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Top 10 Talent Acquisition Manager Interview Questions


8 min read

Uncover the key interview questions for finding high-performing talent acquisition managers, as well as a detailed guide to the role and what the ideal candidates look like.

HR manager interviewing candidate for a talent acquisition manager role

In this article, you will find:

  1. What is the role of a Talent Acquisition Manager?

  2. What makes a good Talent Acquisition Manager?

  3. What Questions to ask a Talent Acquisition Manager?

  4. Summary

What is the role of a Talent Acquisition Manager?

Talent Acquisition Managers play a key role in all businesses. The most important asset for any organization is its people. Therefore, developing effective recruitment strategies to identify, attract and hire top talent is critical.

The talent acquisition manager is responsible for aligning the recruitment strategy with the current and future hiring needs of the business. They oversee the filling of open roles in the short term with the goal of positioning their organization favorably in the long term. Hence, being confident that you are hiring the best talent acquisition manager available is crucial.

What makes a good Talent Acquisition Manager?

At TalentMesh, we spent significant time researching what an ideal talent acquisition manager looks like. We have surveyed multiple talent acquisition professionals, together with a leading I/O psychologist, to determine the following:

  1. A good personality fit for the talent acquisition manager role, and

  2. What responsibilities the role encompasses, and which hard skills are required to perform those responsibilities well

Personality fit

Our research shows that in terms of personality fit, a good talent acquisition manager should demonstrate emotional stability, conscientiousness, agreeableness and honesty/humility. These are regarded as the four most important overarching personality factors of a great talent acquisition professional.

There are a number of personality characteristics that fall under each of these factors. Below is a list of the most desired characteristics for the talent acquisition job group:

  1. Non-aggressiveness

  2. Dependability

  3. Politeness/Tact

  4. Deliberation

  5. Stress Tolerance

  6. Trustworthiness

  7. Empathetic

  8. Self-development

  9. Team player

  10. Punctuality

 Notice how most of these characteristics are people-orientated and that they are centered around communication and soft skills.

Roles and Responsibilities

What does a talent acquisition manager do? A talent acquisition manager handles many important tasks on a daily basis. Depending on the needs and size of the organization, they can include the following:

  1. Full Cycle Recruitment (Sourcing to Onboarding)

  2. Developing and implementing effective recruitment strategies for pipeline building and candidate outreach

  3. Leading and assisting onsite and offsite recruiting activities and events, including career fairs and campus recruitment

  4. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) management and administration

  5. Promoting employer branding and a strong candidate experience

  6. Coaching and managing a team of recruiters

  7. Tracking and analyzing recruitment performance

  8. Management of recruiting budget for external staffing agencies, advertisements, and recruiting tools


  1. Strong understanding of the end-to-end recruitment processes and the ability to streamline and improve existing processes

  2. Ability to think strategically to ensure the organization is well-positioned in the market to attract top talents

  3. Stakeholder management skills to influence and build relationships

  4. Strong verbal and written communication to effectively manage candidates and hiring managers

  5. Proficiency in HR management systems (HRMS) and applicant tracking systems (ATS)

  6. Strong knowledge of employment laws and regulations

 Of course, there will be nuances to what the ideal candidate looks like across different organizations, however, these insights can serve as a foundation for finding the ideal candidate and crafting relevant interview questions.

What Questions to ask a Talent Acquisition Manager?

Interview questions can generally be divided into two categories:

  1. Behavioral and personality-related questions: Behavioral questions are based on the premise that a candidate’s past behavior is a predictor of future behavior. They are designed to assess how a candidate has handled specific situations in the past, which can provide insight into the candidate’s personality, and how the candidate would fit into the organization.

  2. Experience and skills-related questions: Experience-related questions are based on the premise that by understanding the candidate’s experience, you can evaluate the candidate’s skill level. They should be designed so they evolve around the experience that is relevant to the role you are hiring for, which is driven by the responsibilities of the role.

We generally recommend focusing on experience and skills-related interview questions, as there are better and more accurate ways of determining a candidate’s personality fit for the role, than asking behavioral and personality-related questions during the interview (see below).

Personality-fit Interview Questions

It is hard to accurately identify personal qualities and organizational fit in a time-limited interview. Further, even if you had more time, it’s difficult to eliminate biases and maintain objectivity, so we generally recommend administering a personality test prior to the interview. This provides valuable insight into the candidate’s personality ahead of the interview, and good personality tests will also recommend personality-related questions based on the candidate’s actual personality results. We recommend only using personality tests that live up to the following criteria:

  1. They are based on a personality test framework that research has shown to provide strong results for hiring. The Big 5 personality test framework is an excellent example of this

  2. They have been validated by an I/O psychologist

  3. They are customized for the specific role (job group) you are hiring for


In summary, the talent acquisition manager plays an integral role in an organization’s process of identifying, attracting, and hiring top talents.

The ideal candidate for this role is found to have personality traits such as dependability, resilience, teamwork, and wisdom which are associated with the Big 5 factors of emotional stability, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and honesty/humility.

It is recommended that you focus on skills-based questions during the interview to assess whether a candidate has the right skill sets for the job. The 10 sample interview questions provided are particularly useful in this aspect as they are chosen to assess specific skill sets for the hiring of an exceptional talent acquisition manager.

The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.

Steve Jobs

Make exceptional hiring decisions

The interview, despite being crucially important, is still just one stage of the full hiring process. A process that can be time & resource-consuming, often based on subjective data, and prone to biases. This is why 46% of new hires fail within 18 months.

At TalentMesh, we help you avoid failed hires and find top performers by creating a bias-free recruitment process structured around quality talent assessment tools.

For our talent assessment, we’ve developed powerful pre-employment tests that highlight top talent to help our clients make exceptional hiring decisions.

We combine personality, aptitude, emotional intelligence, and skills tests to build a uniquely detailed and holistic picture of candidate potential.

Equipped with this knowledge, our clients have more confidence at every stage of the hiring process, and they’re more likely to make the right hire every time.

Philip Berg Frederiksen

Philip Berg Frederiksen

Co-Founder, COO at TalentMesh

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