Posted by: deltadallas | January 31, 2011

Interviewing with Staffing Agencies: Make An Impression

Do you want to know the difference between an average candidate and a stellar candidate? Effort. Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” If you are going on an interview, you need to be prepared to prove that you will you bring value to the person you are interviewing with. This includes your efforts with staffing firms. Staffing firms expect that you will be as attentive and professional in their interview as you would be with one of their clients.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to observe when you interview with a staffing agency.

DO impress the receptionist.
The receptionist is observing your behavior from the moment you call in, to the second you step through the door. Speak clearly and treat the receptionist with the respect that you would expect if you were in their position.

DO dress professionally.
Last week, a new grad came in unannounced to meet with a recruiter. No kidding – she had flip-flops on and a sports bra. I am sure that most of you who are reading this would not make such a choice. Always make sure that you look professional when you meet with a recruiter. Always.

DO bring a current copy of your resume.
You may have sent your resume to your recruiter via email. However, you never want to go to an interview without a copy of your resume.

DON’T complain about the agency’s process.
Each agency will have a process to make sure that you are registered and eligible to work the moment that something becomes available. Questions about the process are always welcome, but outward frustration about the length of a form or filling out information that is “already on your resume” is unacceptable. Refusal to follow application, interview, and testing procedures will your recruiter and the agency the impression that you might be difficult as an employee and that you lack motivation. An honest question about an element of the paperwork is fine, but try not to be put out by process.

DO prepare for the interview.
There are many questions that can be expected in a standard interview. Expect to be asked about your previous jobs and your reasons for leaving. Expect that they will ask you what your salary requirements are. Be prepared to discuss what you feel are your strengths and weaknesses are. …etc. Having an answer ready before you walk into an interview is always helpful. You won’t be able to anticipate every question, but you will be prepared for the bulk of the interview.

DON”T slam your past employers
Just don’t do this. Ever. You can explain your reason for leaving in a graceful way. If you slam your past employers it might seem that you could be difficult.

DO keep your skills sharp
If you are looking for an administrative position…don’t go three months without daily typing. You may be out of work, but if you do not keep up your skills, your recruiter will have a difficult time referring you to his/her clients.

The bottom line is this: Your recruiter is being paid a fee to bring his/her clients the best candidates in the market. When you meet with your recruiter, you need to bring your best to the table. Your recruiter will respect you for it, and your likelihood of finding a job will increase exponentially.

Tabitha Woods is Marketing Coordinator for Delta Dallas. Reach her at


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