Know what to expect in an interview with a recruitment firm
By Selipha Kihagi
When preparing for a job interview in Kenya, most job seekers rehearse so much on common questions they forget the little details that matter. Is the interview with a recruitment firm or is it with the company you’ll be working for? Some even believe that there is no difference between the two, but truth is, they are distinct.
A job interview with the employer demands that you are familiar with the ins and out of the company, from their background to their recent project. This, however, may be difficult when you can’t find their website (yes, some companies still don’t have a functional website) or what you find dates back to 2 years and they do not appear in the Google Search.
On the other hand, when going to interview with a recruitment firm, you get to focus on your qualifications and skills instead of the employer’s background and what they are looking for. That right there is where the difference comes in.
So, how different is an interview with a recruitment firm?
1. With a recruitment firm, you do not know who the employer is
And not knowing is a good thing. Melody Mwendwa, a Professional Interview Coach at Corporate Staffing Services says not knowing who the employer is before an interview is a good thing for the candidate because you get to focus on your skills.
“A recruitment firm acts as a link between an employer and the candidate. They already understand what the employer is looking for in a new position, so they focus on how a candidate’s qualifications and skills match that of the job,” Melody says.
She adds that in an interview with a recruitment firm, the candidate is able to enjoy a more free interaction with the recruiter than they would with an employer.
2. Interview with a recruitment firm gives you a second chance
Job interviews have a way of bringing anxiety to even the most confident, and this could be the foundation of an interview gone wrong. However, this outcome can be different when the interview is more of a conversation as opposed to an interrogation. Such a conversational style is common in the interview with a recruitment firm.
“An Interview with a recruitment firm gives the job seeker an opportunity to find out more about what the employer is looking for. This becomes important because if and when the candidate meets the employer, they know how to present themselves better,” says Muthoni Ndegwa, a Client Service Manager.
It’s not every day you get a second chance at an interview, so be smart in your job hunt.
3. A recruitment firm will recommend you for a similar position
Sometimes the fear of failing in an interview is the fact that you are going to have to start the process a fresh. In an interview with a recruitment firm, you have a better chance of being recommended for another job other than the one you are interviewing for. How? When a recruiter is impressed by you but in the end another person gets the job, chances are they will recommend you for another similar position.
On the other hand, When the interview is with an employer, if for one reason or the other you do not make the cut, then you would have to wait for when another position comes up. And when it does, you have to go through the whole process of applying and waiting to be called for the interview. Why? Chances are that the employer will have forgotten about you by then, especially if you don’t follow up.
Job applications and passing interviews is all about being smart and having a strategy. Knowing what works in today’s job market and what doesn’t. Knowing where the jobs are and where they are minimal. When you interview with a recruitment firm, you are better advantaged for future positions. This, however, does not mean that you should not interview with an employer. No. To get a job in Kenya, you have to try whatever works.
Add a recruitment firm in your list of connections today and when you get to that interview, ask all the questions you can about where you are good at and where you are not. Some will even tell you which jobs you are best suited for.
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