Full-Time vs Part-Time Employment

Learn How to Answer This job Interview Question About Preference

Job interview
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"Would you prefer full-time employment to part-time if a job were available?" can be a tricky interview question.

  • On the one hand, if you are hoping that the job will turn into a full-time position, you want your prospective employer to consider you first should the opportunity arise.
  • On the other hand, you don't want to raise the doubt that should a full-time position present itself, you would walk out of your part-time commitment.

Be cautious when you respond and keep your answer general, so you're not committing to one type of employment or the other.

Sample Answers for Interview Questions About Full-Time vs Part-Time Employment

  • Right now, my education/family/children prevent me from considering full-time employment, but I wouldn't rule it out at some point in the future.
  • What is important to me is that I enjoy the work and the people I'm working with. I have many interests, and having a part-time job allows me the time to pursue them.
  • I am interested in this position at your company because (give the aspects of the job that interest you most). I'm available to work part-time but I'm interested in exploring opportunities at your company.
  • You can discuss your flexibility for hours, days of the week, and shifts you are available.This can show the interviewer how you could be a good fit for their needs.

Sample Answers: If You Would Prefer to Work Full-Time and the Job is Part-Time

Employers may post jobs as part-time so they can assess whether new employees would make a good full-time employee. Do a little research with current employees to see whether this is the tactic used by the company. If you can find out this key bit of information, you will be able to craft your answer better.

  • I am available for part-time work now and I am interested in working for your company. In the coming months, I will be available to work more hours. (You can give a reason if you have one, such as family schedule, education schedule, etc.)

If you discover that the company rarely promotes part-time staff to full-time, you should focus on why you are interested in working for the company in the offered position. You don't want to raise a red flag that you are looking to move on to a full-time position elsewhere.

How to Respond If You Only Can Take Part-Time Hours

Do as much research as possible before the interview as to the hours, shifts, and days of the week that the job requires. See if you are a good match considering your availability based on child care, education schedule, commuting logistics, etc. You can use this as the basis for your answer.

  • I'm interested in working in the position for your company because (give reasons) and I am available (give the hours/days/shifts).