Advice for Going From Temporary to Permanent Worker?

January 5, 2010 by sparktalk


Dear Experts,

Have you ever covered, “How to handle an interview when going from a temporary contracted employee to a permanent hire employee?” My assignment is set to end on January 22, but there are two positions available for interviews before that. Thank you for your time

What will take you from Temp to Perm?


You are in a unique position to present specific skills and achievements that the employer is looking for!  One of the major benefits of temporary employment is the opportunity that temporary workers have to both learn about their employer and impress them.

That having been said, don’t rest on your laurels.  Sometimes temporary employees don’t prepare for the interview as much as outside interviewees.  If you approach the interview as if you are a shoe – in you will hurt your chances of being seriously considered.

Prepare for the interview just as you would if you were applying from the outside:

Research the company, culture, and goals.  What do you already know about the company? What information is available on its website?  Do you have access to the mission statement or other financial information or goals?  Summarize what you know and are able learn about the company.  Jot down any questions that you can ask coworkers or supervisors before the interview.  You will want to keep some pertinent questions to ask the interviewer(s).

What type of interview will it be?  One on one is most common and straight forward – there may be more than one.  You will want to prepare differently if there are multiple interviewers or a behavioral interview.

Dress for success.  As a temporary employee you are probably already trying to put your best foot forward on a daily basis, but take pains to look especially sharp.  Cut and style your hair and have your nails done (even men should take this step for the interview).

Be prepared with a list of things you have learned during your assignment.  Highlight any achievements on your part and anything that impresses you about the company or your supervisor.  Be concrete and provide quantitative information whenever possible.  At the very least, provide specific examples.

If you don’t already have a clear mission statement for yourself and 1, 5, and 10 year goals, you should think about this sooner rather than later.  It will help if these goals correspond to what you know about the company and how they promote.  You should have a good understanding of their promotional ladder at this point, but if you don’t, find out.  Again, you will want to relate your goals in a way that makes sense to the company and makes you clearly an attractive candidate!

Writing things down may seem silly or a waste of time to some, but it is a great way to hone your elevator speech and ensure that you are prepared with clear, concise responses that will wow your interviewers.  Take the extra time to do this in preparing for an interview and you will exude confidence.

Practicing answering standard interview questions is also a step deemed as not necessary by many, but can really help you feel more confident and ensure that your written statements sound natural and convey what you wish them to.  It is important not to sound at all rehearsed – don’t so much memorize as feel comfortable with the information you intend to impart.

Again, I think you are in an ideal position to do well in this interview and wish you good luck!

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About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky
Email Mary Sherwood Sevinsky


About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
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