Tips For Temps: The Interview
Welcome to Tips For Temps, a regular series that does — well — what it says on the tin. With the help of our recruitment experts, we provide you with our best advice for carving out your temporary career.
No matter how seasoned you are in navigating the job market, interviews can be one of the most intimidating parts of any application process. Depending on the type of temporary role, an employer may happily hire you on the basis of your CV and recommendation from one of our consultants; however, sometimes companies prefer to chat to candidates over the phone or meet face-to-face. Here, we've listed the main ways in which you can stand out in any interview.
Learn The Basics
So many interviewees fall at the first hurdle, simply because they haven’t taken the time to research the company. It is more likely than not that the employer will glean what they need to know about you, from what you know about them. Make sure you understand the nature of the company’s business, as well as it’s fundamental structure; for example, how many employees do they have, how many countries do they operate in, and where is the head office located.
Never Underestimate The Job & Never Overestimate Yourself
A lot of temp roles are administrative, and either involve covering a full-time position in the company that is currently unstaffed (the permanent employee may be on annual leave, or the position could have been recently been vacated and the company are in the process of recruiting a replacement) or providing additional office support during busy periods. Whilst a company will have a specific job in mind when hiring a temp, if that temp impresses the employer, it is very common for them to request you for future positions in a variety of roles. No matter how exciting or mundane a position may sound, the ability to deliver to a high standard, irrespective of what is entailed of you, is an invaluable quality. Remember that, just as the sky’s the limit, you have to start off with two feet on the ground. Approach every task in the same way, treating no role as above or below your capabilities.
Engage, Enquire & Be Yourself
Interviews can often appear one-sided; but, appearances can be deceptive. Employers are, of course, looking for people who able to undertake the position at hand. However, they are also seeking to recruit staff who are not just capable of doing the work required, but want to do it. An interview allows companies to open a relationship with a potential employee, and see if that relationship will be mutually beneficial. Make sure to ask questions, detail your answers with previous experiences, and - most of all - bring some of your personality into the interview. In theatre, when actors perform Shakespeare, they often do so with “a Shakespeare voice” (a way of speaking that emulates The Queen’s English, with actors using their most drawn out and pompous RP). While you should always be professional in interviews, you do not need to assume a different persona. Speak in your own voice and with your own mannerisms. The employer wants to get to know you, not an image of someone you think they want to hire.