vocation progress industriesIt’s that time of year again!

The weather turns colder, the leaves begin changing colors, and “Help Wanted” signs are posted in every retailer’s window.

In many cases, seasonal positions are a great option for individuals seeking part-time employment. What might you want to review before coming to the decision to apply for such a position? How might you improve your chances of successfully obtaining such a position? Remember these simple tips in order to make your job search more successful.

To determine whether an open position might be a good fit for you, start by thinking about what skills someone might utilize in such a position. Consider how the business or employer might frame those into a position posting online. Then begin asking yourself questions relating back to the requirements of the position, for example:

  1. Am I someone who enjoys working with other people and interacting with customers?
  2. Do I have a flexible schedule and am willing to work evenings and weekends?
  3. Am I someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment?

By understanding yourself and your intent in your job search, you can ensure higher levels of success as you progress through the job seeking process. It is important that you first assess the position or industry as a fit for you as a prospective job seeker. There are number of online assessments that can guide you through this process as well. Assess your preferences and attitudes to find a position that fits your needs.

Equally important to understanding yourself, it is critical to ensure that you envision the hiring manager’s perspective when applying for these positions. By doing this, you can oftentimes predict possible interview questions in advance. If a “Help Wanted” advertisement requests someone who works well independently, the interviewer might say something like:

                “Tell me about a time when you were able to succeed with little guidance or direction.”

This is what is known as a “situational” or “behavioral” interview question. The interviewer is expecting an example demonstrating your ability to process through a difficult task. Here is one tip to prepare yourself to answer such a question; just remember the STAR method:

  1. Situation – What took place that led to the problem at hand?
  2. TaskWhat were you assigned to do or what was your role in the problem?
  3. ActionWhat did you do to fix the problem?
  4. ResultHow was this situation resolved?

In preparing for your next interview, try to come up with a few specific examples for situational interview questions that exemplify a few of your “transferable skills” which are skills you take with you from one position to another (sometimes in an entirely different industry). Some of these skills might include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Computer Literacy
  • Critical Thinking
  • And many others

Finally, as you review these tips before you start the job seeking process, remember that we have only touched on the surface of some of these topics. You can take your job search to the next level by expanding on the advice given above.

For more information about job seeking skills or how best to prepare for what comes after the interview, stay posted to this blog and follow us on social media, where there will be more helpful hints to come.

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Blog Written by: Mitch Jacobsen is the Director of Vocational Services at Catalyst Life Services, and he has worked with individuals with barriers to their employment and educational goals. He oversees a number of vocational programs and services designed to improve employment outcomes. Mitch is passionate about the vocational department at Catalyst Life Services, which helped put over 500 people to work in calendar year 2017.