How to nail your next recruitment agency interview
Reflecting on my experience, as a recruiter, of good, bad, and indifferent interviews, here's a few tips to take note of before your next agency interview.
An interview with a recruitment consultant can be daunting, especially if you’ve never met with an agency before. You want to make a lasting impression but you are completely unaware of what’s appropriate, how much you should reveal about yourself and how ‘personable’ you need to be.
Interviewing with a recruiter isn’t the same as going for a job interview, or is it?
The is a fine line between the two and there are definitely some aspects which should be treated the same – arriving on time, dressing the part, knowing your experience and having answers prepared to demonstrate your skills however, this is also an opportunity to be that bit more honest to make sure you are being put forward for the right roles.
It’s important to be honest with your consultant about your career goals, what motivates you and any other plans that will impact your work. Telling the recruiter what you think they want to hear will leave you feeling dissatisfied with the role you are placed in.
What do we expect a candidate to have prepared?
Your CV is the centre point of this interview. Make sure your experience is up to date, know your CV inside and out and be prepared for questions around gaps, short assignments and have an idea of what you want your next career move to be. Finding the right role for a candidate is a difficult task and it’s even harder if the candidate does not know what they want. You might not have an exact position or company you want to work for but by telling your recruiter what you enjoyed most about your previous roles will offer a good guideline.
Attitude is key
It would surprise you how many candidates come to interview equipped with a bad attitude. Whether you’re frustrated with the job market, sick of being pipped to the post, feel burdened by having to get out of bed at 9 am because it’s the only appointment your consultant had – leave it at the door. Be diplomatic when discussing your frustrations and remember your consultant is here to help you overcome these challenges, to find the right opportunity and to nail that next interview so be receptive to their feedback and open minded to their suggestions.
Does personal presentation play a role in the recruitment interview?
With the risk of sounding shallow - it’s important to put effort into your appearance when meeting with a recruiter. While your best suit and tie aren’t always necessary – ask your recruiter this before you meet them - it’s still important to give your consultant a sense of how you would present yourself in front of clients. If you are coming from work or you are coming in on short notice just let your consultant know in advance of your meeting that you will be dressed in your casuals.
A good recruiter should know their market, give constructive feedback and set you realistic expectations. There is no need to call your recruiter every day for an update, popping in a call or dropping an email every few weeks will be enough for them to keep you on their radar, you can be sure they are working in the background to find you a suitable role. If you made a good enough impression in the first place you can be sure recruiters don’t forget a good candidate easy.
Keep your consultant up to date with any changes in your circumstances – whether you move location, have reviewed your salary expectations, your notice period has changed or you have an offer on the table. It’s important your consultant knows this to tailor your job search.