How many times have you had to say this eloquent line when recruiting? I have had my share. The goal of running a professional desk is to make sure that you don’t say this very often. But by nature of our work with people, it is still going to happen. Yes, there are going to be times when you cannot get away from it. But if you really pay attention it can be avoided. And how can this be done? Simply put, ask more questions!

Too often the new recruiter will start to hear some positive answers to their questions and get caught up falling directly into the trap. They stop asking the harder and more direct questions. They don’t take it a step further and just ask a simply “why?” after they get an answer…then wait and listen. Don’t talk first, just let the question hang in the air and see what comes out. That subtle pressure can do a lot to move someone to put out some real useful information about their motives and decision making.

The seasoned recruiters can also get caught believing that they have heard enough and that their years of experience tells them that they have heard all they need to hear. But we know that this can still create a WTF! situation if we are not careful. When I take a new applicant, or client for that matter, I make sure to ask hard questions on every call even if it takes a call or two to get all the answers:

“Have you been talking to any other recruiters since our last conversation?”

“Who else has your resume?”

“Have you told your family that you are considering a new job?”

“What don’t you like about the position you interviewed for?”

“If you don’t get a new job now, what is your next plan?”

“Are you ready to lose the opportunity for this position?”

There are many more that I can think of but please let us know some of your favorites. Bottom line don’t get WTF’ed. Our job is hard enough and just a few more simple, harder questions can make it all the easier.

What are your favorite tough questions?

By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.