The thought of your first part time job interview can make you tremble in your boots. We’ve all felt those nerves, and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
The good news is that with solid preparation there really is nothing much to worry about. If you follow these tips for part time job interviews, then you will give yourself the best possible chance of landing the role.
Treat A Part Time Job Interview Like A Full Time Job Interview
In the same way that you should spend as much time getting your CV right for a part time job, you should also treat any interviews that you get with as much respect as you would if you were trying to secure a permanent, full time role or career.
Okay, such preparation might not always be necessary for every single part time job vacancy, but why take that risk? If there are three candidates to be interviewed for one part time vacancy, and you are the one that looks like they’ve done their homework and seem the keenest to get the job, then you are most likely the one the interviewer will recommend gets hired.
So that leads us to the first big tip…
Part Time Job Interviews – It’s All In The Preparation
It might be a cliché, but it’s worth repeating – “If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail…”
Now, most clichés have become clichés… precisely because they are usually very true. And, in with regards job interviews, in this particular case, the cliché is without doubt true.
So wake up and start getting ready…
Know The Company Well
Never walk into a part time job interview with your eyes closed. Even if it’s a small, local company that you are up for a job interview with, find out something about them, and impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the firm.
What products do they make, or what services do they provide? How much money do they make? Do they just work within in the local area – or do they have operations all over the UK? Maybe they even supply to the global market?
If you have a few juicy titbits of information like this at your fingertips then you can really shine in an interview for a part time job.
Anticipate Some Interview Questions
You can never know 100% what questions are going to be thrown at you in a part time job interview, but you can make some good guesses at what might come up. So, take some time to prepare some very good answers to the interview questions that are most likely to be asked.
They might come dressed up in different guises, but there are a few questions which, in one form or another, come up in interviews time and time again. Here are a few of the most popular ones that part time job interviewers like to throw at you:
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- Why should we give you this job?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
- Tell us something about you as a person, outside of the work arena
If you can put together some good answers to interview questions like those, and anticipate some which might be more specific to the company, then you’ll be well on your way to a successful interview.
The good news is, that, unlike interviews for more permanent or higher level roles, you don’t tend to get asked things like this in part time job interviews:
To boost your confidence, here are some more interview questions you hopefully won’t need to be prepared for at a part time job interview.
Rehearse The Interview With Someone You Know & Trust
It’s often said that, ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ – but not all clichés are true, you know. (Don’t know who told you they were!)
And this one certainly isn’t true when it comes to getting prepared for your part time job interview. If you practice the interview with a familiar face across the table, then you’ll feel much more comfortable when it actually comes to the big day and there is a stranger facing you.
Get a good friend – or someone in your family – to put some of your anticipated questions to you – in a one-on-one situation – to try to replicate the real interview situation you will soon be facing.
If you can answer the questions comfortably in this relaxed environment then you’ll stand a much better chance of replicating those answers to the real-life interviewer. And you should also sound more relaxed in your delivery, because you’ve already been through all of this before.
Checklist – Preparing For Your Part Time Job Interview
- Research the company thoroughly
- Have solid answers prepared for anticipated questions
- Rehearse the interview with friends or family members
On The Day Of Your Part Time Job Interview
First Impressions Count (A true cliché – if you were wondering…)
You simply have to look the part at a job interview. Don’t expect to go in there in your casual clothes and win the interviewer over with your charm – it just doesn’t work! Dress smartly and look clean.
Although not everyone might agree with accessing a book by its cover, many potential employers do – so you simply won’t stand much chance of securing a part time job if you walk into an interview with scruffy clothes, heavy make-up or tattoos and piercings on display.
And, make sure you are on time – or, even better, make sure you are a good 10 to 15 minutes early to show how keen and prepared you are.
In very many cases, the interviewer, from whichever department, will speak to the reception team to ask what time you arrived at the workplace, and what your manner was like when you arrived. So, don’t wait until you get into the interview room before you try to impress…start trying to impress as soon as you within site of the workplace.
Checklist – The Day Of Your Part Time Job Interview
- Get up early
- Get ready early
- Get on the way early
- Get to the interview early
- Try to impress every employee you meet
- Look smart, presentable & professional
It’s Here…During Your Part Time Job Interview
You’ve done the preparation, so, if we could give you just ONE word of advice for when you actually walk into the interview room, it would be this…
‘TRY TO RELAX’
Okay, that’s three words, so we’ll just say RELAX!
So, take a deep breath, and remember that you are the right person to fill this part time job. Now, you just need to get that point across to the interviewer…
And how can you do that?
Remember that you already know the answers to most questions that you’re going to be asked, so you simply need to frame your responses in a way which will connect with the interviewer.
If you’ve done your preparation well, then your answers will answers will answer for themselves. But you can also emphasise then by using persuasive body language…
- Be friendly & approachable
- Appear confident (even if you don’t feel it)
- Use your hands to demonstrate expression and passion
- Smile throughout
- Make eye contact (not too much though!)
- You have two ears but one mouth – listen as much as you speak…
Closing Off The Part Time Job Interview
It’s not easy, but if you managed to follow the last two pieces of advice in the previous section, then, hopefully, by the end of the session, you’ll have picked up quite a lot of what the interviewer was saying – not just what he or she was asking.
Very often an interviewer will, naturally, give you some valuable information about the company and what they might be looking for in their part time employees. And, almost always, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions that you would like to ask yourself…
If they’ve brought up anything interesting in the interview that you might not have already known about, then feel free to ask them if they could expand a little more on it. They’ll be happy that you were listening, and that you are interested enough to ask for more information.
Even if the interviewer didn’t offer up any extra nuggets of information which you can use to your advantage, and even if they didn’t ask if you have any further questions that you’d like answered – don’t let this final opportunity to shine slip away…
It’s ALWAYS worth asking a couple of questions at the end of a part time job interview just to show how keen you are to work with the company.
Here are just a few questions (two or three is enough) which you could throw back at the interviewer at the end of play to keep the conversation going:
- How many people work in the department I’ll be teamed up with?
- If I get the job, how soon would you like me to start?
- Are there any other questions about myself I can answer before I leave?
- When can I expect to hear from you about whether I’ve got the job?
After Your Part Time Job Interview
Don’t be afraid to get back in touch with the interviewer or someone else at the company to follow up progress with your application. Obviously, you don’t want to overdo it, but a polite chase up about where things are at could put you back in the frame if the vacancy hasn’t already been awarded.
Also, if this particular job interview didn’t go your way and the part time vacancy has been offered to someone else, then don’t get downhearted.
Learn from the experience and have a think about which areas you could improve upon for the next time you are successful in getting to this stage of the application process. You can even contact the interviewer to ask them for feedback about what your strengths and weaknesses were during the interview.
Maybe they will have some suggestions for how you can improve for your next part time job interview…