You just got a phone call from a recruiter telling you about a great new marketing job that’s open at a fantastic company offering great pay and benefits. You’re happily employed, but why wouldn’t you want to learn more about something that could be a better opportunity?

Besides doing your own diligence in conducting your own research online, how can you truly tell if the recruiter reaching out to you is credible and offering you a position that’s worth your attention?

The recruiter wants to know about you and your capabilities, but you can also use this chance to educate yourself on the recruiter and the position itself. Asking questions is a natural part of the job search process (or at least, it should be). It’s how you evaluate how your skills fit in with the job, learn about the company and show your interest for the position.

What Makes a Good Next Step in Your Career

7 Questions You Must Ask When a Marketing Recruiter Calls

Whether you’re seeking new opportunities or not, it’s helpful to get an understanding of what questions you should ask a recruiter to evaluate if a job is worth pursuing before you get the call. Let’s take a look into key questions you should be prepared to ask when a marketing recruiter reaches out to you:

1. Why is this job open, and how long has it been open?

Knowing how the role came about will give you a good insight into the job. Is the position available because the previous person left on their own terms or got promoted internally? Or, did they get fired because they weren’t performing well? How the recruiter answers this question can be a tell-tale sign of any possible shortcomings of the role.

A marketing recruiter who becomes uncomfortable or tries to dodge this question raises a red flag. If the job has been open for six months or longer, this can mean that the hiring manager is incredibly picky or that no one wants the role. Either way, none of these are good signs. The average time a job is open should be 30-90 days, and anything longer can show that either the client doesn’t find it urgent to fill it or it’s not a great opportunity.

However, you definitely want to know if the recruiter has a logical explanation for a job being open for a long period of time. There could have been a major adjustment internally in the organization prolonging the search because there was a change in the hiring manager in charge of it.

2. Was the marketing recruitment agency hired on a retained or contingency search basis?

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This is an important question to ask because it gives you an understanding of how serious the client is about actually filling the role. If it’s a retained search and the agency’s client (the employer) has invested in the search upfront, they expect great results and are committed to finding top candidates. It also shows how dedicated and credible the agency is in finding great marketers, and the dynamic between the agency and the client.

3. Have you worked with this client before?

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Understanding the relationship between the recruitment firm and their client can unveil your own potential relationship with the recruiter. If they have worked together in the past, learn how many positions they’ve placed within the company.

History between the two parties is a great sign that the recruitment agency is highly credible and knowledgeable in finding top talent. This is also a great way to learn more about the employer through the recruiter if they’ve worked directly with them before in the past.

4. What is the recruitment process?

Any experienced marketing recruitment agency has an established procedure for completing job searches. If you’re working with a recruiter who’s reliable and knows what he or she is doing, they will be able to draw out a timeline of the recruitment process for you.

If you’re actively looking for a job, this is particularly helpful. You can better compare different job opportunities within a specific timeframe. If the recruiter seems disorganized, unconcerned or uninformed and isn’t able to explain the next steps in the process, this is a big sign that the job isn’t worth pursuing.

5. How do I stack up against the other candidates that are being considered for this role?

This question opens up the opportunity to gauge the competition, see where you can improve and understand what skills you may be lacking. Credible recruiters will be more than willing to be transparent and help candidates they’re working with.

Instead of leaving them to assume, you can address any concerns or reservations the marketing recruiter may have about your fit for the job head-on. For instance, you can clear up a questionable gap on your resume and explain if it was out of your control.

6. What can you tell me about the hiring manager and the culture of the company?

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The recruiter should address this early on but if they don’t, it’s an incredibly valuable question to ask. You want to assess how well the recruiter really knows about the hiring manager and the company culture.

It takes more than having the right skills to be a good fit for a role. You must fit in with the culture and have a good manager to support you. If the culture and leadership of an organization don’t seem like it’s right for your professional growth, the job isn’t worth going after.

7. What are they looking for this person to accomplish in the first 30, 60 and 90 days, and how do they contribute to the company?

This is a good way to learn the value of the role within the company, and what’s expected of the person who fills it early on. If the recruiter is able to give you a general understanding of the KPIs of the position, you know they are well-equipped to find the right person for it.

Figuring out the expectations of the job will help you understand how the role matters to the growth of the company. It also shows the recruiter your interest in the job beyond your own personal achievements. If you want to succeed in any job and cultivate your marketing career, you want to ensure that you’re able to make an impact on the organization as a whole.

Closing Words

Make sure your efforts are saved for recruiters and employers who are worth your time. Any good marketing recruiter will expect you to have many questions if you’re interested in a job, and be willing to answer them.

Don’t hold yourself back from great opportunities because you failed to prepare yourself. Asking important questions along the entire job search process demonstrates your credibility and your commitment to growing your marketing career!