Tips for a temporary job interview


business professionals seated on a line of chairs

Over 2.9 million Americans work in temporary jobs, according to The Economist. If you find yourself seeking out this increasingly popular form of employment, it's important to prepare yourself in advance for the hiring process. While many things about applying for temp jobs will work the same as applying for permanent positions, there are key differences you'll want to be aware of. 

Keep in mind these key points during the interview process: 

Focus on the role 
As with any interview, thoroughly read the job description before your interview. Pick out three keywords from the description and focus on those when answering questions. If a requirement or personality trait is listed more than once, it's probably a high priority for the employer. When demonstrating that you have the skills needed for each keyword, be as specific as possible. Instead of speaking in abstract terms, quantify a way that you've completed a similar task or filled a similar role in a previous position. For example, if the job post calls for a quick learner, come prepared with a story that quantifies just how long you had to learn and apply a new skill. 

Only ask relevant questions 
Don't ask for permanent employment, according to The Balance, as this could be viewed as inappropriate. An interview should be focused on the immediate role and how you are the best fit for it. Don't ask for a schedule other than the one listed in a post or for a more desirable position. If the job doesn't appeal to you as is, it's best to pass on the interview all together. 

Be flexible 
Because temporary employment is used by employers to fill gaps in their workforce, the position you're interviewing for might require you to work an unconventional schedule or cover a hodgepodge of tasks. Having the ability to work extended hours to complete projects can work to your benefit. You may also find that your role evolves based on the tasks needed at any given time. Temporary staffers who are willing to be flexible tend to be more desirable, and allowing for a certain level of flexibility may just be the edge you need to get the job. 

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