Dear interpreting agencies,
When you write to me or call, you make my life infinitely much easier if you state:
1) Which languages would you like me to interpret to and from?
2) What type of meeting are we talking about?
3) Who is my colleague (if you know/it’s applicable)?
4) Where and when will the interpreting take place?
5) How much do you regularily pay your interpreters for this type of job (travel fees?/daily allowance?)
If you give me this information, you make it easier for me to determine whether I am the right person for the task. And if I’m not, I may even be able to give you the name of somebody more suitable.
Unfortunately, there is more than one agency who has somebody calling or e-mailing, hardly introducing him/herself and asking: I need an interpreter for Wednesday/next week/June 30th are you free?
If you use this recruiting routine I would strongly encourage you to improve it.
I will give you a good example: Today, I got a very nice e-mail from an agency I have not worked with before saying:
We got your name from so and so.
We need an interpreter with Languages A and B to work in simultaneous mode. You will work with your colleague XY.
The meeting is in CITY, on the following dates.
Your fees will be this much.
The meeting is about THIS and we will send you documentation should you accept.
And the letter ended with a presentation of the company and a more detailed description of how they got my name.
No need to say that since I was available on the dates in question it took me about ten minutes to double check a few things and then accept it. With agencies like this there is a fairly big chance you get the right interpreter at the right place.
So, dear interpreting agencies, please check your recruiting routines and revise them if necessary. It will definitely enhance your business.