Is it weird for a recruiter to want to interview me before the company?

I got an interesting job lead from a recruiter yesterday, but he wants me to come in and meet him today before going into the “real” interview with the company tomorrow. I don’t recall that ever happening before; is it unusual? They did give me the information on the company that wants to interview me, so I don’t think it’s a scam or anything.

It isn’t that unusual. I work as a contractor, and occassionally have to interview with the agency before going to the client if its the first time I’ve worked through them. Normally its just to make sure that you are presentable and aren’t going to reflect badly on the agency that put you forward.

It can be quite useful, especially if it is an informal interview. If the agency has already put people forward for the role, and has an established relationship with the company, they can give you hints based on what the client has said about other interviewees. Its in their interests to make suer someone gets the job.

Good luck with the interviews!


This happened to me once. They will probably want to do a mock interview with you. The recruiter will point out things that may help you in the interview. The recruiter will also critique your dress, mannerisms, and your responses to the interview questions.

If you blow the “mock” interview, you might find out that the “real” interview has been “rescheduled” for a later date.

Sorry, “suer” should be “sure”. I even previewed. <bangs head on desk>


I’m usually more impressed by a recruiter who wants to take the time to find out whether a candidate is a good match before sending them in to an interview. There are a lot of aspects of a job that simply do not show up on a resume and cover letter–particularly in regards to personalities and corporate culture.

Doing a bit of pre-screening allows the recruiter to prepare the applicant for the type of culture (and, sometimes, boss’s personality) he or she will encounter while also filtering out obvious mismatches (or, at least, giving the prospective employer a heads up about the applicant).

Of course, some cruddy recruiters will make you jump thrugh the same hoop to “look” professional when they are actually mining your knowledge for future contacts, so a recruiter interview is not a guarantee of quality.

Thanks for the info. I have to go wash my Interview Pants now. :cool:

It’s not at all unusual. I had one such pre-interview yesterday (turns out the recuiter is my down-stairs neighbor), and it gave me a good chance to find out what the company is looking for, and to tweak my resume before actually interviewing tomorrow.

Not unusual at all, in my experience.

These initial interviews are even more prevelant when you are talking about a retained search situation. For some jobs, a company will conduct a “retained” search where they pay the recruiter regardless of whether they choose one of the candidates or not. In this type of situation, it’s actually more important to impress the recruiter, in my opinion. In a retained search, if you can impress the recruiter in the initial interview and become his “preferred” candidate, you will get a huge boost. In the past, if I’ve learned that a recruiter is doing this type of search, I’ve always really put my all into the pre-interview to impress him. When I’ve done this, I’ve always gotten an offer from the hiring company.


Good luck! I hope those Interview Pants are magic pants.

Actually, the only thing that I find unusualy is that you already have a scheduled interview with the company BEFORE the interview with the recruiter.

The reason I pay recruiters is because I expect them to screen out the candidates that aren’t worth my time. The get paid a lot of money by my company to first filter out all bad resumes and then after make sure that the ones with valid resumes are worth my time to interview.