Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tips For Interviewing with a Placement Agency

You've spent hours searching for three agencies that meet all your criteria.

  1. Right location?
  2. Salary range fits with your requirements?
  3. Easy to contact?
Contact each one either online or by phone to sumbit your resume and set up an interview. You don't need to set up an interview for a particular position. It can be simply to register with the agency and see what is available and be placed on an active list.

Some may say, well it's just an agency they don't hire me. Well guess what, they are your first interview. The recruiter decides if you fit what the company is looking for based on the company's profile and job description. If you fit, the recruiter promotes you to the hiring manager and hopefully you get that second interview.

Yes, it has been said a million times however it is worth repeating a million more for those who miss the message.

Dress Properly
Clothes should be free of stains, holes, tears, or snags. Clean, crisp, and neat appearance makes for a great first impression.

Bring your resume
Just to be safe bring a few copies. The agency may only need one however it is always better to be prepared. Also, make sure your recruiter has an electronic copy has an electronic copy of your resume, preferably in Word format. Most hiring managers prefer to view resumes electronically.

Bring your drivers license and social security card or passport
These are normally only required by the agency if you will be working as a temp employee through them or on a temp to perm position. (Temp to perm means you technically work for the agency for a probationary period set by the hiring company.) Again, best to be prepared.

Prepare questions for the recruiter
If you've never worked with an agency this is the best time to learn about their practices and the procedures for temp, temp to perm or direct hire positions. If you are lucky enough to be interviewing for a particular position prepare questions pertaining to the position itself. This is your opportunity to make sure the position is really for you.

Remember you won't know anything about the hiring company unless you get that second interview with the company. Then you need to do your homework, check out the companys website, read their history or about us section and learn all you can.

Thank you
Yes, send a thank you note. Just a quick email thank you will work well. Thank the recruiter for her time, restate your interest in working with her and the agency and restate your interest in the position you were interviewing for, if you were there for a particular posting.

The best thing I have learned from my experience working with agencies is when you find a recruiter that is willing to spend a few extra minutes going over your resume with you, listen carefully. It is a simple concept - the recruiter receives the postings for open positions and speaks with the hiring managers going over their requirements for the position.

Simply put - the recruiter knows what the hiring manager wants in a applicant, trust their advice.

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