questions to ask a recruiter
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Best Questions To Ask A Recruiter About a Job (2024)

So you’ve just gotten a LinkedIn message from a recruiter about a job! Usually it goes something like this; “Hey Mike, I was really impressed by your background!…”, and asks to setup time to discuss the opportunity…

If you’re interested enough to setup the call, there are some top questions to ask a recruiter to make sure you’re informed enough to decide if you want to take the next step. After fifteen years in medical device sales, I’ve realized what’s important for me to know, and hope this helps you do the same. 

Getting the answers to these questions won’t just help you make your own decision, it will charm the recruiter, highlight your skills, and set you apart from the dozens of others in the mix. At the end of the day, your job is to advance your career so doing this right is incredibly important. 

Having a process for how you handle recruitment as a candidate, you’ll find, is as important as the interview itself. But for now, let’s figure out the top questions to ask a recruiter in the initial call and figure out if this opportunity is worth your time.

Questions to Ask a Recruiter – Key Takeaways

  • So, you wanna fit in? Chat about the company’s culture and what they value.
  • Need to shine? Link your skills with what the boss is looking for, or come to terms that this may not be a good fit for your or the company.
  • In sales, total compensation is far more important than salary – consider the whole deal. 
  • Curious about the company? Get the scoop by asking about open spots. Over 80% of people who’ve left a job were leaving the manager, so do your homework. 
  • Who will you work with everyday? Find out by digging into how the team vibes together.

Let’s jump into the top questions to ask a recruiter! First up…culture.

Company Culture and Values

Getting the lowdown on a company’s culture and what they stand for is super important. Why? Well, it’s all about feeling like you fit in. The vibe at work, how everyone gets along, and the everyday chit-chat really shape your day.

Check out this article about culture, just in case you aren’t so sure if it’s important!

Values. They’re like the company’s heartbeat, showing what’s important to them. It’s a big deal because if what they value doesn’t jive with your own beliefs, it could be a bumpy ride. Plus, knowing this stuff helps you see if you’re heading in the same direction, or if you’re on completely different paths.

How well you mesh with your team can seriously affect how much you enjoy your job. It’s about finding that sweet spot where working together feels more like jamming with friends than, well, work.

Now, fitting in with the company culture isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s key to loving your job and doing great at it. It’s about connecting, contributing, and getting that sense of fulfillment from what you do every day.

Skills and Background Required

When you’re eyeing a job, it’s key to see if your skills and background jive with what the employer’s after. Have a chat with the recruiter. Ask, ‘What skills do you absolutely want?’ Don’t forget to dig into the specifics of the background they’re hunting for.

Gut check: do you really want to enter into a time intensive, emotional, and intense interview process if you’ll be facing an uphill battle because you aren’t the perfect profile?


You might just ask, “So I see you’re looking for 5 years of experience selling capital to radiation oncologists…I have 10 years of capital sales experience, but in the urology/ortho/OR space(s). Will this be an uphill battle, or are they open to a background like that? Do the other candidates I’m competing with match the preferred profile exactly?”. 

This convo is your secret weapon. It helps you figure out if this opportunity is your next big adventure. And if you decide you want to give it a go, you’ll be ready to shine, knowing how the company approaches talent. 

Total Compensation and Benefits

questions to ask a recruiter

When you’re eyeing a new job opportunity, don’t just stop at the salary, especially in sales.

Ask about the whole package:

  • Salary plus commission. Ask, “What is total at plan compensation?”. 
  • Healthcare benefits. You can often find more detail on their website. 
  • Equity: does the company offer stock options or a stock purchase program?
  • Car Plan. Do they offer an allowance or give you a fleet car? How are auto expenses handled?
  • Other: insurances, tuition reimbursement, cell phones, etc

Understanding the full picture helps you see if this gig aligns with your financial goals, and if it’s a financial fit.


Simply Ask “What percentage of the team is hitting plan?”. This question helps you understand more context about how the company sets quota, and if the earnings potential the recruiter shared is realistic.

Reason for the Open Position

So, let’s chat about why peeking behind the curtain of an open position is kinda like detective work.

You’re probably wondering, ‘Why’s this spot even open?’ Good question. It’s like piecing together a puzzle and learning to read between the lines.

Did the last person jet off to a new adventure, or was it something less positive? This nugget of info can reveal a lot. It’s like getting a sneak peek into what might be ahead for you. Plus, if this job’s been hanging out there for a while, it makes you think, right? Is it not catching anyone’s eye, or is it just hard to fill? Why?

Now, diving into these mysteries isn’t just nosy—it’s smart. It helps you feel out the company vibe. Are they in a rush? Are they growing like crazy? All this chit-chat gives you the scoop on whether this place might be your next career jump or a potential trap.

Are Internal Candidates in the Mix?

questions to ask a recruiter

You’ve got to be a detective here, and sometimes it feels like you don’t have a clear picture unless you dig. You may encounter resistance, so be careful not to be abrasive. Trying to figure out if you’re up against anyone from inside the company for that job you’re eyeing. It’s smart thinking. Internal candidats have a home-field advantage. They know the ins and outs, the people, the culture. They’re already part of the team.

Understanding if the company is considering its own gives you a sneak peek into what they’re looking for, too. Are they leaning towards someone who already gets the company vibe, or are they on the hunt for fresh ideas?

Here’s the thing – knowing about internal competition isn’t just about sizing them up. It’s about tailoring your own pitch, and a variable you should consider among many.


Be direct but casual, just ask: “Curious, are there any internal candidates interviewing?”. If so, try to understand more about them, and where they are in the process.

Again, interviewing is time and energy intensive. You don’t want to get to the final and figure out you were just involved to check the “external candidate” box.

Interview Process and Timeline

Getting the hang of the interview process and its timeline is kind of like having a map when you’re lost. It’s super helpful! You’ll usually start with a phone call, then maybe meet in person, and sometimes, there’s a panel waiting to chat with you. How long all this takes can really depend – usually 4-8 weeks in medical sales. Think about the company’s size, what they do, and how quickly they want someone on board.

Recruiters? They’re like your tour guides. They’ll give you the scoop on what’s next, including when you’ll hear back after chatting. Knowing all this stuff means you can plan your moves, showing you’re keen and on the ball.

Don’t forget to ask, ‘What’s next?’ It shows you’re interested and helps you set your expectations right. Being proactive and staying involved can only help your cause. Keep it up, and you might just nail it!

Career Progression Opportunities

questions to ask a recruiter

So, you’re curious about climbing the ladder at this place? Smart move. Chatting with the recruiter is your golden ticket to uncover what’s up with career growth here. It’s like getting a sneak peek at the roadmap.

What’s next after you join, right? Ask about the training stuff they’ve got. It’s all about sharpening those skills you need to leap to the next level.

And hey, how often do folks get to jump up a rung here? That’s a good one to throw their way. It’s like checking if there’s room at the top or if it’s all jam-packed.

Mentoring programs are gold, too. It’s like having a guide in this career jungle. Knowing there’s someone to help you navigate is pretty reassuring.

Seeing how this gig fits into your big career puzzle is key. It’s not just about the now, but where you could end up. Plus, showing you’re keen on growing? That’s music to a recruiter’s ears.

Breaking it down like this makes it easier to digest, right? Plus, it keeps the convo flowing and shows you’re really thinking about your future here.

Team and Manager Dynamics

Wanna catch the vibe of the team you might join? Start with the basics – like how many folks you’ll be working with and how they’re organized. It’s kinda like getting the lay of the land. Why does it matter? Well, it’s all about the atmosphere you’ll be in every day. Will it make you happy or stressed? That’s a big deal.

Next up, how does the boss run the show? This is crucial. You gotta know if their style is gonna clash with yours. Imagine trying to chill in a hammock with someone who prefers a fast-paced sprint. Not the best match, right?

Now, how does the team get things done together? Are they passing the ball smoothly or does it feel more like a game of hot potato? This part’s about figuring out if you’ll mesh well with their way of tackling tasks and making decisions.

Don’t forget to ask about what the team’s aiming for. Their goals and projects should get you excited, not make you yawn. It’s all about finding that spark that lights up your career path.

Lastly, who reports to whom? It’s not just office politics. Understanding this helps you see where you fit in the grand scheme of things. Basically, it’s like knowing who passes you the ball and who you pass it to.

In short, diving into these details helps you figure out if you’ll thrive in this new environment. It’s all about finding your sweet spot where you can do great work and be your best self.

Daily Responsibilities and Tasks

balancing work and life

Thinking about stepping into a new role? It’s like piecing together a puzzle. You’ve got to know what your everyday looks like, right? Ask about the nitty-gritty – those tasks you’ll tackle daily, the big projects on your plate, and the areas where you’ll shine. It’s all about finding your groove in the grand scheme of things.

Now, how much say will you have in all this? It’s key to know if you’ll be calling the shots or if it’s more of a team game. And hey, it’s not just about ticking boxes off a checklist. It’s about seeing how your piece fits into the bigger picture, how you’re helping the team score the winning goal.

So, dive into those conversations. Figure out what you’ll be diving into day in and day out. Will it light a spark in you? Does it feel like a match? Knowing this won’t only help you see if you’re on the right track but also how you can bring your A-game.

Recruiters Perspective on the Organization

Think of it as getting the inside scoop before your big interview. So, why not ask about what really makes the company tick? You’re curious if your values line up with theirs, right?

And hey, how about the team you might join? Are they all about teamwork, or is it every person for themselves? Plus, knowing the salary range can save you from an awkward dance later on. Does it match what you’re hoping for?


Taking the time to really understand what’s important to you will help you come up with the top questions to ask a recruiter.

Confronting topics like company culture, the skills you’ll need, what you can expect financially, and how you can climb the career ladder shows you’re not just interested but invested, or help you decide to move on.

Don’t forget to chat about what your day-to-day would look like, how the team vibes together, and snag some insider info from the recruiter about the company vibe. These questions are your secret weapon to not only figuring out if this job’s the right fit for you but also to leaving a memorable mark on those deciding your fate.

Hey, why not give it a go? Strike up a conversation and ask away. Who knows? The next question you ask could be the one that lands you that dream job. Let’s make those interviews feel more like a two-way street, shall we?

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