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Kelly Services Interview Questions

To help you prepare for a Kelly Services job interview, here are 35 interview questions and answer examples.

Kelly Services was written by and updated on August 6th, 2021. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 35

Is honesty the best policy?

How to Answer

As a recruiter or staffing professional, you will encounter some grey areas, including pay structures, fee structures, rules governing contract employees, and non-compete or non-disclosure agreements. It's vital to the reputation of Kelly Services that you abide by rules and regulations carefully and always work within the ethical lines of recruitment.

Your response can also include how honest you are with candidates regarding your clients' needs. You could also mention your transparency when closing off with candidates not chosen for the job.

Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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35 Kelly Services Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Is honesty the best policy?

      How to Answer

      As a recruiter or staffing professional, you will encounter some grey areas, including pay structures, fee structures, rules governing contract employees, and non-compete or non-disclosure agreements. It's vital to the reputation of Kelly Services that you abide by rules and regulations carefully and always work within the ethical lines of recruitment.

      Your response can also include how honest you are with candidates regarding your clients' needs. You could also mention your transparency when closing off with candidates not chosen for the job.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "Yes, I believe that honesty is always the best policy. I deliver honest news with as much empathy as possible. I also believe transparency is important in the staffing industry. I will never hold back from telling the truth when it means so much to another person to hear it. If a client does not want to move forward with a candidate, I will let them know right away and give them open feedback whenever possible. When it comes to paperwork and the legal ins and outs of supplying employment opportunities, I always abide within legal limits and regulations."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "I understand that there are known 'grey' areas in recruitment, primarily from agencies that do not present themselves in the best light. One of the reasons I applied to Kelly Services is your long-standing sterling reputation in the industry. This excellent reputation comes from being honest and forthright with candidates and clients alike, and I plan to do the same in my position at Kelly Services."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    2. Would you take a job order from a client who was acting unethically?

      How to Answer

      Responsible staffing agencies like Kelly Services need to protect their reputation, including prescreening clients in various ways. A smart recruiter will look for a history of unexplained employee turnover, previous sexual harassment accusations, stories of discrimination, poor health and safety records, and consistently lousy employee reviews. When meeting with a client for the first time and brag about burning through multiple staffing agencies, this is a definite warning sign. Show the interviewer that you will never put the reputation of Kelly Services on the line to land a job order.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "First, I understand that Kelly Services is a reputable company that values the impact they make. The Kelly Talent Promise that I read about on your website emphasizes offering job candidates safe and ethical employment opportunities. In the past, I have worked for agencies that will take work from anyone and everyone. I desire to join an agency like Kelly Services with a reputation for legit clients and great job opportunities. From my research and the topics we have discussed today, it seems that our core values align nicely."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "I have been trained to be selective on the clients I take on, and I would like to continue with this practice. I have an intake questionnaire that I go through with clients, so everyone goes through the same prescreening process. Then, I conduct an in-person meeting whenever possible to physically see the environment in which my successful candidate would be working. This is how I will ensure I'm working with an ethical client to maintain my personal and Kelly Service's values."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    3. How often do you check in with your candidates after placed in a permanent role with your client?

      How to Answer

      Many staffing agencies will have a schedule of events when checking in with candidates after placing them with a client. These check-ins are vital as they are meant to ensure that your candidate is happy with their new placement and meeting performance expectations.

      Most staffing agencies offer a free replacement to their client should a candidate not work out for the best within 90 days of their employment start. For this reason, it's best practice to have regular check-ins for the first 90 days and into the person's first year on the job. Show the interviewer that you understand the importance of this practice and that you are a diligent staffing professional.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "As a senior recruiter, I've learned that it is important to have a schedule for checking in on every single one of my permanent placements. I check in on their first day on the job and at the end of their first week. After their first week, I have a weekly check-in for the first 30 days. From then, every other week until they reach their 90 day probation period. From 90 days to year one, I schedule a monthly email. All of my candidates appreciate my diligence in ensuring they are happy with their placement. This action allows me to react to any potential situations before they become a major issue."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "I believe it's best to check in on the morning of their first day and twice more during the candidate's first week. For the first 90 days, I will email or call once per week. Then, I check in monthly. These conversations are usually short. I ask questions related to expectations versus reality, their overall comfort level, and happiness with their new work environment."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

  • Behavioral

    4. What type of office set up helps you to be the most productive?

      How to Answer

      Some recruitment firms offer individual offices, some a work-from-home environment, and others, a bullpen style set up. As a recruiter, you may hear the word "bullpen" often. This word is slang for a workspace area filled with desks and no separating walls. Everyone works together in an open space. Think 'Wolf of Wallstreet."

      Talk to the interviewer about the type of work environment you prefer, being sure not to single yourself out by speaking negatively of one particular work style over another. Overall, the interviewer will be looking for your ability to concentrate and work well despite your outside surroundings.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Behavioral

    5. If a temporary employee let you down regularly, what would you do?

      How to Answer

      Temporary employment can be a challenge to navigate, especially in industries such as warehousing and logistics. These challenges come because:

      - Candidate volume and placements are high
      - Wages are average but competitive
      - Hours can be sporadic
      - Client communication is often lacking due to shift work

      Explain how you would handle a candidate that let you down regularly by being late, no-showing to their assignment, or failing assessments such as forklift driving skills. Show the interviewer that you have patience and empathy but are firm at the same time.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    6. Are you comfortable making frequent calls to clients and candidates?

      How to Answer

      As a recruiter, you'll spend a lot of time on the phone. You'll be calling potential clients, screening candidates, doing follow-ups, responding to no-shows, checking in on employees' first day on the job, and more. The interviewer wants to know your comfort level and more about your personality.

      Describe your experience making frequent calls and having thorough conversations.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on July 31st, 2021

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  • Discovery

    7. How much money do you want to earn in this role? What does your ideal pay structure look like?

      How to Answer

      Staffing and recruitment agencies all compensate differently, generally leaning toward what works best for their recruiters based on the type of recruitment they are performing.

      Some of these pay structures include 100% commission, draws against commissions, full salary, a salary-commission blend, and monthly guarantees. Be upfront with the interviewer about your compensation expectations. The clearer you are, the higher the chance that you will get what you need.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    8. Why should Kelly Services hire you over our other candidates?

      How to Answer

      This question can be incredibly tough for job seekers to answer. This query requires you to brag about yourself on the fly while choosing compelling items from your career highlight reel.

      Think about the job posting or job description and the core values of Kelly Services. Consider whether your soft and hard skills match what the company is looking for in a team member.

      This question should not be used to give a generic answer like you have 'strong attention to detail.' Be confident and focus on factors that are unique to you. Use your past achievements and accolades to highlight your strengths aligned with what Kelly Services is looking for in a recruiter.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    9. Are you a patient individual? Rate your patience level from 1-10.

      How to Answer

      Being a recruiter or any professional in the staffing industry requires an immense level of patience. You make many calls every day, wait for candidates to respond, and wait on contracts to be signed. Often, you will be in a significant rush to make a placement before a competing agency beats you to the punch. You will speak to hundreds of candidates every month, all with their personality quirks and potentially low levels of commitment and communication. The interviewer wants to know that you can remain confident, professional, and patient despite all of these challenges. Rate your level of patience from 1-10, and be prepared to give an example that backs your rating.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    10. Are you willing to work outside of the regular 9-5?

      How to Answer

      In staffing, you may be asked to work outside of a typical Monday to Friday work week, depending on your clients and candidate needs. If you have a candidate who cannot interview during standard work hours, you may need to conduct a phone interview at 7 PM to accommodate their needs. If you do temp staffing, you may have warehouse clients who call you at 6 AM to report a worker who did not show up for their early-morning shift.

      Many recruiters have their cell phones on 24/7 and check their email on weekends. Show Kelly Services that you are willing to accommodate the varying needs of your clients and candidates.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    11. Of the areas where Kelly Services recruits, which are you most knowledgeable?

      How to Answer

      It's impossible to be an expert in every job category. However, if you have worked as a generalist in the recruitment industry, you know that it's possible to have a few favorites where your performance shines!

      Review the specialties that Kelly Services recruits for. Then, based on your experience and knowledge, discuss which areas you are most comfortable with. If there are categories similar to specialties you have recruited for, you can mention those as well. Just be sure to mention how candidates with similar skills and backgrounds often seek employment in both categories.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    12. Have you ever worked with a staffing agency, from a job seeker's perspective?

      How to Answer

      If you have ever experienced staffing from the position of a job seeker, you can understand the recruitment process from a variety of perspectives. This experience allows you to empathize with job seekers who may be nervous working with a recruiter and their clients.

      Talk to the interviewer about your experience working with a staffing agency. If you do not have this experience, that is okay too! What is most important is that you show Kelly Services you have the empathy and patience needed to work with candidates who do not fully understand the process and benefits of working with a staffing agency like Kelly Services.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    13. What is a staffing agency?

      How to Answer

      This question may seem as fundamental as they get, but the interviewer needs to know that you understand how staffing works. Staffing is a misunderstood industry. It will be part of your role to add clarification for clients and candidates who may not fully comprehend what you do. Briefly describe to the hiring authority what a staffing agency is, including who they help, and their primary purpose.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    14. Name some reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temp.

      How to Answer

      Although it may seem strange to some people, there are many reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temporary employee. From the beginning of their career into retirement age, job seekers can all enjoy the perks of temp work. Some of these benefits include:

      Flexibility - As a temp worker, you can agree to take or turn down work at your leisure. For retired people who travel a lot, temp work is excellent for seasonal needs.
      Buying time - Temp workers can earn money as contractors until they find the right permanent opportunity.
      Compliance with work restrictions - Temp opportunities are often better for people waiting on permanent residency or citizenship who may have federal work restrictions.
      Fill gaps in resume - Temp offers job seekers the opportunity to learn new skills in various settings to expand their resume and fill gaps in employment.
      Fast-track to employers - Temps are often offered a permanent position after completing their assignment if the hiring authorities are impressed with their performance.

      Discuss with the interviewer why you believe some candidates would prefer to take on temporary assignments at Kelly Services.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    15. What type of clients come to Kelly Services for our staffing services?

      How to Answer

      Kelly Services helps a plethora of clients, from small businesses to enterprise-level companies. They highlight their specialties, so this can also provide insight into who their key clients are. The most important factor with this question is to show that you have done your research on Kelly Services before attending your interview. Check out the company website to look for client reviews and any other indicator of whom their clients might be.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on July 31st, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    16. How does a staffing agency charge a job seeker for their services?

      How to Answer

      This one may be a trick question! Legitimate staffing agencies never charge job seekers for placement services. That's right, every placement fee paid to a staffing agency is from the hiring company.

      In many countries such as Canada, it is illegal for a recruitment or staffing agency to charge candidates for job placements. These regulations do not include fees for resume writing or career coaching, for example. The bottom line is, a job seeker never pays money to be considered for an open position with a staffing agency or their clients.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    17. Do you understand how Kelly Services makes a profit?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to see that you understand the fee structure at Kelly Services or at least staffing agencies in general. Depending on your region, this response could vary as there are different rules and regulations surrounding staffing and recruitment around the world.

      For the most part, a staffing agency makes a profit in three ways:

      1. Permanent placement fees
      2. Temp fees
      3. Retainer based searches

      Permanent placement fees are usually a set percentage based on the ideal candidate's salary. Let's say that a staffing agency is asked to headhunt a chemical engineer. The staffing agency finds the perfect candidate, and that chemical engineer comes with an asking salary of $100K per year. The hiring company would pay (in addition to the $100K salary) a fee of 18-25% of that number as a permanent placement fee. So, a one-time $18-25K fee.

      Temp fees are a surcharge in addition to a temporary employee or contractors' hourly wage. Assuming the same chemical engineer is working on a 12-month contract for an oil and gas company. The OG company does not want to add this engineer to their permanent payroll or pay the engineer's employment insurance and other government-required fees. The staffing agency will take on the employer's role and charge the additional costs plus a commission to the OG company. Let's say the chemical engineer is asking for $40/hour. The staffing agency will charge the OG company $55/hour, giving $40 to the contractor and taking $15 as an administration fee and commission.

      A retainer is a fee that is paid in advance to secure the services of a staffing agency. Primarily retainers are only requested by high-end executive search firms who conduct long, complicated searches for talents such as surgeons, lawyers, professors, and CFOs. In this instance, the hiring company would pay a large sum upfront to the agency and then the remainder of their fee once the ideal candidate accepts a job offer.

      Chances are, Kelly Services will be paid by perm or temp placement fees only. Speak to the interviewer briefly about fee structures, showing that you come from a place of full understanding.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    18. What is the difference between temporary, temporary-to-permanent, and permanent placement?

      How to Answer

      Temp, temp-to-perm, and perm are recruitment and staffing terms that you will hear daily while working for Kelly Services.

      Working temp means that a contractor is on a temporary contract with the staffing agency to work for their client for a specific amount of time. Temp employees are paid directly from the staffing agency, and the agency then bills the client.

      Temp-to-perm is a temporary contract with an opportunity for the contractor to be hired full-time once their work performance is proven.

      Perm or permanent placement is when candidates undergo a traditional screening and hiring process with the agency and their client. In the end, the hiring company makes a permanent job offer to the candidate.

      Take a few moments to share your knowledge with the interviewer.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    19. In which categories does Kelly Services recruit?

      How to Answer

      The hiring authority at Kelly Services needs to be sure that you have done your homework on their organization before attending your interview. There are a plethora of areas where recruitment work is prevalent.

      Find out the categories where Kelly Services recruits begin by looking at their highlighted specialties on their website. This tells you the types of jobs their clients need candidates for, and the areas Kelly Services have connections in. You can also review the job postings they have advertised. When you respond, list 3-5 industries from your research.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Knowledge

    20. How does artificial intelligence impact talent sourcing?

      How to Answer

      Artificial intelligence (AI) made its splash on the staffing scene many years ago, with the introduction of ATS or applicant tracking systems. Today, AI is becoming smarter and more robust, making it easier to source and screen the best candidates. Talk to the interviewer about the ways you have seen AI change talent sourcing strategy.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Performance

    21. What are some professional goals you have set for yourself this year?

      How to Answer

      Kelly Services knows that only the most eager recruiters win job orders and make placements since the staffing industry is competitive and challenging. Show the interviewer that you have professional goals and are keen to make a name for yourself in the staffing industry.

      Professional goals can include earning a promotion, attending an industry conference to expand your network, or taking additional courses to broaden your recruitment knowledge.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Performance

    22. How do you continue to educate yourself, as an expert in staffing?

      How to Answer

      Continued education is critical in the staffing industry as regulations and technology change all of the time. Kelly Services seeks to hire people who are committed to growth within their profession. Some staffing agencies may even pay for continued education opportunities, so feel free to ask the interviewer if this is an option at Kelly Services. Talk to the interviewer about how you plan to educate yourself within staffing.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Performance

    23. What will be your primary focus in your first 30 days with Kelly Services?

      How to Answer

      There are many tasks and accomplishments that you can focus on when working in the staffing industry. This question is meant to uncover if you have a plan to make an impact on Kelly Services shortly after being hired. Much of the staffing industry involves sales-based tasks, so it's a great idea to go into your interview with a strategic plan for your first 30 days and onward. Your plan should be focused on clients and candidates, so make sure you mention actions you plan to take to connect and win with both. Also, talk to the interviewer about your goals once you join Kelly Services. Some of the things you can mention might include:

      -Understanding Kelly Services policies, systems, and procedures
      -Start sourcing
      -Establish a rapport with clients and understand their needs
      -Place x number of candidates

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Performance

    24. Tell me about the targets and goals in your current position. Do you have trouble meeting them?

      How to Answer

      Every staffing professional knows that there are targets and goals to meet within their agency. In temporary recruitment, these targets often relate to the speed at which you fill open job orders or the volume of work you get from your clients.

      In permanent staffing, goals can include the fees you have collected each quarter or how many job orders you brought in through cold calling efforts.

      Talk to the interviewer about the goals and targets in your current position. If you are not sure of the goals present in this role with Kelly Services, it is certainly okay to ask.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Situational

    25. Tell me about a time you lost a job order or placement to a competitor. How did you react?

      How to Answer

      Very often, you will work on job orders that are not exclusive. This non-exclusivity means that your client may give the same job order to five different staffing agencies, and may the best recruiter win! This situation is especially challenging when you live in a smaller city or if the position requires a particular skill set.

      Kelly Services needs to see that you are up for the challenge and that you act gracefully and professionally on the days that you don't win. Discuss a situation from the past highlighting how you reacted, how you made the best of the situation, and anything you might do differently to improve your chances of winning job orders.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Situational

    26. When have you had to change a search due to new information from your client?

      How to Answer

      Recruitment projects can change on a dime for a variety of reasons. In the staffing industry, you may find that your client calls off a search entirely after you have poured all of your energy into it for two weeks.

      Other situations may change, such as their ideal background or candidate education. Perhaps the client forgot to mention that the role requires extensive travel or eventual relocation.

      Talk to the interviewer about a time when you had to pivot your search due to new information. Discuss how you reacted and what you did to keep the momentum going. Most of all, Kelly Services wants to see that you are adaptable.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Skills

    27. How do you build trust and rapport with your clients?

      How to Answer

      For Kelly Services, client relationships are everything. Excellent client service and strong relationships are what separate successful agencies from those who struggle. As a staffing professional, you know that anything is possible, from finding unicorn candidates to closing temp contracts in a matter of hours.

      Show the interviewer that you know what it takes to build strong client relationships. Your relationship-building activities can include asking your clients questions about themselves, setting clear expectations and guidelines at the start of every search, and learning their industry language. Exceptional follow-up is another way to build trust with your clients quickly.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Skills

    28. When scanning a resume for the first time, what do you look for?

      How to Answer

      Stats show that a recruiter will give a resume between seven and eleven seconds of their attention before moving on to another resume. Experts in the staffing industry know how to scan and screen a resume for the most critical information, so they can easily shortlist or disqualify.

      Working at Kelly Services, chances are most of the resumes you will receive will first be screened by your applicant tracking system. However, many resumes will still come through to your email. Show the interviewer that you know what to look for in a resume when you initially screen it.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Skills

    29. What advice would you give to a recent grad with no work experience?

      How to Answer

      Kelly Services is all about empowering their candidates, which includes giving sound career and job-search advice to the candidates they work with. Using your recruitment and career development knowledge, talk to the hiring authority about the help you would give to a recent graduate with no work experience who needed to round out their resume. Your advice could be to volunteer more, add in some temporary work, take additional coursework, and more.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Skills

    30. Recruitment often requires out-of-the-box thinking. Are you creative by nature?

      How to Answer

      Being creative doesn't necessarily mean that you can paint like Picasso or write songs like Lady Gaga. What creativity means is being able to view and solve common issues in a unique way. Creativity can include being willing to take a risk and change your perspective on a topic.

      Being creative is an essential skill as a recruiter since you will often need to look at your client's needs and pain points in a completely new way. You may also need to be creative when considering a candidate's skills. Perhaps they want to change career fields or work in areas where they may not have as much experience. In these instances, you'll need to be creative with aligning their skills to the client's needs. Assure the interviewer that you are creative, giving a work-related example.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Skills

    31. How do you determine job order priority?

      How to Answer

      Prioritizing job orders when you have multiple open requests at one time can be a tricky task. You may want to consider factors like:

      - The clients' preferred start date
      - The difficulty level of a search
      - Whether the search is exclusive
      - The candidate market in the role's location/region

      Show the interviewer that you will not have a problem sorting your job orders at Kelly Services, ensuring every client is taken care of promptly.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 6th, 2021

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  • Skills

    32. Tell me about your customer service skills.

      How to Answer

      The recruitment and staffing industry involves a great deal of customer service. When working with clients, your customer service skills are key to building a client's trust, winning job orders, and having repeat clients. When it comes to job candidates, Kelly Services has a 5 point Kelly Talent Promise, which is their dedication to offering candidates the best customer service experience to meet their job needs.

      Tell the interviewer what great customer service means to you as a recruiter and how you'll demonstrate it to the people you work with at Kelly Services. This is a good opportunity to mention how you've earned the trust of previous clients. You can also share a time when you went above and beyond to provide good customer service to a client or candidate. Also, show the interviewer that you understand Kelly Services' commitment to offering stellar customer service.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on July 31st, 2021

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  • Skills

    33. Describe your communication skills.

      How to Answer

      At Kelly Services, how well you communicate can also mean your ability to place candidates and represent the company. Excellent communication is important for sharing expectations with candidates, collaborating with team members, and forming partnerships with clients.

      The interviewer wants to know how well you communicate in any scenario. Share with them your understanding of the importance of good written and verbal communication.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on July 31st, 2021

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  • Skills

    34. When working with a client, how do you beat out competition?

      How to Answer

      Many clients don't offer exclusivity to job orders, making it challenging to win a client over and get candidates placed. While staffing agencies are often similar, Kelly Services has its own values and specialties to make them stand out from the crowd.

      The interviewer wants to know how you will sell Kelly Services. Show them how you will convince a client that Kelly Services is the best agency to find the right candidates.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on July 31st, 2021

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  • Teamwork

    35. How would your co-workers describe you?

      How to Answer

      Kelly Services' vision is to be the most creative, insightful, and agile talent company. To foster this kind of work environment, everyone needs to contribute their ideas, help each other, and work together to meet the company's goals. As a recruiter, it can be challenging to remember that although you have your own goals, you are still part of a team.

      Share with the interviewer how your co-workers would describe your teamwork ethic. Be sure to describe how your qualities are closely aligned to the culture at Kelly Services.

      Written by Ronda Barnes on July 31st, 2021

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