and how recruiting fits into them.
  • Give me an example of your most rewarding recruiting experience.
  • Tell me about a specific recruiting assignment that was particularly challenging.
  • Give me examples of the circumstances that cause you to consider leaving your current company.
  • Tell me about the situations that have brought out the best in you.
  • Give me examples of conditions in your current position that do not play to your strengths.

Conducting the Interview

  • Walk me through the steps you took recently to identify and attract high-performing candidates.
  • Here’s a blank sheet of paper. Please draw your current organization chart and your place on it.
  • Tell me about the actions you took to recruit a high-level engineering (or sales, or marketing, or finance) executive to your organization.
  • Tell me about a time when social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram didn’t work for you.
  • Tell me about your experiences with LinkedIn … when it worked well for you and when it did not.
  • Tell me about a recent time you prioritized candidates to enable the manager to make an informed hiring decision.
  • Give me an example of a key hire you made who affected the bottom line of the business.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to sell a candidate on the job.
  • Describe a situation when you struggled to support a particularly demanding hiring manager.
  • Tell me about a time you developed a workable relationship with an indecisive manager.
  • Give me specific examples of junior recruiters who’ve grown and developed as a result of your coaching.
  • Walk me through an experience you’ve had when your top candidate received a competing offer that was more money than yours.
  • Describe your biggest recruiting mistake, the impact it had on the business, and what you learned from it.
  • Walk me through the steps you take in checking candidate references.
  • Describe the steps you’ve taken to build a pipeline of promising performers.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to keep a promising candidate interested in your organization even when you didn’t have a specific opportunity for them.

Wrapping up the Interview

  • Tell me how you’ve used the strengths and skills that make you a strong candidate.
  • Give me an example of other opportunities you are considering and where you stand in their hiring process.
  • Give me specific examples of why this opportunity is appealing to you and your level of interest in it.
  • Tell me about something I should know that we haven’t discussed so far.
  • Tell about the combination of your skills, knowledge, and experience that would cause you to hire yourself.

Specifically using behavioral interviewing when considering recruiters will give you an edge over other talent acquisition managers. These are some of my favorite questions to ask recruiters.

Give me examples of great questions other recruiters have asked you.


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