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.