The interview process for seasonal employees is just as important as for permanent workers. Seasonal employees will serve your clients, make your products and otherwise represent your company brand. So even though they may only be employed by your organization for a short period of time, they will have a lasting impact. So of course, you want to make sure that you’re bringing on the best talent that will be a positive asset to your business.
The employment interview is the best tool that you have as an employer to decide if a seasonal job candidate is right for the job and your company culture. Taking the time to properly prepare before interviewing seasonal job candidates can increase the likelihood that you’ll hire the right people and have a successful busy season.
Here are some tips to help you prepare to effectively interview seasonal job candidates. We'll dive into more depth of tip throughout article.
Decide on Your Hiring Criteria in Advance
Before hosting your first interview, decide on your hiring criteria. You’ll have an easier time identifying your ideal candidate if you know what that looks like. Defining your hiring criteria is very simple. When creating your criteria consider answering this question:
👉What must be true for a candidate to be successful in this job?.👈
When you list out everything that is needed for a candidate to be successful in the seasonal job you’re hiring for, you will have created a profile for your ideal hire. You can use this data to make a checklist that can be ticked off as you speak with candidates. You’ll know when you have a viable candidate when everything on your list is checked off.
Here's an example. Your criteria may look something like this:
✔Must be able to work 7am-6pm.
✔Must be able to work Monday to Friday and every other Saturday.
✔Must have a valid driver license.
✔Must have a CPR certification.
As you can see, having a clearly defined lists of what you must have in a seasonal employee will keep you laser focused looking for those things during the interview.
Offer a Job Preview
Sometimes, no matter how well you try to explain the job and work environment, the candidate still may not correctly visualize the demands of the job. If you have ever had an employee quit because they said the job wasn’t what they thought it would be, a job preview can be a wonderful tool to prevent that in the future.
A job preview can eliminate any misinterpretations about the job by allowing candidates to see the work being performed in the environment it is performed in.
A job preview can take many forms. Here are a few suggestions that can be done as part of the interview.
If you do choose to incorporate a job preview, keep in mind that the candidate should not perform any work. They are simply observing to assist them in clearly understanding the work that the job involves.
Adding a job preview as part of your interview process could be a game changer that makes sure that the candidates who move on in your hiring process, know what they are getting into.
Ask the Right Questions
The interview is your opportunity to understand a candidate’s motivations to work a seasonal job and access their fit for the job. The questions that are asked during the interview are powerful tools that allow you to learn about the candidate and ultimately decide if they are the best person to hire for your seasonal job.
When deciding what questions to ask when interviewing candidates for seasonal jobs, focus on questions that allow you gain insights into their:
To get started, you could consider incorporating some of the sample interview questions in our Interview Questions to Ask Seasonal Job Candidates resource.
Clearly Communicate the Details of the Job. Again.
Even if you have explained the job in detail in the job posting, go over it again during the interview.
Jobseekers may be applying for and interviewing for multiple jobs at the same time. It is really easy to forget or blur the exact details for each job that they applied.
To help refresh their memory and make sure that everyone is on the same page, take a few minutes to review the most important information about the job.
It is completely fine if afterward the candidate realizes that they can’t meet one or more of the requirements for the job. In fact, it's a good idea to ask the candidate directly if they are on board with everything you described about the job. It is better to find out during the interview that process, than after an offer has been made that they really don't want to or can't do the job.
Here's what should be reviewed with every seasonal job applicant, during every interview.
✔ Work hours: The specific hours employees in the job will work.
✔ Work days: The days of the week the person hired will work.
✔ Availability: Explain any specific days or hours that the person hired must be willing to work. (ex. weekends, weekdays, holidays)
✔ Pay: Include the hourly rate of pay along with any bonuses or incentive pay.
✔ Length of assignment: The number of weeks or months the job lasts.
✔ Specific start and end dates: The calendar dates of when seasonal staff begin and end work.
✔ Work location: The place where the job is done
✔Job duties: Describe the work that will be done in the seasonal job.
✔ Working conditions: Describe the type of environment the work is performed in and any type of physical requirements (standing, walking, bending, working in hot or cold temperatures, ect.)
“The person hired for the camp counsellor seasonal job will work 7am-6pm, Monday through Friday. Camp counselors must also be available for training sessions every other Saturday from 8am-12pm. The pay is $18 per hour. The assignment is for six weeks beginning on June 1st and ending August 15. Our camp counselors supervise and instruct small groups of children of various ages to ensure a safe, healthy and fun environment. You’ll lead children in arts and crafts, came and other camp activities. Camp Counselors are on their feet moving their entire shift. They are frequently outside in hot conditions. Does what I just described sound like a job you are interested in and willing to do?”
Implementing these simple tips will help you interview seasonal job candidates efficiently and and intentionally. You'll be prepared to evaluate candidates who are interested in the job and capable of meeting the needs of your business. Get started finding seasonal employees. Post a job today for free.
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