How to Prepare for an Interview with a Staffing Agency

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Published: 08th October 2012
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Interviewing for a job at a staffing agency is both similar to and different from interviewing for any other kind of job. In a sense, it is similar because you need to be well prepared, and be able to speak confidently and in detail about your transferable skills and experience. You’ll need to have a proper understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, availability and preferences. What makes preparing for an interview with a staffing agency different is that you are not necessarily interviewing for one specific job.


Staffing agencies look for employees with a broad skillset that they believe will be able to succeed in a number of positions within their field of focus. For example, the staffing experts at ABL Employment tend to look for potential recruits that will be able to succeed in general labour jobs, like packaging jobs, automotive jobs, assembly jobs and so on. Other employment agencies may focus more on finding temp jobs in different areas, like administrative work, for example.


Before going in for an interview with an employment agency, it is important to do your research! Understanding what field of work their temp jobs tend to focus on is key in landing a job with one of these agencies. Remember that all staffing agencies are looking for demonstrated reliability and flexibility. Being able to discuss how your skills and past work experience could be an asset for the type of positions that may be offered to you by an agency could be what gets you the job in the end!


In addition to doing research about the employment agency prior to your interview, it is important to write your résumé with that staffing agency in mind. Be sure to showcase any experience or skills you may have in order of relevancy. If you have little or no work experience, remember to add your volunteer work and co-op placements to the résumé: highlight the transferable skills you learned there. That said, what you put on your résumé is up to your discretion—but keep in mind who you’re showing it to! Many staffing agencies, such as ABL Employment, offer an online pre-application. By attaching your resume when you pre-apply, the technology will catalogue the words in your resume so that your name will come up for consideration of jobs that match those words. If you don’t have a résumé, be sure to complete the job history part of the online application thoroughly and be prepared to speak confidently and in detail about your previous experience and skills.


References show your interviewer that you are really serious about getting the job. A reference can be a previous manager, a co-op placement supervisor, a volunteer coordinator or even a teacher or coach: Anyone who can vouch for your dependability, punctuality and willingness to learn and improve. Arriving at your interview with the contact information for a reference will show your eagerness for the position. If you’re new to Canada, consider adding email contact info for your references from your home country.


Other things you can do to is dress neatly and arrive on time. With a temporary staffing firm, if you are successful at the interview, you will be asked to provide your payroll information so that you are all set to go out to work. Be prepared by bringing your government issued picture ID and Social Insurance (and work permit if applicable) with you to your interview. For more tips on how to prepare for an interview with a staffing agency, ask one of the employee recruiters at ABL Employment.


ABL Employment is a staffing agency with locations in Hamilton, Brampton, North York, London, Woodstock, Milton, Halton, Woodstock and now, Vancouver. Specializing in general labour jobs, ABL Employment offers packaging jobs, industrial labour jobs and automotive jobs in Hamilton and the GTA. To find out more, go to the ABL Employment website and search for Hamilton Jobs and Halton Jobs.

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