Turn a Temp Interview Into a Full-Time Job Offer

Man sitting in a sunlit office with a great view

Temp work has many downsides, like low pay, part-time hours, no benefits and a lack of job security. A full-time job offer is much better—and attainable.

The reason some employers love hiring temp workers is because it’s cheaper. They save on the cost of health insurance, retirement plans and vacation time. It ends up being convenient for businesses, but unsustainable for workers.

Your interview mindset needs a whole new paradigm

Most people go into an interview with the wrong mindset. Maybe they lost their job, or their current job is going nowhere. So it’s pretty common to think this way:

  1. “I have a problem: I need a job.”
  2. “If I don’t get a new job, then…”
    • I’ll go broke
    • I’ll be stuck in a rut
    • Life will never get better
    • etc.
  3. “That outcome would be painful, and I need a new employer to solve my problem by giving me a job.”

So by the time someone is in an interview, they’re nervous or maybe even scared. If anything goes wrong, they won’t get the job. They won’t solve their problem, and tomorrow might be painful.

Nervous woman in a job interview
Don’t be nervous in job interviews.

Fear is driving most people who walk into an interview. Interviewers can smell fear, and that immediately puts you at a disadvantage.

Confidence is sexiness

Here’s the new paradigm. This is the mindset you need when you go into an interview seeking a job offer:

  1. “This employer has a problem. They need this position filled by someone with the skills and knowledge to perform the job.”
  2. “If they don’t fill this position, then…”
    • Their sales will go down
    • They’ll never move the company forward
    • Their boss will be unhappy
    • etc.
  3. “That outcome is painful; they need a new employee to solve their problems by accepting the job role.”

Do you see the difference in these two ways of thinking? The first mindset was fearful. But this way of thinking is confident and fearless. If anyone in this interview is sweating and nervous, it’s the interviewer.

Incorrect Correct
Candidate has a problem Interviewer has a problem
Candidate’s problem has painful results Interviewer’s problem has painful results
Interviewer holds the solution Candidate holds the solution

Discover the employer’s problems and pain points

In the consulting world, you anchor project pricing based on the value you can provide. Any business owner will spend X if they’re going to make 2X, 5X or 10X return on their investment. You communicate value by discussing the client’s problems and pain points during the consultation. Then you show how your solution fixes all their problems.

There is no project. You’re selling a better tomorrow.

But what does selling have to do with temp jobs? I recently updated my resume, put in on InDeed and Linkedin, and within a day, my phone was ringing off the hook. The interviews lined up were for part-time temp jobs at low hourly rates with no benefits. I did something that no interviewer had seen before, and this made them want to make a job offer right away.

I asked questions.

  • “What made you decide to hire for this position?”
  • “What would happen if you don’t fill this position soon? (and what will that cost your company?)”
  • “What are this company’s strengths and weaknesses?”
  • “What are this department’s strengths and weaknesses?”
  • “What are your plans for growth, and what will it take to get there?”

I hope you can see what I was doing. By asking the right questions, I learned each interviewer’s challenges and problems they faced. I heard about how hard it’s been to find someone to fill this role. I heard each person tell me how they need to hire someone, ASAP. I heard how painful it was every day that passed without this role filled.

Interviewers told me problems and pain points, and I anchored my offer on the value I could provide.

Be your interviewer’s “better tomorrow”

When you get interviewers to say out loud how much they need to hire someone, now it’s sales time. Remember, there is no product. There is only a better tomorrow.

This is where you explain how you can solve all their problems. Talk about your strengths and experience, and explain how you are the right answer. Reference past jobs and projects where you solved problems and increased their bottom line. Be bold, creative and truthful. Now is not the time to sell yourself short. This is a sales pitch, and it’s your job to make yourself the obvious best candidate.

Happy interviewer extending a job offer
Impress interviewers with confidence, the right skills for the job and a positive attitude.

I left each of those interviews with confidence, knowing I would get call backs. And I did. In fact, most employers called back the same day or next day.

Negotiate the job offer that you want

Here’s where I turned a part-time temp offer into an immediate hire full-time job. When you nail several interviews, you’ll start to receive job offers. Don’t just accept the first offer that comes your way. You can leverage these against one another and use them to negotiate.

Ryan Howard, the temp from The Office
Do I look like a temp?

The job I ended up taking was with a decent company for a good salary, but they wanted to hire me as temp-to-perm. So I told them the truth: I had other full-time offers with attractive benefits. If they would turn it into a full-time offer, then I would take the job.

Give yourself choices

The other offers I had consisted of lower salaries with better benefits. I told those companies the same thing. If they would raise the salary to match this offer, I would take their job. They wouldn’t match the salary, so my decision was easy.

By getting interviewers to voice their problems, I created a demand. By communicating my skills and the value I could bring, I made myself the obvious solution. This generated several job offers which I used to negotiate the full-time job offer that I wanted.

Next time you’re between jobs, try this out and let me know what kind of success you have with it. And I’d love to hear if you have any good tips for turning temp interviews into full-time job offers. Leave a comment below and join the conversation.