The job interview is always a nerve-wracking experience, but good news is that there are ways to respond effectively to recruiters' questions and perform with genuine confidence. Thorough preparation is the key to getting through a job interview successfully – by practicing the answers to questions a hiring manager is likely to ask interviewees can gain an insight into what it takes to deliver their best when the pressure is on. If you're going for a trainee role, it might be an idea to view our list of trainee recruitment consultant interview questions instead.

Take the stress out of the job interview process by walking into the interview feeling positive, confident, and prepared. Though it is virtually impossible to know precisely what a particular hiring manager will ask, it does help to know the types of questions that will come up during the recruitment interview. The only way to learn is through experience - which you can get by viewing our Randstad recruitment consultant jobs.

Five typical recruitment consultant job interview questions and how to answer.

1.  Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Whether one is interviewing for a recruitment consultant position or other recruitment HR roles, this is a basic question that comes up almost all of the time. Companies want to hire individuals that offer a good fit with their ethos, so be sure to develop a reasonable understanding of what the business is and what it's values are before going to interview.

It is essential that job candidates answer it truthfully but keep the responses concise, on topic and full of relevant information. This is the perfect time to sum up any and all educational and employment experience in just a few sentences. Continue with a few more sentences about personal passions that are relevant to the position at hand. Don’t bother including any irrelevant personal information when answering this question.

2.  Why are you interested in working for this company?

This question may be phrased in different ways, so be prepared. Businesses are not interested in individuals that simply want a pay cheque – they want team members that will contribute in a positive way. It goes without saying that this is most easily achieved when candidates have a genuine interest in the work.

In preparation for a job interview, one should always conduct research on the company in advance.  When this question comes up, it is a great opportunity to focus on a fact about the company that is of particular interest.

Use this fact as a reason for wanting to work with this company and be sure to detail any relevant experience, skills, and interests within the response. For individuals looking for trainee recruitment consultant positions or HR assistant roles, a healthy interest in the dynamics of the company would be considered an essential part of the hiring criteria anyway – so turn up prepared.

3.  What is your greatest strength?

This is a great question and allows hiring managers to get a feel for the talents, strengths, and skills a potential employee has. The response to this question tells the hiring manager what will make a candidate a great addition to the team, so a well-thought out answer is an absolute must.

Thrive under pressure? Then let them know. Brilliant problem solver? Include that. This is a chance to shine, but remember to have plenty of examples to back up the claims.

4.  What is your greatest weakness?

Most interviewees actually dread this question, and rightly so. Potential employers are well aware of the fact that job candidates are people; so knowing their faults allows them to get a bigger picture of that person. When answering this question, it is easy to draw a lot of negative attention to oneself. Avoid that by providing a positive but honest answer.

Think carefully about this question. Everyone has a weakness, whether it is focusing too much on the details or always saying yes or prioritising smaller work projects. The best response should include a small, work-related flaw that won’t mean that the interviewer's interest is terminated there and then. Be sure to include the efforts made to manage this 'fault' and turn it into something positive.

5.  Why should I hire you?

This may seem like a trick question to many job candidates, but it really tells the potential employer what sets this person apart from the rest. This question may be difficult to practise ahead of time, as often the response is best phrased based on the flow of the interview itself.  Listen and learn throughout, then use that information to ask the interviewing manager what they are looking for and play to that response in a relevant and honest way.

Client recruitment questions you should be prepared to answer.

Recruitment consultants find candidates to fill temporary and permanent positions, which means their work focuses on a balance of sales, management, and customer service. Client relationship management is an essential part of maintaining that balance and one of the arts of closing a successful working partnership is to know how to give the right answers to clients' questions.

During the interview or screening process, recruiters may be asked a number of questions ranging from industry-specific queries to those focusing on the individual recruiter’s experience, skills, motivation, and expertise.  Here are some key questions any recruiting professional should be able to answer when a client asks.

1. How does the CV review process work?

The main reason businesses use recruitment consultants is to save time and money on selecting job candidates.  Busy managers don’t want to be inundated with resumes and applications, but they still want to know how the whole process will work.  Clients will not only want to know how a recruiter will handle the selection process, but they will also want to know how many CVs to expect, what sort of information they will receive, and what sort of timeframe in which this will occur.

2. What does this type of service cost?

How much a recruiter or recruitment firm charges will always be on the short list of things clients will want to know. After all, businesses must keep an eye on their budget and watch their bottom line!  There are two typical ways that recruitment agencies charge for their services – a retainer or a percentage fee.

The latter is based on starting salary of the candidate and is payable once the candidate is recruited while a retainer is more like a flat fee for their services up front with a remaining balance paid at a later date.  Successful recruiters always provide clear pricing schemes to their clients.

3. Does the cost change if an employee leaves?

Because pricing is often based on whether or not a particular candidate gets hired, many clients will want to know if a new employee leaves the company shortly after they are brought on board.  It is very important for a recruiter to have this policy laid out as clearly as possible upfront so that there is no question later on.  Most recruiting agencies offer rebates for such situations, based on a sliding scale, depending on the length of employment.

4. What about candidate referencing?

Today, checking references is a big part of the hiring process, but it is incredibly time-consuming. Many clients will want recruiters to do this legwork for them – but not all recruiting agencies provide this service. If the client doesn’t ask about this, it may be worth mentioning during the first conversation to gauge their expectations.

5. Have you ever placed candidates into similar roles?

Some recruiters specialise in certain industries and sectors while others put their focus in more general terms.  Clients need to be confident that the recruiters they have hired can get the job done and find the right kind of applicants.  Customer testimonials and examples go a long way when clients ask this question.

While these questions may not be asked in every interview, variations of them inevitably will. Rehearsing responses prior to the interview can help reduce nerves and help a job candidate sound more confident during the process.