5. Interview practice

Tips on interview technique and even the opportunity to do practice interviews with the consultant can then follow. These can be invaluable, particularly if you have not had an interview for several years or have previously been turned down after interview and are not sure of the reasons why. As a trained interviewer the consultant can give you constructive feedback on how you are coming across, how to demonstrate your strengths effectively and even tips on what are good questions to ask. The consultant’s technical knowledge is also useful, as inevitably you will be asked technical questions in the real interview so it is a good idea to practice answering this type of question.

6. Post-interview review

Following the interview a good consultant will then gather your feedback on the interview, and crucially will ask about any questions you feel you could have answered better or concerns that you have. If there is any negative feedback from the company in these areas the consultant can then use the opportunity to reiterate what you meant to say.

7. Salary negotiations

Many candidates find it hard to negotiate successfully and again this is a process where the consultant can add value and do the negotiating on your behalf as well as checking any concerns or queries that you may have.

They will have a good feel for what is an appropriate level of salary for the position and so can ensure that your expectations & requests are realistic and make sure you receive an offer to fully reflect your abilities.

8. Decision time

Hopefully by this stage you will have several offers and now need to choose between them. Again the consultant can help with this process both by their knowledge of the company cultures, their advice on how each position may influence your long-term career, teasing out your main motivators etc.

Overall there are many areas where recruitment agencies can add value apart from the obvious one of knowing what vacancies are available. However standards of service can vary dramatically and it is important to find an agency that you can trust and will offer the benefits outlined above.