As part of the software development industry some things are standard. Asking about your experience, skills, projects you have worked are usually expected. Job agents aren't technical people so a technical test is less common (unless they have someone they use to gauge your skills).

But I just got hit with a strange request. A job agent who I had a phone chat with wants to meet me in person.

We already went over the usual questions so I don't understand what I can offer in person that I can't over the phone. When I said I am unavailable for this she then insisted we do a "skype chat". I am an experienced developer and the last time I was asked to do this was 15 years ago when I was fresh out of college.

Is this common and what can I expect might be the motive?

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    They probably want to "test" how you perform in a social setting. – Juha Untinen Sep 11 '18 at 4:45
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    @JuhaUntinen that should be an answer :) – Erik Sep 11 '18 at 5:14
  • I've run into the occassional recruiting company that just has a company policy to meet all candidates in person. – 17 of 26 Sep 11 '18 at 13:49

I would say this is a good sign. Remember that your recruitment agent has to deal with hundreds of candidates. If he is investing the time to get to know you in person, you must already have done some things right.

Now why would he do this, there are several possible reasons. For example:

  • He wants to test your soft skills.
  • He wants to explore what your long term career goals are, to maybe get better offers to you in the future.
  • If he recommends you to an employer, he wants to be sure you will fit there, socially.
  • He has had bad experiences in the past, with forged documentation, identity theft etc.
  • He wants to build a connection with you, as he knows good IT staff is always in high demand.
  • He just prefers to do business in a more personal style.

I'd recommend to always go for the personal meeting if possible. Who knows what future options you'll open up if you make a personal impression. Right now you are just a file to them!


I've had this a few times, and every time it was just because the recruiter wanted to know who they were dealing with so they'd be better able to place me. There are lots of things you can learn from talking face-to-face with someone, that don't come across in a phone interview.

Sometimes it really helped them find great positions for me to interview at. Sometimes it didn't. But the motives were the same every time.

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    This is the reason. It's unusual because there are so many scummy recruiters out there that turn recruitment into a numbers game, scraping and harvesting as many CVs as they can, firing them out at any company they know regardless of if they're hiring (I often get a mate telling me they got my CV, even though I took it offline 2 years ago), lying and cheating non-stop, taking people out of the running by demanding exclusive representation and then binning their CV... When you meet one that actually wants to build a relationship with good candidates, it takes you by surprise. – NibblyPig Sep 11 '18 at 15:10
  • I tend to find this happens most often either where the company has an in-house recruiter, or where they have a recruitment agency that has very close ties to them (usually in larger companies, it's not unusual for a third party recruitment agency to have some of their recruiters work part- or full-time at the client's site). It's still pretty unusual for the recruiter to want to interview you in this manner, but it's definitely not unheard of. – delinear Sep 12 '18 at 14:59

Not Australia, but Singapore; all the answers given are valid reasons.

For some socially challenged people who deal with computers all the time ( eg. software developers & system administrators ); we skin-jobs can be a bit hard to relate to. Even if we are humans as well.

A face to face can quickly give the recruiter a good look at how someone deals with new people.

It could also be a good time for some quick coaching on how to get the job. And a few little pointers to brush up on your presentation skills.

Just remember, the recruiters only get paid if You land the job.

BTW... I speak from experience, as I was the one getting schooled!

Feel free to laugh along with me

  • If "I speak from experience" means "I am a recruiter", you should probably make that explicit; it makes your answer more credible. – Erik Sep 11 '18 at 8:19
  • I never heard of that in Singapore. Interesting, though, if it is happening. – Mawg says reinstate Monica Sep 11 '18 at 12:05
  • @Erik actually I was on the other side getting the tips. and trying very hard to not reach for a note book and actually memorising as much as I can. – Grunkle Stan Sep 12 '18 at 1:24

There's a large issue right now with a candidate getting a stand in for him and then someone else shows up for the job. Whats going on here is that this recruitment agent wants to make sure that you're first of all willing to even have a face to face really validate that you are who you are

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    Really? Where is this happening, I'm in Australia, – solarflare Sep 11 '18 at 4:58
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    Won't the company isn't going to notice this and immediately fire the person? – 17 of 26 Sep 11 '18 at 13:47
  • And how do I get someone to sign up to take the ridiculous technical test in my place? I'm in California. – Nolo Problemo Sep 12 '18 at 23:12

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