While there are plenty of good recruiters out there who will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you find work. Liz Ryan recently wrote an article on what she deems inappropriate questions. Here are her suggestions for questions to avoid answering when contacted by recruiters.
Past or current salary
A recruiter should ask what your salary expectation or range is; however, there is no tangible reason for them to ask what you currently earn or have earned in the past, Ms Ryan says. Job specifications have pay scales for a reason and your skills and experience should be what determines your suitability for the role, not your ability to tick the right financial box.
Lowest accepted salary
On the subject of salary, you should not have to disclose the lowest salary you would be willing to work for. Ms Ryan says this sounds like intrusive information because it is, advising against supplying an answer.
Other interviews lined up?
This is not even remotely relevant, says Ms Ryan, especially since the recruiter won’t be telling you how many candidates they are putting forward for a role. Bad recruiters may try to push you to see whether you have received any offers yet; Ms Ryan suggests not telling them.
How old you are
Is this a relevant question? Ms Ryan thinks not, stating that this has nothing to do with the job and it is really none of the recruiter’s business in which year you were born or in which year you graduated. This information is readily available on your CV anyway; therefore, it should already be known.
How long you have been looking for work
Ms Ryan explains that there may be a common assumption that someone who has been looking for work for a prolonged period is becoming more desperate to secure a role and is therefore more likely to accept an offer that would otherwise be turned down. Her advice is to avoid this trap – know your worth and don’t disclose how long you have been in the market for a job.
Ms Ryan stresses that recruiters are contacting you for a reason – they are interested in your skills. Is she right in identifying these questions as inappropriate? While there are some potentially valid points, there is also something to be said for the thoroughness of recruitment professionals when searching for the ideal candidate. Are there questions that you would deem off-limits?
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