Interviewing Protocol: A Refresher on the Dos and Don’ts

While it’s something pounded into the minds of most jobseekers, the list of interview dos and don’ts is extensive and always worthy of re-mentioning. The interview is one of the single most important aspects on landing the position, second to your resume. The interview, whether a phone interview or in-person, gives recruiters and hiring managers their first true impressions of you. It’s the time when you can make or break an opportunity.


Dress professionally. Unprofessional attire, including your hairstyle and accessories, can lead an interviewer to the wrong conclusion (or right conclusion, depending on how you look at it). In short, dress to impress. This is your golden opportunity to shine. If you’re unsure of the business’ dress code or standard, kick it up a notch. A safe bet for most positions is a shirt and tie for gentlemen, slacks or a nice skirt and top for females. Wear closed-toe shoes and keep costume jewelry to a minimum (for many positions, but certainly not all).


Chew gum or bring in a drink. Chewing gum just prior to the interview is an ideal way to freshen breath, but be sure to dispose of it before you meet your interviewer. This goes for phone interviews, as well. Even if you’re not actively chewing the gum, there is a distinct difference in your annunciations and speaking when you have something in your mouth.


Listen intently to your interviewer and be sure you understand all of the questions. They have important questions for you and your answers could make or break your opportunity.


Interrupt your interviewer. Wait until he is done speaking to bring up any concerns or ask for further clarification. If you’re participating in a phone interview, never put the interviewer on hold or ask for them to “hold on for a moment.”


Bring your cell phone into an interview. There are some instances when a cell phone may be needed during an interview, particularly if you are going to be filling out paperwork and need specific information that is stored on your phone. If this is the case, ensure your phone is on silent (SILENT, turn off the vibration, too).


Remember the interviewer is a person, just like you, but one that is playing an integral part in your future. Smile, indulge in their small jokes (if they offer them) and be friendly, yet professional. This is a relationship-building procedure, even if you won’t have contact with the interviewer after you’ve received the position. This is your chance to show off your personality (professionally) to help you build a relationship with your potential employer.

The goal is to impress your interviewer and land the job. This means being professional throughout the entire duration of the interview, making eye contact, smiling and showing the interviewer that you have what it takes to be part of their team.

Job Seekers: Is a Staffing Firm the Right Choice for You?

The job market is ever-changing, which is good for some but confusing to others. Working with a staffing firm may be something you’ve never seriously considered, but for many of today’s workforce, the choice to work with a staffing firm has opened considerable doors in the way of their careers.

A staffing firm allows you to take advantage of many benefits you might otherwise be missing out on. For example, working with a staffing firm allows someone else to do much of the legwork in finding the perfect positions, whether they’re contract or direct-hire positions.


Building a relationship with a staffing firm allows you to get in on some of the best positions out there — ones that you’re not likely to find while scouring the various job boards and other leads available. The staffing firm works closely with both you and hiring companies, assessing your skills and the company’s culture to ensure the best fit.

Many people who work exclusively with staffing firms enjoy the flexibility of contract positions, being able to work in different companies. This also works well for the hiring companies; companies are able to stay fully staffed during their busiest times, ensuring that you, the employee, is busy and has a satisfying position during the duration of the placement.

Even if contract or temporary positions don’t seem appealing to you at the moment, consider the possibility of a rewarding connection with a company. Many contract positions can lead to permanent positions (not all, but many). Contract positions also help you hone your skills and develop long-lasting relationships (whether you end up with a permanent position or not).


Finally, another benefit of working with a staffing firm is more job security, especially if it has been difficult finding a position that matches your skills and career goals. Staffing firms have the inside leads on many positions with great companies. Their expertise and client base allows you to be able to find other positions much more quickly than if you were searching on your own.



While it may be a daunting thought to start working with a staffing firm and you may have questions regarding the benefits of doing so, chances are it will work out in a positive manner and potentially reward you with amazing career boosts.

Benefits of Staffing Services

Staffing firms offer a long list of benefits to both those searching for the perfect position and the companies looking to hire. For candidates, a staffing firm can provide the peace of mind of knowing someone else is on your side and dedicated to finding the perfect position for your desires and skill levels. For companies looking to hire, staffing firms have relationships with candidates and can help ensure you’re making the right choice when it comes to filling those difficult positions.


Most staffing firms offer pre-employment screening and also screen candidates’ skill levels. For the candidate, this means that the staffing firm knows everything you have to offer. For companies, this takes some of the pressure off because someone else is doing the leg work. Pre-employment and skills screenings allow staffing firms to quickly know which of their potential candidates is going to get the job done. This relieves pressure on the hiring company and prevents some of the adverse effects from a wrong hire.

Many companies don’t have the time or resources to thoroughly screen every potential candidate. Many staffing companies go a step further, ensuring that everything on the candidate’s resume is a fit for your company, down to assessing how proficient the candidate is in the technical and other skills listed on his resume.

Long-term Relationships

A quality staffing firm has a low internal turnover, meaning that both candidates and hiring companies can build a relationship with an account manager. As these long-term relationships grow, the account manager, candidates and hiring companies learn more about each other, allowing the staffing firm to quickly make the right connection.

Long-term relationships are invaluable, especially with a staffing firm account manager. Because they have taken the time to get to know your desires, skills and personality, the connections made become more focused on finding the right person for the company AND the position, not simply placing someone based on skill alone.

Bigger Selection

For both candidates and hiring companies, one of the key benefits of working with a staffing firm is that the staffing firm has a larger pool of both candidates and potential positions. Because most staffing firms are dedicated to one or a couple of industries, they are able to quickly match prospects with each other. No more wading through job boards looking for a position — or looking at resumes that don’t fit your position; the staffing firm is already on it.


Working with a staffing firm offers both sides an assortment of key benefits, allowing for ideal connections. A staffing firm can make the job-seeking or hiring processes less painful and less time consuming for both parties.


Finding and Hiring a Staffing Firm

You’ve decided it’s time to hire a staffing firm, but where do you begin? There are dozens of staffing firms available, most specializing in a select few industries. Before hiring a staffing firm, interview your candidates to help you find the perfect fit.

Like hiring an employee for your company, hiring a staffing firm requires asking the right questions and getting enough answers to make an educated decision. Here are a few questions to ask before making the commitment.

Are you an expert in my industry?

This is important for obvious reasons. Many staffing firms are dedicated to a specific industry or a small handful. Examples may include firms who specialize in accounting, administrative, technology or human resources. Hiring a staffing firm that is dedicated to your industry — or the position(s) you have available will help ensure finding the right candidate in a short amount of time.

What is your employee culture like/turnover?

While this may not seem important at first, it is. A staffing firm with a high internal turnover rate means you risk not being able to make a long-term relationship with an account manager. This is also detrimental to potential candidates. One of the greatest things about a staffing firm is that you can work with a dedicated account manager who learns what you’re looking for as far as personality, skills, experience. A long-term relationship allows you (and the candidates) to become familiar with the account manager, allowing account managers to find the perfect fit based on a wide range of criteria.

How satisfied are your employees (the candidates for YOUR company)?

Again, while this may not seem important to your company, it is. A staffing firm with high marks from its talent pool means they are doing something right. Dissatisfied employees means that somewhere along the line, the staffing firm isn’t making the right connections between talent and the hiring companies.


Once you’ve received and reviewed the answers to your questions, you are able to make an educated hire and help ensure that you are making the best choice for your company. Knowing the values the staffing firm holds while also feeling confident about the potential for a rewarding, long-lasting relationship can ease the stress of filling those sometimes difficult positions.


Why Hire a Staffing Firm?

If you’ve never used a staffing firm before and are considering it, you may be a bit lost when it comes to the details or asking yourself questions. Will it work? Is it worth my time and investment? How do I choose? How does a staffing firm work?

You’re not alone, but the answers to these — and other — questions are simple. Many staffing firms work within a specific field, such as Accounting and Finance. Depending on the position you’re looking to fill or the type of company you’re hiring for, the right staffing firm can help you find not only someone who is qualified for your open position, but someone who will fit your company’s profile.

The art of the staffing firm is to match people with careers. It sounds simple enough, but dedicated staffing firms allow both the job candidate and the hiring company to work with someone who is dedicated to making the right connection. A staffing agent gets to know the candidates and the open position, ensuring that not only will your company get a qualified person, but there is a greater possibility of finding a candidate whose personality and past experience fits with the job.

Turn Down the Pressure

The best staffing firms don’t simply have the resumes of candidates; they perform skill-matching assessments and pre-employment screenings. This opens up the possibilities for you while freeing up some of your much-needed time and energy.

Hiring a staffing firm takes some of the pressure off of you, the hiring company. This is particularly true in the case of hard-to-fill positions. In many cases, the hiring company becomes nearly desperate to fill these types of positions, often ending up with the wrong hire. A staffing firm allows you to hire a professional to seek out the right candidate through thorough candidate researching and experience in the field. Risk is also reduced because the hiring is in the hands of the firm, not you.


Hiring a staffing firm can save your company time, energy and money by allowing the firm to find the perfect candidate, essentially reducing the risk of hiring the wrong person and the adverse effects from such a hire.