Interviewing With The Recruiting Agency

Posted: 11/13/2013

By: Elias Cobb, Quantix Recruiting Manager

Here are a few tips (based on people who have interviewed with us in the past) in regards to interviewing with the agency:

1) DO dress professionally. Even though it's not the end client, you still need to look professional. If you have a job and don't want everyone at work to ask, "Where are you interviewing?" when you come in wearing a suit, simply mention this to the recruiter. The mere fact you asked me how to dress for our meeting shows me you understand the need to be dressed professionally.

2) DON'T come in wearing flip-flops and a hat. That impresses no one.

3) DON'T get too comfortable with the recruiter in the interview. I have had people talk about politics, religion, etc., with me ostensibly because they felt very comfortable with me. I appreciate that you enjoy talking with me, but it is still inappropriate.

4) DO fill out the application. Many agencies have an application form that they require candidates to complete. We do that for a number of reasons: 1) once we require one candidate to do it, we have to have all candidates do it, 2) by signing it, you usually give us the right to verify the information you have provided, unlike simply handing us a resume and 3) it asks for information not included on your resume. When someone comes in and refuses to fill out the application and acts like it's a big waste of time, it doesn't make us want to work with that person. If you can't take 10 minutes to fill out an application, what kind of employee / consultant are you going to be on the client site?

5) DO call if you can't make it. We have quite a few candidates who never show up and we never hear from them regarding the meeting. Usually I see their resume months later and it is clear that they found another position and therefore did not need to come and meet with me. It's no big deal if you find another job; just call us and let us know you won't be here.

6) DO talk about your salary expectations. I have had candidates say, "Well, I'm negotiable. Just submit my resume and I'll talk about the salary later." In my experience, that never works. The client ALWAYS wants to know the required salary before they interview someone. Also, the old adage, "They who speak first, lose," in regards to salary is NOT true when dealing with a staffing agency. In most cases, recruiters get paid based on your salary. We are motivated to get you as much as possible, as long as it is within the client's salary range and isn't way out of line with your skills and compensation history. In a salary or rate discussion, start with what you were making at your last position and move on from there.

I think the overriding concept here is communication. I have found in my experience in this industry that people are usually more understanding than most of us think they will be. If an emergency situation comes up and you need to bring your kids to the interview with the agency, just call us and explain. If we can accommodate you, we will. If not, we will be happy to reschedule. Don't, however, just show up with your kids in tow. If you get lost, call us and let us know. Don't just show up 20 minutes late. Keep the lines of communication open and most of the time, everything will work out fine.