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Professional Development

10 Questions to Ask a Recruiter About Job Opportunities

8 Minute Read


When you’re applying for new jobs in the healthcare or life sciences industries, your initial contact with a company might come from a recruiter. A phone or video screen with a recruiter is often the first step of the hiring process. If you move forward in the process, the recruiter also serves as a liaison between you and the hiring manager.

It’s important to note that as much as you’re being interviewed by the recruiter during a screening, it’s also an opportunity for you to learn as much as possible about the role, the department, and the company. In other words, you’re seeing if the job is a good fit for you just as much as the recruiter is gauging whether you’d be a good fit for the job. So, you’ll want to ask questions during your screening to ensure that the job truly aligns with your values and goals. From there, you can determine whether or not you want to move forward in the hiring process.

To help you prepare as you start the process of applying for new jobs, here are the top 10 questions to ask a recruiter so you can make an informed decision about your next career move.

1. What Are the Key Responsibilities of the Role?

Knowing the day-to-day responsibilities of a healthcare or life sciences job can help you determine if this role is something you’ll enjoy doing and if it aligns with how you want to grow your career. Ask the recruiter to provide you with a detailed job description that lists specific tasks you would be handling and any performance expectations that you’d be expected to meet.

2. What Qualifications and Skills Are Needed to Succeed in This Role?

Make sure you have a clear understanding of the qualifications and skills necessary for the role before you continue to the next step of the hiring process. Ask the recruiter about the minimum and preferred qualifications of the role to see if you meet the requirements or if there’s room for learning new skills within the position.

3. Can You Describe the Company and Team Culture?

A poor company and team culture can turn a great job sour quickly. Understanding the company culture is vital to determining whether the job will be a good fit with your personal values and purpose. Ask the recruiter about the hiring company’s values, work environment, and the type of employees who thrive within the team to help assess your potential job satisfaction.

4. What Can You Tell Me About the Hiring Manager?

This question gives you more insight into the person who could become your future boss. Learning more about the hiring manager’s professional journey, management philosophy, and expectations can help you tailor your responses and make a strong impression in future interviews. It also gives you more intel into the potential dynamics and working relationship you might have with the hiring manager, allowing you to adapt and collaborate more effectively should you join the team.

5. What Is the Expected Work Schedule and Location?

Some people look for a new job strictly to gain a better work-life balance. Knowing the expected work schedule and location – whether that includes an hour commute each way, hybrid work, or if it’s fully remote – is vital for determining if it fits into your job expectations.

6. How Did This Position Become Available?

Understanding the backstory of a job opening can be a powerful tool for any potential job candidate. Perhaps you excel at determining your own key performance indicators and structures for a role and would thrive in a newly created position, or maybe you feel more comfortable bringing value to a role that is already well established. Whether the position is newly created or a replacement, knowing this information can give you valuable insights into the company’s growth and internal dynamics and it can help you tailor any follow-up responses to your strengths.

7. Can You Tell Me About Any Career Growth Opportunities?

Knowing how the role fits into your long-term career plans is crucial. Ask the recruiter about potential career advancement opportunities within the department and the typical career trajectory for someone in this position.

8. What Is the Compensation Package?

According to MagnifyMoney, 24% of Americans believe switching jobs is the best way to get a raise. That’s second only to excellent performance in your role. It’s clear that money matters and will likely be a huge factor in whether or not you choose to accept a job offer. Ask the recruiter about the salary range and any potential bonuses for the position. Don’t forget that the benefits play a key role in the full compensation package as well, so see if you can get more information on the company’s benefits and any other perks (like a generous PTO policy) that come with the position.

9. What Is the Onboarding and Training Process?

Understanding how you would be integrated into the company is essential for a smooth transition. You’ll want to know if you would have time to be trained or if you’re expected to know how to dive into your day-to-day tasks right away. Inquire about the onboarding and training process to ensure you’ll receive the necessary support to feel comfortable and excel in your new role from the start.

10. What Is the Timeline for Hiring?

You’ll want to have a clear timeline for the hiring process that way you know if it’s early in the process or if decisions will be made soon. Ask the recruiter about key milestones, including interview rounds, decision deadlines, and when you can expect to hear back.

Getting the Most Out of a Screening With a Recruiter

When screening with a recruiter for a healthcare or life sciences job, it’s important to gather as much information as you can about the company and position so that you can determine if it’s a role you want to continue pursuing. The interview process is a two-way street; you’re not just being evaluated, but you’re also evaluating the company to ensure it aligns with your career goals and values. With these 10 questions to ask a recruiter in hand, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision about your next career move.

Ready for Your Next Career Move?

If you’re ready to start looking for a new job, Nucleus Healthcare can help. Submit your resume on our website and you’ll be connected to a Nucleus Healthcare recruiter who can be a valuable asset in finding the right next step in your career. Never worked with a recruiter before? Read our blog on how to work with a recruiter to see how they can benefit your job search.


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