Starting out as a temp is a great way to gain entry to a permanent full-time position. Many businesses will still put you through the interview process if you want to make the transition, even if you’re applying for the job you’ve been doing as a temp. The good news is, your work to date gives you an insider’s perspective that will be beneficial during the process.
Use Your Inside Knowledge
If you’ve been temping at a company, you’ve become familiar with the corporate culture, and you probably have a good idea about the functions of various positions in the organization. Do a bit of sleuthing before your interview to learn everything you can about the job you’re applying for. Find out why the position is open and what co-workers liked and didn’t like about how the previous person did the job. Inquire about the short and long-term objectives for the position so you can be prepared to discuss in the interview how you’d tackle the job.
Employ Colleagues’ Help
Hopefully, you’ve made some friends during your temp time, or at least become friendly with co-workers who can give you an inside scoop about the hiring manager. Ask for advice and input about what kinds of qualities are important to the job you’re seeking, and what you can do to make a good impression. With a little luck, you’ll get some valuable insight, and you may encourage colleagues to make favorable comments to the hiring manager on your behalf. After all, it’s important the company hire someone who is a good fit with existing staffers, and if you established yourself as a team player during your temping stint, that’s sure to help your cause.
Outline Your Full Credentials
Prepare a detailed resume that highlights all of your professional experience and educational credentials. Even if the company is familiar with your skills, they probably don’t have a full picture of all your capabilities. This is especially important if you’re interviewing for an open position other than the one you filled as a temp. In addition to your resume, write up an overview of the contributions you made during your temp tenure. This will show how well you’ve come to know the company and the strides you’ve already made.
Make Suggestions and Recommendations
Based on what you’ve observed during your temp time, you should be positioned to make educated suggestions during your interview. For example, if you worked as a temp in the marketing department, and you’re interviewing for a marketing coordinator opening, use what you’ve learned to date. For example, “I noticed in cataloguing work product that there were a lot of great sample campaign designs that are still in draft form. I’d like to suggest revisiting the viability of some of the slogans when we start work on the new marketing plan.”
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.