Tips When Interviewing for a Temporary Job

“So, why are you looking for a temp job instead of a real one?”

Expect this kind of question when you’re interviewing for a temporary position. It can throw you for a loop if you’re not prepared. And because some applicants treat temp interviews dismissively, this kind of mistake is made all too frequently.

Which is too bad. Because interviewing for a temp job can be less stressful than one for a more permanent role. You probably won’t be in any one temp job for long. So the employer isn’t taking as much of a risk on who they hire.

That’s why you can really be yourself at a temping interview. You might meet with an employment agency first, or with the employer directly. Either way, you can make yourself memorable with the following tips.


Know How To Deal With A Temporary Employment Agency

If you learn of a temping opportunity from an advertised posting, read it carefully. Check to see if the “Company” that’s listed is the actual employer, or if it is in fact an employment agency.  For temp jobs listed via recruitment agencies, the agency is your employer. They’ll send you out on temporary assignments based on the needs of their clients (who are employers of varying types). A temp agency is likely to interview you thoroughly. They’ll test your skills and knowledge regarding the assignment you’ve applied for. That way they can be confident when they send you out to a client for your work engagement. Show up at the interview ready to demonstrate what you can do.


Have An Answer For Why You’re Seeking Temporary Work

Either the temp agency you interview with, or the company you’ll be working for, will ask you why you want temporary employment. Not that they’ll excessively scrutinize the answer. They just want to know that you are who you say you are, and don’t already have a full-time job lined up elsewhere you might bolt to without notice.

It’s fine to reply that you like the flexibility of temp assignments. Or you prefer a variety of settings. Reflect this in your resume, as in this sample resume for a temporary Admin Assistant.

You can also honestly admit if you’re hungry for work and temp jobs are better than unemployment. The interviewer is more interested in whether you can do the job, are reliable, and can be trusted not to reveal confidential information once you’ve been placed.


Be Aware That Temp Jobs Sometimes Turn Into Permanent Ones

Occasionally the employer (or agency) will let you know upfront that there’s a chance the temp position could be extended, or even turned into a full-time role.

Behave as if this is a grilling for a permanent job. Do your research on the company. Dress and groom appropriately. Show up early and be as professional as possible. Not that you wouldn’t bother doing these things anyway. But now you’ll want to put that little bit of extra effort in.

If the agency is handling things, ask them about their policies regarding an assignment turning into full-time. Read the fine print in the contract they’ll have you sign. It will outline your rights and responsibilities in these matters.

Originally found on Monster written by: Mark Swartz

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