It is becoming more common for recruiting agencies to invite hiring managers they are working with into their office to conduct interviews. The biggest reason hiring managers like this process is that they can basically do one stop shopping. Recruiters put together a line up of their best candidates and present them to the hiring manager back to back in one day. The value is a manager can do 1 to 2 weeks of interviewing in an afternoon or morning. That may sound great to a hiring manager but what about to the person who is looking for a job? Is this a good idea? Should I take the interview? Answer...Absolutely and here's why.
- Quick feedback. Ever interview with a company and not hear back for weeks? That may be due to the fact it can take weeks for managers to conduct all their first interviews. If the manager can do the majority of his first interviews in one afternoon they can decide who they like, and who they want to spend more time with and who is a definite no.
- Faster process. If the hiring manager does like you, chance are you can schedule the next interview before you even leave the building. Most of the time the recruiter you are working with will have direct access to the hiring managers schedule. The idea is to eliminate any down time between interviews and keep the process moving.
- Seriousness factor. Think about it. If the hiring manager is willing to take a half day of his own time to travel to a recruiting agency office to do interviews, chances are that manager is very serious about filling the position.
- Undividied attention. Typically the recruiting agency will provide the hiring manager a private room to conduct the interviews. Because the manager is off site, there is less chance of anyone interupting the interview. This means 100% of the managers focus is on interviewing you vs. managing the daily routines of the office.
- Inside information. Try and ask the recruiter if you can be one of the last to interview with the hiring manager. This way the recruiter can provide you with any insight from the previous interviews. Ask the recruiter what the hiring manager has liked about the other candidates and also where they have fallen short. If you are working with an experienced recruiter they will know some of the questions the manager has asked and which questions have stumped the candidates.
Hiring managers typically establish a hiring process that works for them. Some work thru agencies and in a lot of cases will conduct first round interviews at the recruiters office. If the job sounds interesting my advice would be worry less about the venue and more about preparing to impress the manager.