Is meeting with a recruitment agency a “real” interview?
Whether you’re interviewing with a recruitment agency as a general registration or for a specific role, it’s important to treat it exactly as you would when interviewing with the employer.
The reality of it is, recruitment agencies are engaged by clients to fill a specific need and are trusted that the candidates they represent will fill that need. It’s up to the recruiter to make a judgement on how suited you will be for both the role and the culture of the organisation.
For this reason, it’s important that you put as much effort in when meeting with a recruitment agency as you would when meeting with the client. All the same rules apply:
1. Take the meeting seriously, don’t say things like “Oh, I wouldn’t say this in a real interview”;
2. Do your research on both the recruiter and the role you have applied for;
3. Know your CV inside and out. Be prepared to answer questions around why you left past employers and the value you added during your time there;
4. Dress appropriately, this means no singlets, short skirts or open toe shoes. This is equally as important for temporary roles as it is for permanent roles. Even though you may only be working for a firm on a short-term basis, it’s important that you are professionally presented at all times. You never know who you might meet or what doors your temporary assignment might open!
5. Be honest. While your recruiter is assessing your fit for the client, they also want to ensure they put you in a role that you are going to be happy in. Don’t just say what you think they want to hear, like “I thrive in a fast-paced environment” if you actually would be happier somewhere a little slower paced.
6. Appreciate the time your recruiter has spent meeting with you and always arrive on time;
7. In the event that you need to reschedule an interview with your recruiter, treat it the same way you would reschedule an interview with your future employer. Saying things like “I need to reschedule our meeting because I have a real interview now” will only make it look like you’re not committed to finding a new role and it’s highly likely that the recruiter won’t be willing to represent you to their client.
It’s important to remember that quite often, clients will give roles exclusively to recruitment agencies rather than advertising themselves, so meeting with an agency will only increase your changes of securing a new role. You don’t want to miss an opportunity, so always come prepared to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.