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You've applied for a job through a recruitment agency. What happens next?

Intro 18/04/2016

When you apply for a job through a recruitment agency, you set in train a series of professional activities.

First of all, you should receive an immediate response, which could simply be an automated recognition that your contact has been received or a personal response with a little more information and, on occasion, inviting you in to meet.

If you haven’t heard after two working days then pick up the telephone and ask what’s going on. Do not be afraid to keep yourself front of mind.

If you fit the required profile, the agency will want to meet you and discuss your credentials for the job. You should treat this agency interview in exactly the same way as you would the interview with an employer.

The consultant’s job is to provide a number of appropriate candidates for the position. A good recruitment consultant is trusted to conduct the first interview on behalf of the client. It is vital that you attend this personal interview. As well as the opportunity to present your case more forcefully, you will also demonstrate your motivation and commitment.

Another benefit gained from the agency interview is, that if the consultant feels you are right for the role, they will give you a thorough briefing on what to expect at the employer interview. The consultant will be able to tell you about the organisation, the people you might be working with, and might even give you an idea of the interview questions you can expect.

Make sure you have plenty of questions of your own to ask. And, not just about salary, holidays and other benefits! One question to ask, at the end of the interview is “Am I suitable to be put forward to client?” If the answer is “No”, feel free to ask the consultant about his reasons for not putting your name forward. His answers might not be what you want to hear but they will be invaluable to you in future applications. Remember, the consultant is experienced in assessing people and their CVs and you can learn a lot about yourself and your prospects from them.

If you are shortlisted, make a note of exactly when your CV was sent together with the name of the client. Don’t give your permission for your CV to be sent anywhere unless you know where it is being sent.

Ask the consultant when you can expect the client interviews to be held; put a reminder of the date in your diary and be sure to follow it up.

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