Agency Interview – Should you ever go for One?

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Agency Interview

Have you been called in for an IT agency interview before they will send you forward to a client?

Do you go? Should you go?

I would have to say right at the beginning that the agency interview is almost a complete waste of time,

Well, almost!

I used to go to these early in my career, sometimes traveling a long way, only to find that very little came out of them.

In fact I often found that they lasted about 15 minutes. That’s after I had needed to set aside a whole morning or afternoon (or sometimes both) just to get there.

No Advantage to IT Contractors

Agencies tend to bring IT contractors in just to have a look at them to see if they are presentable. Or so that they can say to the client that they ‘know‘ the freelancer involved and can describe them.

Any advantage to the contractor is extremely marginal.

In fact they are more likely to lose work rather than gain work.

If IT agencies can‘t see you over the phone, they will always put you forward if suitable. Whereas if they bring you in to have a look then they might not put you forward.

They are extremely unlikely to give you preference over others just because they have seen you.

Only Exception for the Agency Interview

The only exception that I would make to this is if an IT agency has a real ‘˜in‘ with a client.

If an IT client has a sole supplier, and it is this agency, then the agency will want to be a little cautious before they send somebody into their prime client.

Of course, you will almost certainly have to do a client interview as well as the agency interview. However, often the ‘say so‘ of a sole trusted agent is important.

That agent will want to take some extra care to make sure they have got someone who will be acceptable to the favourite client.

No Competition with Other IT Contractors

There would be one other circumstance when I would go for an agency, as well.

That would be when there is not competition for the position, i.e. it is a case of the agency having an ‘in‘ but is not necessarily sole supplier.

If the agency tells you that it is a case of ‘if the client likes you they will take you‘ rather than you being in competition with others, then the agency obviously wants to make sure that you won‘t screw things up for him or her at the client‘s.

Forwarding IT Contractors

However, in all other circumstances that I can think of, i.e. in the usual case where agencies are putting in contractors against other agencies, then it is just now worthwhile going to visit them for an agency interview.

It is a complete no-no to go and see an agency when they don‘t have anything definite for you.

In the worst circumstance, you may have been brought in by someone who just wants to show their boss that they are busy.

If any of our readers can think of other circumstances where they would go to meet an agency, or if any recruiters disagree or have anything then can add, please do so in our Comments.

What about our readers? Do you go for an Agency interviews?

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