Applying for a seasonal job can be a quicker process than for longer-term jobs. However, this doesn’t mean that employers skip important steps like the interview. They still need to know they are hiring people who can do the job, integrate with full-time staff and keep customers happy during a fast-paced time of the year.
Follow these basic steps and you can sail through the interview process and get a job in time for the holidays:
ARRIVE ON TIME
Nothing screams time management problems louder than arriving late for an interview. Check the address and public transport routes before the day to make sure you arrive on time. It’s always better to be early than late and if you’re early you’ll have time to gather your thoughts for some last-minute interview prep.
First impressions count. Numerous studies have proven that the impression a recruiter gets within the first couple of minutes of meeting you could influence the whole interview. This means that they’ve made some important observations, on appearance alone, before you even say a word.
Of course the substance of your interview is very important but what you are wearing will play a vital role. Dress nicely, with a nod to the job you are applying for. If the job does not require business attire, there’s no need to wear a suite and tie or a dress and heels to your interview. Your recruiter will want to know that you can blend in with their existing team and look the part for the job. Even if the job requires a uniform, avoid wearing trainers, jeans or t-shirts for your interview. Instead, choose dressy or business casual neutrals.
PAY ATTENTION AND PROJECT A GOOD ATTITUDE
Your recruiter wants to know that you can hit the ground running. They want to hire people who can take direction and are willing to go above and beyond when the job requires it.
You can demonstrate this by being in the moment and projecting a good attitude. When you listen carefully and answer questions appropriately, you are demonstrating that you can hear what people are saying and follow directions. A good attitude suggests that you are willing to muck in and be a team player. Sit up straight, make eye contact, lean forward when you answer questions. Don’t be afraid to show your personality but don’t make the interview all about you. Show interest in the company you want to work for.
ANTICIPATE THE QUESTIONS YOU MAY BE ASKED
To improve your chance of getting hired, prepare answers for the types of interview questions asked for seasonal-jobs. Every interviewer is different but many questions follow a similar formula.
Here are a few you are most likely to encounter:
Why do you want a seasonal job?
The recruiter wants to know how reliable you are. Is this a desperation application or are you genially interested in the position, even though it might not continue beyond the busy season.
Be honest here and share the reasons a seasonal job sounds good to you. Always express an interest in the company. This is the chance to demonstrate what you know about the company, what you can contribute and what you hope to learn in the short-term.
What are your plans once the season is over?
If you’d like to your seasonal job to turn into a permanent job, now is the perfect opportunity to share that information. Whatever your goal is, be sure to mention what you would do if the job doesn’t become permanent. For example, you could talk about how you would use the skills and knowledge you learn on the job, perhaps to stay in the same industry.
Why do you want to work with us?
Recruiters who ask this question are looking for people who understand and believe in their brand.
This is your opportunity to put your research to work and show that you are familiar with the company and already embrace its values and vision. If you are already a customer this is your chance to share that information along with a quick explanation on how your in-depth knowledge will be an asset to the organisation.
How flexible is your schedule?
This is another question gauging how reliable and eager you are. Seasonal employers want employees they can rely on to cover shifts during busy times and how open you are to working at different times during the workweek.
Be sure to answer this question in positive terms, sharing the days and hours you are available. Emphasise when you can work as clearly as possible. Don’t lead with the days you cannot work.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
This is one of those questions that might not seem relevant, on the surface, to a seasonal employee. This is similar to “what are your plans” but a recruiter is looking for an answer that looks further into the future.
If you think the job could launch a career in the same industry, that’s a great answer, likewise, if you want to get a permanent position in the same company. However you answer, focus on how this particular job could propel you toward a future goal.