There are many reasons why a position might be offered on a part time basis. Perhaps the position requires a full timer but the company is open to two part time workers job sharing, or perhaps the demand isn’t there for full time work. Whatever the reason, part time workers differ from full time workers by the set hours and overall workload. This is not to say that a part timer does not have a full workload, but that the workload they complete during their work week is less than that of the full time equivalent.
This means it would be to your advantage to give a stronger focus on your likeability and emotional intelligence in your interview than you otherwise would. If you are job sharing, your emotional intelligence and willingness to pick up where your counterpart left off is a huge advantage, and if the position only involves a set number of hours a week, there may be less pressure put on projects and more focus on your likeability.
The best part time candidates show themselves to be someone everyone would want to work with. A candidate is particularly desirable if they show they are reliable enough to be off work for a number of days and can get straight back into it. Quite often applicants will forget the ‘likeability’ factor altogether and dive straight into the facts. Personality matters in part time work, and this is something your interview will notice if it is missing.
So how do you show your emotional IQ and come across as someone people would like in the interview? Here’s a trick: pretend the interviewer is your long lost friend. Greet them as if you already know them. You will come across as warm, bubbly and confident. You will be seen as someone who is capable and enjoyable to be around. This will put the interviewer at ease – they get nervous giving interviews, too! Interact with your interviewer on a human level as much as you can. You can treat the interview as a two-way street and ask your interviewer questions as you go. The best person for the job does not always get the job; sometimes the hiring manager will hire based on who resonated with them the most in the interview.
Feel free to genuinely compliment the interviewer, and the company. If you are interviewing to work there, it makes sense to give compliments about what impresses you about the company and their initiatives. If you are unsure of when to do this, try including them into any questions you have to ask at the end. Use any research you have done on the company to identify a point or two you like, then use this to ask further questions. For example, for a restaurant position: “It’s fantastic how you focus on seasonal food and drink. Is this to try and reduce the restaurant’s carbon footprint?” As long as your compliments are genuine, they will be felt, appreciated, and you will have elevated your chance of success in the interview.
Good luck with your part time job interviews!