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Part-time job

These questions along with our interviewing tips can be used to find the best fit when hiring for part-time positions.

What you should know before hiring part-time employees:

Part-time work usually indicates weekly employment for less than 40 hours per week. Companies hire on a part-time basis for many reasons such as:

  • Catering to increased demands during specific seasons during the year such as holiday season in retail.
  • Place an employee under a part-time probation period before making the decision of offering them full-time employment.
  • Cover many shifts across the day from early morning to late night.
  • Get extra help and support for specific projects.

In order to reach a large audience of the desired applicant’s pool, make sure to advertise and utilize the word “part-time” so candidates who are interested, can apply. Additionally, you can have questions on an application form or screening calls to eliminate the candidates who do not work well with your requirements and needs for the specific job positions. This is done to save up time and energy as well as not to come across any dealbreakers in prospective candidates in future steps of the hiring process. 

Examples of part-time job interview questions:

  • What does your availability look like during the week (Morning, afternoon, evening)?
  • This position may require occasional night or weekend shifts, how flexible is your schedule and would you be willing to work during those times?
  • If there is any future hiring for full-time positions in our company, would you be interested in becoming a permanent member of our team?
  • What was your motivation to apply to this job position? And what skills and experiences do you hope to gain from this position?
  • What are your future long-term career goals and how do you plan to incorporate this position in those goals?
  • If, under any circumstance, the next employee who is supposed to come and relief you from your work duties doesn’t arrive on time, what do you do?
  • How do you react if you come across a pile of unfinished tasks from an employee who was covering the previous shift before yours?
  • How do you handle a fast-paced working environment where a situation can get quite stressful (e.g. managing multiple clients at the same time). Elaborate on how you would proceed to overcome this stressful situation, using instances from your previous work experiences.

How to interview candidates for part-time positions:

  • Know and understand local labor laws in regards to part-time employment. Based on the city and country you operate in, the labour regulations on full and part-time employees may be different and therefore, you need to be fully cognizant of this and understand your legal duties before you hire any employees. Be ready to explain these rules to prospective employees during interviews on the regulations concerning their work schedule, contract terms, wages, bonuses, and benefits.
  • Avoid asking any questions that could raise legal issues. Refrain from asking any questions that could make prospective employees feel uncomfortable and could lead to any legal risks. For instance, instead of asking “do you have family commitments that could prohibit you from taking a full-time job position?, you could mention the available shifts and ask them if this schedule works well with them. Be sure to check out this list of illegal interview questions to make sure your interview questions are well prepared and legal.
  • Adhere to the job-related criteria. Be mindful that future part-time employees apply to part-time job positions for a reason, as they should not be expected to work on a full-time basis. Therefore, assess your future employees using structured techniques and well prepared questions to fully grasp and understand their reaction to different situations and the skills they acquired from previous work experiences to determine if they are the best fit for the job or not.

Red Flags:

  • They are not flexible and not willing to work different shifts. It is very important to be flexible, specially in specific work domains and positions. For instance, salesperson retail job positions require future employees to be available and flexible to take on their colleagues’ shifts when needed (sometimes even last-minute) or be willing to adopt a different work schedule during peak seasons. If candidates have many commitments that can create conflicts in the future, they most likely aren’t the best fit for the position.
  • They prefer full-time employment but you only offer part-time work positions. Some candidates perceive part-time positions as a stepping stone to land a full-time work position in the future. If you would like to hire internally for future full-time positions and are open to retaining part-time employees and prioritize their hiring, be transparent about it but also be realistic in the current vacant part-time opportunities that you are hiring for. Hire for people who currently prefer to work part-time rather than full-time.
  • They do not fit within the company’s culture. Part-time employees do more than just fill out any existing gaps within the company’s work schedule, they take on important projects, achieve results and ultimately represent the company. Hire employees who understand your company’s mission,want to be part of your company’s success and integrate well within the company’s culture.

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