15 Jul Preparing for a Staffing Agency Interview: Know These 5 Things
Whether you are actively in the job market, or even just considering a new opportunity, you have probably started thinking about the interview process (and if you haven’t, you should be). If you have a staffing agency interview, you should consider what might be different from a traditional job interview.
No matter how impressive your credentials and how solid your recommendations; you almost certainly will have to convince a potential employer that you’re the right candidate during an interview. Interviews give your future boss all kinds of information about you: are you prompt? Courteous? Professional? Eloquent? Engaging? And that’s not even about the substance of the interview – what your actual experience and skill sets are and how they align with what the company is looking for.
A lot of the tips for interviewing for a traditional job are applicable to a temp position as well. But you might want to modify your answers and be prepared for a few questions that are specific to short term employment when you are prepping for a staffing agency interview.
5 Things to Remember for a Great Staffing Agency Interview
1. A job is a job is a job. Treat this interview with the same seriousness and professionalism as a permanent position. Whether the role is for six weeks or six years, everyone wants to see that the person they hire will be dressed appropriately, show up on time and can articulate why they want the job (hint: the answer isn’t “I need the money.”).
2. Dress the best. Increasingly, offices are employing a policy of casual attire, and if you are specifically told so, you may dress casually for the interview. But — casual attire means not a suit.
[bctt tweet=”Casual attire does not mean shorts, sneakers, old t-shirts, flip-flops or tank tops.”]
A simple button down shirt and a pair of well-fitted pants or knee-length skirt will do (or a simple dress for women). If in doubt, wear a tie, gentlemen. Ladies, easy on the perfume – some people are allergic or simply very sensitive to strong scents.
3. Know thyself. You should be prepared to answer why you want a job with a staffing agency, or, if the agency has sent you on an interview with one of their clients, why you want that role. Have an answer ready.
Research the company in advance and identify something that you find interesting about the organization – their core values, their mission statement, the areas of specialization, their history . . . something. Just as they want to know why they should pick you, they also want to know why you are picking them.
4. Don’t come up short on why you’re working short term. If you are asked on a staffing agency interview about your interest in temporary work instead of permanent employment, answer honestly. But your answer can’t sound desperate.
[bctt tweet=”Don’t say, “I couldn’t find a real job.” Instead, explain, “I’m interested in the potential of this role turning permanent.” “]
Or, “I would like to see multiple employment environments before I decide where I want to be long term.”
5. Be ready to represent. Don’t forget that part of the staffing agency interview is not just about being a good fit with that agency (having the right experience, availability, compensation goals) but also about being the right kind of candidate for their clients. Your interview with the agency is a rehearsal for an interview for specific jobs.
When you go into a temporary assignment, you represent the staffing agency brand. They have made commitments about what kind of talent they can deliver. And you need to meet those expectations.
Prepare thoroughly, but stay calm.
Leave yourself plenty of time to allow for traffic or a missed bus. Have extra copies of your resume. Make sure your phone is fully charged, but on silent or vibrate. And then relax. The interviewer is a person, too, and they want to meet someone who is approachable and personable.
So smile, make eye contact and don’t fidget. People hire people they want to work with. And you’re that person, right?