Recruiters – Ask Us Anything

Saragossa

When recruiters call you to talk to you about a role we’re working on, we’re trying to learn about the person behind the CV, and whether we do indeed have a role that would suit your talents, your personality and your goals.

We want to know not only whether you can do the job – we’ll already have a good idea about that from reading your CV anyway – but whether you would want to do the job.

This will, inevitably, involve asking you quite a few questions – we can’t do our job unless we know a little bit about you, after all.

However, you also deserve the chance to ask us questions, to find out whether the role we’re selling really is something you want to do – and if it is, you deserve to know how you can go about getting it.

Many of the candidates we speak to are a little thrown when we say ‘is there anything you’d like to ask us’ and more often than not, nothing comes to mind.

But we really, actually, genuinely want you to ask us as questions – the more the merrier. The better you feel you understand the role, the better your chances are of securing the role – which, after all, is what we both want.

So, what to ask? Here’s a brief list – but honestly, anything you feel you need to know about the role or the company fire away. If we don’t know, we’ll find out.

Why would I want to work for this company?

The most important question of them all.

What makes this job better than the one you currently have? It’s essential that you know that before you even give us permission to send your CV to our client. You want every assurance that this new role can give you something your current one can’t – new challenges and new experiences in a new environment. And if it can’t, you may as well stay put.

Why is the client hiring for this role?

You want to be clear what your potential new employer’s expectations are, what success looks like in your new role, and what challenges you could expect to encounter if you do get the job. You may also be able to find out if this is a brand new position or if you are taking over for someone else, which is always useful to know.

What’s the interview process like?

Job interviews come in all shapes and sizes these days, and it’s vital that you know exactly what you’re walking into.

Will there be one interviewer or five? How many stages are there? How long will each interview last? Will there be a written or technical test of any kind? Is this particular company known for doing things to deliberately throw candidates off guard? The more you can find out in advance, the better your chances are.

What feedback have you received on previous interviewees?

Once you’ve reached the interview prep stage, learning what caused other people to be unsuccessful at interview is extremely valuable. Was it due to not having enough technical knowledge? Maybe it was due to them not having enough experience in one particular area, or there was one specific question that everyone struggled on? Whatever it is, knowledge is power. Find out what tripped other people up so that you can avoid falling into the same traps.

What is the company culture like?

You shouldn’t have to be a chameleon to get your dream job – you want your new colleagues to like you for you. But at the same time, you still want to know the sort of people you’re going to be meeting. Is it a laid-back start-up with beanbag chairs and flexible working hours, or is it an old and well-established firm with strict working practices and an even stricter dress code? You’ll know better than anyone the kind of company in which you’d do best – or you may well be able to thrive in any environment. But in any case, make sure you know which one you’re going into to give yourself the best chance possible.

What can you tell me about the job that isn’t on the spec?

A lot of job specs – particularly ones for roles that have been live for a while – won’t tell the full story. Even the longest and most detailed specs may not have been updated in a few months or longer, and it’s easy for certain things to slip through the cracks and never make it to the page. Be sure to ask whether there are any specific skills or qualifications that the spec doesn’t mention. Even if they’re not essential and are simply ‘nice-to-haves’, knowing about them will help you to be more prepared than your competition.

Saragossa are a recruitment consultancy specialising in Financial Technology, Data Science and Senior Appointments. Our role is to match clients with high calibre candidates. Our work encompasses filling temporary contracts along with building permanent teams and resourcing projects. To find out more, please contact enquiries@saragossa.co.uk or call 020 7871 3666.