Have an interview coming up for a part-time job? Similar to any other type of job interview, preparation and practice are critical. You’ll want to make a solid first impression, demonstrate why you’re a great fit for the company, and ultimately secure an offer.
During the interview, you’ll very likely encounter standard questions based on your resume, situational and behavioral questions about your past experience, and culture fit questions to gauge how well you align with company values. However, there are some questions unique to part-time roles that you may be asked as well. Here are a few common interview questions for part-time jobs to prepare for.
What made you decide to apply for a part-time role with our company?
Your answer to this question will show whether or not you did your homework. Research the position and the company and take note of things that excite you about working for them.
Why do you want to work part-time?
Employers may ask this question to learn about your intention and gauge your commitment to the opportunity, so be honest with your answer. You may have family commitments, be a full-time student, or simply prefer it over full-time work and like the variety of having multiple gigs at once. If you ultimately want to work full-time, it’s okay to mention that too – especially if you get a sense from your interviewer that the position has potential to evolve.
Note of caution: Even if true, “I just need a job right now” and “I’m looking for something to do until another job comes along” aren’t great answers to the question, “Why do you want to work part-time?”
What are your short- and long-term career goals?
In addition to learning more about you and your aspirations, employers may be trying to gauge how long you’ll stay with them if hired. Part-time roles tend to have higher turnover rates than full-time positions, yet hiring for these jobs still takes a lot of time and resources.
Which days/hours are you available?
Be prepared to give specific answers for part-time job interview questions like this one. Providing accurate information about your availability will help move the hiring process along and enable both you and the employer to determine your eligibility if the position’s schedule is non-negotiable (more on that next).
This part-time role has a very specific schedule. Will you be able to work the required days and hours?
Again, be honest about your availability – especially if you already have another part-time job or other obligations impacting your schedule. Tell your interviewers about any conflicts with their desired schedule and offer alternative solutions.
Would you be able to adjust your schedule and work additional hours if needed?
The company you’re interviewing with may have busy periods throughout the year, such as a retail store during the holidays. Your interviewer may ask this question to gauge if you have the flexibility to help out during those critical times.
I see from your resume you currently have another part-time job. If hired for ours, how would you balance your commitments?
Having multiple part-time jobs isn’t uncommon, but you shouldn’t be applying to additional part-time roles until you have a solid answer to this question. Another key thing to consider is whether your current employer has a non-compete clause or other policy that could impact your ability to accept another role.
Don’t forget that you’re interviewing the company as well. Come prepared with a list of questions to make sure you 1) show your interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the role and 2) have the information you need to determine if the job is a good fit for you. Here are a few ideas for questions to ask at a part-time job interview.
How can the person in this role help reach companywide goals? How will my performance be evaluated?
These are great part-time job interview questions because they demonstrate that you want to do well in the role and positively impact the company, even if you’re not working 40 hours per week.
Will I have a set schedule each week, or will my hours/shifts change?
If hours are not clearly stated in the job ad or provided to you before the interview, be sure to ask this question to get a clear understanding of how you’ll need to adjust your current schedule should you accept the position.
Does this position have the potential to evolve into a full-time role?
If your ultimate goal is to have a full-time job, it can’t hurt to get a sense of whether that will be a possibility during the interview. This question will demonstrate your ambition as well.
Are part-time employees eligible for any benefits?
It’ll vary by company and position, and the answer may be “no,” but knowing this information could help you decide between multiple part-time jobs if you receive several offers.
Does this position have a specific start and end date?
Similar to the question above about hours, knowing if role has precise start and end dates (like many seasonal positions do) will help you plan accordingly and ensure you’re available.
Preparing strong answers to common interview questions for part-time jobs will help you ace your next interview and get one step closer to landing a great role. Ready to find part-time opportunities in your area? Search our jobs database today and sign up to get daily Job Alert emails for part-time, contract, and temporary roles.
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