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How to perform in an interview for a Temporary placement

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

Interviewing for a Temporary placement? Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re in for an easy ride…

While your role may be fixed-term, Employers don’t just hire Temporary talent as a stopgap solution: often, they seek specialists whom they can rely upon to get a particular job done; they want a professional they can trust to manage a project through to completion or keep things ticking over to a certain standard. Demonstrating your capability to an Employer is key in securing a Temporary contract, and an interview provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills.

With your interview-date fixed in the calendar and the clock counting down until the moment of truth, now is the time to plan your approach and prepare your responses.

Do the right kind of research

You may be interviewing for a Temporary placement, but don’t be make the mistake of assuming research isn’t important. No matter the duration of the contract or the nature of the role, Employers expect Candidates to demonstrate an understanding of what the organisation does and the part they will play in achieving company objectives. While you’ll likely be let off the hook for not having rehearsed their mantras or values, a little bit of extra research can go a long way in establishing your serious interest in the opportunity.

Focus on your expertise

As important as culture-fit may be, hiring managers who opt for Temporary rather than permanent workers are under less pressure to find the exact and perfect fit - “the purple squirrel”. Instead, their focus is on the immediate ROI that Temporary talent can offer. Of course, passion for the company will never be a negative trait in a Candidate, but it shouldn’t take centre-stage in your answers.

Whether it’s to meet seasonal spikes in workload or gain specialist support on a niche project, Employers hire Temporary Candidates for their proficiency in particular disciplines. With that in mind, your interview responses should concentrate on the competencies you bring to the role and the unique value you can add to the company during the placement.

Ask questions that signpost your skill-level

Every job interview is a two-way-street, but not every Temporary job seeker prepares a set of questions for their prospective Employer ahead of the interview. While asking those key questions about salary and contract terms is absolutely essential, your turn to quiz the Employer can also be used to demonstrate your expertise.

Using the information provided in the job description, you can draw up a list of follow-up questions that focus on the specifics, such as the technology used for a particular process. Any chance you get to reassure the Employer you are a safe pair of hands should be taken, and its questions like these that will act as a nod to your capabilities.

Emphasise your flexibility and availability

Temporary Candidates can often appeal to Employers due to factors such as their ability to start immediately and work flexibly when required. Even if you are open to the possibility of turning your Temporary placement into a full-time role, it’s unnecessary to mention it at this stage and could even harm your application. While the Employment history detailed on your CV should showcase your adaptability and availability it certainly won’t hurt to underline these qualities during an Interview and will remind a hiring manager why you are the right person to fulfil a Temporary need.

Always end on a positive

As with most interview scenarios, leaving a lasting impression is critical in securing a Temporary contract. Always remember to thank the Employer for their time and remind them of your availability for future projects. Even if you aren’t successful on this occasion, building a relationship with the hiring manager will help to keep you front of mind should they have a need for Temporary talent later down the line.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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