The simple answer here is YES but it is important to ask relevant and insightful questions that demonstrate you have done your homework and have really considered the opportunity. There has to be a purpose to the questioning and they need to be questions that are real and where the answers will affect the way you apply or indeed whether you will apply at all. Be careful not to be seen to just be asking questions for the sake of asking questions and ensure you don’t send a negative message. For instance, if the first question you asked was “How much is the job paying?” the recruiter might feel that you are driven by money and not the role itself, therefore, doubting your motivation and staying power.
My advice is that you should complete your job application and cover letter before calling. Obviously, you will likely modify it after the telephone call but by doing it beforehand you avoid the risk of asking obvious questions, the answers to which you could have found by doing your own research.
- It is an opportunity to sell yourself to the recruiter.
- It can help you understand the role to better self-screen
- It will provide valuable information that may not be included in the advertisement that will enable you to streamline your resume and ensure it is relevant for the role and importance, more relevant than the other applicants.
- Recruiters often use phone screens as a way of creating their shortlist, by proactively calling the recruiter you can be certain that you have at least reached this stage of the process.
- There is one main danger in calling a recruiter and that is, if not handled well, it will cost your chance of getting an interview.
Some questions you may want to ask
- Who is the company?
Quite often recruiters won’t put the company name in the advertisement. If that is the case it’s unlikely they will tell you but it’s a good question and shows you have thought about the job.
- Who does the position report to and does it have any reports?
This will give you an idea if position seniority.
- What is the main objective of this role?
- What is the most challenging part of the position?
- What are the main personal qualities the employer is looking for?
- What is the essential experience you are looking for in this position?
- Why is the position vacant?
Questions to avoid
- What is job paying?
- Where is located?
- Will I have to do overtime?
- What’s the manager like?
- Is the travel required?
Always be sure to thank the recruiter for their time, let them know your intentions to apply or not and then get off the phone. Avoid talking for too long or asking too many questions.