Q&A: Interviewing with a Recruiting Firm


Q:  So I applied for a job today and got an interview for tomorrow (with a recruitment agency).  The job isn’t with the recruitment agency itself but on another companies behalf.  The recruitment agency specialises in ad hoc jobs for your people and students.  Would this interview be the same as an interview with a typical company?  What questions would they ask me and what questions should I ask them?  Thank you in advance:)

A:  Lollypop, your question is actually a very good one.  It is not uncommon for companies who anticipate a large number of applicants to enlist the assistance of an outside firm –like the recruiting firm you are interviewing with– to help them filter through the sea of applications they receive and to vet the would-be candidates on their behalf.  For that reason, although you are not interviewing directly with the company, I would advise you to put your best foot forward.

Like a sister who’s questioning possible dates for her beloved brother, the recruiting firm will be asking all of the questions they can to ensure that they offer the best recommendations to the hiring organization.  They will likely ask you about your work history, why you are interested in the position they are considering you for, and for examples of your work ethic, how you handle yourself in various situations, and what you consider your strengths and weaknesses.  You should be prepared to ask the recruiter the same questions you would ask the hiring company directly.  These questions should be relevant to whatever concerns you may genuinely have about going to work for them (“If hired, when do I start?”, “How many others are you considering for the position?”, “Will the hours be flexible?”.  In addition to these, you may also consider asking if there will be additional interviews with the hiring company, although it is very possible that this interview may be the only one you have before beginning the job.  

Knock ’em dead tomorrow! 


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