16. What are your monthly expenses?
Your current financial situation is of no concern of your recruiter. If you tell a recruiter you are running low on funds, it may be passed on, and employers will be able to use this information to their negotiating advantage. If you pass on this information, it’s much more likely to hurt you than help you.
A recruiter should not require a bank statement from you as proof of your current salary. If a recruiter does request it, make sure you delete any other details that reveal your financial situation. This is none of the recruiter’s business. How you choose to spend your salary is entirely up to you and has nothing to do with your job application. It’s not up to a recruiter to worry if you are living within your means.
All a future employer needs to know is that you’re qualified for the job and your salary requirement fits their pay scale. As long as they know what salary you expect, they definitely do not need to know whether it will cover your living expenses or anything else of that nature. They can either make you a realistic salary offer or hire somebody else.
Many professional recruiters would not dream of requesting your financial details. They are aware that this information is as private as their clients’ payroll information. Some U.S. cities have even banned the practice of asking for past salaries of job applicants. Requesting personal financial details goes far beyond what’s acceptable to any professional recruiter. The best professional recruiters won’t tolerate being asked by their clients to pry into a candidate’s finances.
17. Can you tell me more about yourself and your living circumstances?
If asked to reveal personal details, you may want to touch briefly on your interests, hobbies and pastimes. Recruiters don’t need to know whether you’re living with your boyfriend, family, husband or partner. They do not need to know if your parents are helping you financially. Also off-limits are your sexual orientation, your religion or your socioeconomic background.
Your age also has nothing to do with your suitability for a position. Recruiters can extrapolate that anyway from your resume, but it’s rude for them to ask. You don’t need to provide this information for them to determine whether you’re qualified for the job. It implies your age could influence an employer’s decision.
Don’t send out desperate signals by over-sharing, even if a recruiter seems to want to know. This is particularly true if they keep telling you to trust them. Emotional aspects of your personal life, such as a divorce or a loss, are private.
Don’t feel forced to speak about family problems or break-ups. It’s no business of the recruiter if you are a single mom with an abusive ex-husband. You can state you’re a single mom to make it clear that certain working hours are better for you. Some recruiters enjoy prying at personal details, but many consider extremely unprofessional and won’t ask for this information. They should only ask you questions directly related to the position.
18. How long have you been job-hunting?
Why would a recruiter want to know this? For the same reason real estate agents want to know how long a house has been on the market. The longer it has been standing, the more desperate the owner becomes. Many recruiters assume you’re desperate if you’ve been looking for a job for a long time.
Being asked this question can feel like a trap. You don’t want to make the recruiter think you’ve been looking forever and no one is interested in you. How should you answer? You could say you’ve been very selective about the right job or you made the conscious decision to take some time off.
Maybe you’ve been busy consulting since you left your last job. It doesn’t matter exactly how you got paid. It is nobody’s business but yours. The recruiter should not have power over you because you’ve been job-hunting for months. They should not be able to pressure you into any job or a lower salary.
You have to realize you are talented and capable and even if you haven’t been employed for a while. It can often take months to find the right job, and this does not mean you should be undervalued. If you know your value, your confidence won’t be undermined by an unprofessional recruiter and inappropriate questions. You will stick to your guns and continue pushing for the best job with a salary you deserve.