How long has it been since the last time you’ve sent your job application off to a recruiting company or an employer? Are you wondering why they haven’t contacted you yet for a job interview?

Don’t despair. You might just be missing an important key point in your job search strategy that others are taking advantage of!

There can be a lot of reasons why you aren’t getting called for an interview. Whether it be a lack of job qualifications, your resume or CV is not ATS compliant, you didn’t include a cover letter or not answered the required selection criteria. Perhaps, you were simply outweighed by strong competition or an internal candidate… the list goes on.

To stand out from your stronger competition, there is one thing you can do. Call the recruiter! Let them know ahead that you are the right one by showing them that you are 101% interested in the job.


What to ask a recruiter?

Yes, you must be proactive in your job search. That extra 1% on your effort might help you land a successful interview and that includes reaching out to the recruiters every opportunity you can get. Here, we have listed a few questions to ask a recruiter before submitting your resume:

  1. What qualities are you looking for in a candidate?

Ask the recruiter to describe the company's ideal candidate. Is there anything else they can tell you about the role, for example, the day to day duties and underlying responsibilities associated with the job? Knowing the important skills needed for the job can also help you tailored your resume and cover letter accordingly.

  1. When does the application close?

By asking how quickly they want to fill in the role gives you an idea of how fast the application process moves. You can expect an offer shortly after the interview or you can prepare to wait longer before following up with your initial thank you letter. Remember to only ask this if it does not say anything in the job advertisement.

  1. Are internal applicants being considered for the position? And is an external candidate likely to be considered?

This question can save you a lot of time. Many government positions and large corporations recruit from within, however, discrimination laws require them to advertise a role externally, even if they do not intend upon offering an external applicant the position.

  1. What's the starting salary range?

This question is a big no-no when it comes to the job interview, but you might feel more comfortable asking a recruiter, “I want to make sure this opportunity fits my needs. Do you have information on compensation? A starting salary range?” After all, the goal of this initial conversation is to figure out if you might be a good fit for the company and vice versa. There's no need to go through the interview process if the company can't pay you what you need. It's also common for a recruiter to ask you about your salary expectations, so be prepared to answer that question as well.

  1. If I am successful, who will be interviewing me? And can you tell me anything about what I might be asked in an interview?

A recruiter will have the inside scoop on how many rounds of interviews you can expect, the typical length of each, who you’ll meet, and details about the later stages of the interview process. They might be able to clue you in on what’s most important to the organisation and to the hiring manager so you can do your research accordingly.

  1. How would you describe the company's culture?

This is an opportunity for you to pick up some vibes about the company rather than studying their websites and poke around social media from behind the screen. A recruiter should be able to provide some additional insight and colour.

By learning the company’s culture, you will also be able to tell the appropriate attire you should wear once you land an interview with them. You don’t want to look overdress or underdress but something that notch up from the company’s dress code and still looks professional.

  1. What challenges do you need this role to overcome?

This is your opportunity to sell yourself. Tell them significant challenges that you believe you have surpassed and you probably can overcome in the future. You can add a follow-up question about how the last person did in this role or if the job is a new position, then you could follow up by asking about the needs of the role.

  1. Can you please tell me why the position is being advertised?

Did the previous employee quit or receive a promotion? Is this a newly created position as a result of company growth? These questions will help you set up for a potential interview as you can then ensure you can address the challenges. 

  1. Should I send my resume directly to you, or would you prefer me to apply via the website or both?

Before wrapping up the call, don’t forget to ask how you will be able to send your resume and cover letter to them. You might be able to bypass the initial ATS screen and have the hiring manager/recruiter look at your documents straight away on their desktop.


Why should you ask a recruiter questions?

Asking questions shows interest and commitment to your presentation. When you call a recruiter, you’ll come across as prepared and interested in the role. It also shows you are willing to put in the effort to do your homework, and thus are equally invested in the role as they are.

You will also learn valuable information about the company and gain tips for the interview process. Knowing this will help you prepare your way to get the job.

Finally, look out for potential red flags. If the position has been open for a year, it’s tipping you off to the fact that the hiring manager is either extremely picky, or nobody wants the job. It could also mean that the hiring manager doesn’t really know what he/she is looking for and keeps changing the requirements. Identifying red flags is important in not only determining if the opportunity is right for you but also if it's worth your time to pursue.


Before you get on the phone with a recruiter, they need to be impressed by your resume. Make sure your resume stands out by emailing to info@theperfectresume.com.au for a free review or view our services at www.theperfectresume.com.au.


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