Over the last few years, we’ve provided a lot of great advice for food & beverage executives on how to answer interview questions, including:

But today we’re turning the tables.

When a recruiter contacts you with a potential career opportunity, you should plan to ask questions – not just answer them. Why? Doing so will help you understand the recruiter, the search firm, and the available position better, so you can determine if they’re a good match for your job search and career goals.

Here are five questions you should ask when a recruiter contacts you:

  1. What are the top three qualifications the employer is looking for? As a busy professional, your time is undoubtedly valuable. While the hiring company may have a whole laundry list of skills and experience their “ideal candidate” will possess, you need to be sure you meet the basic requirements before investing your time and effort. Ask the recruiter to break the position down for you, so you both can quickly determine if the opportunity truly has potential for you.
  2. How long has this position been open – and why is it available? Use these questions to reveal “red flags” about the employer or position. On the one hand, the job might be newly created due to growth – which could bode well for you. On the other hand, you may find out that the job has been open for months, because they can’t find anybody who will work in their toxic culture. Make sure you have a good handle on the job’s “back story,” to uncover potential problems like high turnover or unclear organizational direction.
  3. What are the next few steps in the interviewing process? Know what you’re getting yourself into before you commit to pursuing the opportunity. A reputable food & beverage recruiter will have a well-established interview process and can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of employer interviews. Find out how many rounds of interviews you should anticipate (and at what point you will be interviewed by senior management), so you can gauge your progress during what can be an involved process.
  4. What is the compensation package? The right salary is essential; but it’s only part of your total compensation. Be sure to ask about performance bonuses (and the likelihood of achieving them), flexible work arrangements (like telecommuting), benefits and relocation assistance. Likewise, communicate your compensation and benefits needs to your recruiter. Open communication from the outset helps prevent issues later in the hiring process.
  5. How much experience do you have recruiting for this type of position? Recruiters come in all shapes and sizes. A firm that has successfully placed food & beverage executives in your role and discipline, like Kinsa, will better understand the requirements of the available position – and do a better job connecting you with the right opportunity.

Kinsa Group – the Right Recruiters for Your Executive Food & Beverage Job Search

For over 25 years, Kinsa Group has specialized in placing executives, vice presidents, directors, managers and professionals with top employers in the food and beverage industry. Our recruiters have the drive and experience to find you the right position for your expertise, only presenting opportunities that match your career interests and goals. Jump start your food & beverage job search with Kinsa today.

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