What is the difference between Interim and Temporary?


What is the difference between Interim and Temporary jobs and positions


means that something will only last for a short time until somebody more permanent is found.

interim position example:

John is the CEO of XYZ company and suddenly dies. Now there is a problem because someone needs to be the CEO to make the decisions.

XYZ company has to replace John, the best person at that point is John’s right-hand woman called Susan. Susan steps into John’s position until the company can find a suitable candidate to be the new CEO.

To sum it up: Susan is the interim CEO until the new CEO is appointed. You can say that Susan is the acting CEO.

How long do interim positions last?

It could last from 3 to 18 months. It depends on how fast the company can find a better replacement.


means that something will last for a limited time, brief, and is not permanent.

Temporary position example:

Anna works for ABC company and is pregnant, she will be going on maternity leave for 3 months.

Someone needs to do Anna’s job, so they employ Mary to do Anna’s work for 3 months. Mary is now a temporary employee of ABC

Company for 3 months until Anna returns from maternity leave.

Does Interim mean temporary?

Yes. They are synonyms with a slight difference.

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