When looking for agencies to sign with, in the stress of it all many models forget the fact that you the model is actually the one hiring the modeling agency, not just the other way around. Because of this, you should be interviewing the modeling agency as much as they will be interviewing you.
When you meet with a modeling agency for the first time, it is very much like a regular job interview. They'll almost always ask at least these three questions: 1. why you want to be a model, 2. what type of modeling are you interested in, and 3. why did you choose their agency. These basic questions will help the agency get to know a little more about you and your goals so they can determine if you’re a good fit for them.
It’s important to remember though, just as they are feeling you out to see if they want to represent you, you need to be evaluating the agency just as much to see if they will be the best fit for you also. Joining an agency is a big deal, and you need to be 100% sure of what you’re signing up for!
When meeting with an agency, you want to show them you’re professional, engaged and excited about your modeling career. The best way to do this is by doing your homework and researching the agency so you can be informed in your answers and have knowledge to formulate your own questions around.
Always let the agency lead the interview, but don’t be afraid to ask questions if something doesn’t make sense or contradicts what you have found in your research. It’s much better to ask the agent to repeat something or explain it further if you don’t understand than to just go along with whatever they’re saying. Have a notepad and pen handy with your questions written down so you don’t forget them, and don’t be afraid to actively take notes while you’re speaking with them. It shows that you’re listening to what they’re saying and will help you remember key points of your conversation.
Some great questions to ask the agency during your meeting:
What kind of jobs do your models book? It’s useful to know the types of modeling jobs the agency is booking their models for. Is it mostly commercial work? Do they book a lot of runway? If they mainly book promotional modeling jobs and that’s not something you’re really interested in, maybe they aren’t a great fit for you.
Who are some of your clients? Hearing about the agency’s top clients will give great insight into the quality of the agency as well as the types of markets they do business in.
Do they only promote locally or do they have national/international connections? If you’re wanting to expand your modeling career to be more than just local, signing with an agency that has a reach beyond the local market is key as they will have the connections and knowledge to help you get your foot in the door in other areas. If they only focus locally, it will be a lot harder for you to make the move into other markets.
Usually, once the general interview starts to wrap up, they’ll thank you for your time and let you know that they’ll be in touch. Often, they like to take time to discuss with other agency team members before deciding whether or not to offer a contract.
On some occasions, they may offer a contract right on the spot. If this happens- congratulations! But be a little wary. As soon as contract talk comes up, there is a whole other list of questions and concerns you will need to address. It’s always the best idea to have them send over the contract for you to review so that you have time to digest the interview and then look everything over. In the excitement it’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and just accept, but when you sign a contract, you’re legally binding yourself to the agency, so you need to be sure that you have a complete understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. This post has some great tips on what to expect when you get a contract offer, as well as this post for some of the different types of modeling contracts that are out there (yes, there’s more than one!).
As with anything, there are some red flags to keep an eye out for when you’re meeting with agencies. Always have your guard up and be aware of any inconsistencies. Your safety is of the utmost importance and potentially getting yourself into a sticky situation is not worth any contract! For some common red flags to be aware of, check out this post.