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Working with Recruitment Agencies – Part 3: Interviewing with your Consultant

Jul 28, 2016 | Blog


When you use the services of a recruitment agency, you will be required to have an ‘interview’ with the recruitment consultant assigned to you. This interview is a crucial step for a variety of reasons. Primarily, it is an opportunity to make sure that both you and your recruitment consultant are on the same page in terms of your expectations and preferences. However, there is more to meeting with your recruitment consultant than many think.

Presentation counts 

When meeting with your recruitment consultant, make sure you present yourself well, bring along all requested documents, and be prepared to answer extensive questions regarding your job history, skills, weaknesses and career path. The consultant will take this meeting into consideration as a strong indicator on how you will present yourself to a client in a formal interview. The answers you give will not only provide your recruitment consultant with your goals and aspirations, but it will give them the insight and information they need to be able to select the right roles to put you up for. This ultimately improves your chances of getting the right job for you, while minimising any wasted time for all parties involved.

Building a relationship 

This initial interview is also a time for you to build up a rapport with your consultant. It is vital that you are honest about previous roles that you have not enjoyed, issues you have had and areas that you have struggled in before. If you have had a previous employer that was difficult to work with, tell your recruitment consultant. The consultant is uniquely positioned to listen to your experiences. They aren’t there to judge you, they are simply there to make highly educated decisions about the best path to take with the background you have. Upon hearing the details, the consultant can get a good understanding of your history and coping strategies.  As in any interview, however, it is not appropriate to ‘bad mouth’ or ‘skinner’ about previous employers or colleagues. Any criticism you feel it necessary to make must be expressed in a constructive and professional manner.

Honesty really is the best policy

When discussing roles that the consultant has on offer, be honest about both your concerns and excitement. Establishing a strong and clear communication dynamic from the start will really help the consultant in assisting you. If you hold back on expressing your concerns, you risk being put up for jobs that won’t suit you, or that you won’t be eligible for. Your recruitment consultant can only work off the information you provide, so work together with them to ensure that both of you are on the same page.

Interviewing with a recruitment consultant can be not only one of the most important steps in the application process, but one of the most enjoyable. It’s great interview practice in a relaxed setting with someone who has exactly the same goal as you – gainful employment in a job you love. It’s also a brilliant source of expert advice on things such as formal interviews, presentations and career plans. As recruitment consultants, we want to form a friendly, open and honest relationship with you, our client, and for this, we need your commitment!


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