Contract interview is generally one stage or maximum 2 stage process (1 x Telephone interview + 1 x Face to Face interview). Permanent interviews can take weeks, sometimes months and can take up to 3 months to land a job. Contracting is all about hitting the ground running from day one whereas with permanent jobs you have that honeymoon period to get babysit by mostly by another permanent employee.
Make sure you prepare for the interview comprehensively. Do the research about the company and role, what you can bring into the organisation etc… All your interviews will focus on whether you can hit the ground running from the first day. Are you a driver or a passenger? You need to strategies yourself more towards a problem solver. They also look for your experiences in different situations and for specialised skills.
During the interview
During the interview try to be a problem solver, ask why they are hiring, what are their requirements? Be proactive and try to close the deal. Follow up if you did not get an answer during the interview. Send a direct LinkedIn request for the interviewer(s).
- Contractors are hired to solve problems so make sure you demonstrate an appreciation of their problems and needs.
- Explain how you going to resolve their issues (just a few high-level explanations).
- Demonstrate that you have dealt with these types of issues/ problems in your previous roles. Give some examples and scenarios. (Use the STAR - Situation, Task, Action, Result methodology).
- Show your passion and motivation for the role. Explain how you going to fill their gap.
How to structure the interview
- Discuss about the company.
- Discuss their requirements (problem/ issues).
- Sell your solution.
Discuss their targets and goals for this role
If you are interviewing for a project/ programme role, discuss what the ultimate goal is and what they are trying to achieve.
Ask questions all thought the interview
Ask only relevant questions to their problem (ie ask about the major challenges they are having, as about the current team, and who are the major stakeholders of the projects/ programmes are etc..)
DOs during the Contractor Interview
- Prepare, Prepare and Prepare for the interview.
- Practice what you are going to say.
- Show your passion, hungriness and enthusiasm!
- The more interviews you attend more experience you going to get.
- Arrive about 15mnts early (if it is a bridge/ conference, dial 10 mnts before the interview).
- Wear a formal dress, take a notebook and your laptop.
- Show a presentation or one of your past work using your laptop.
- Whiteboard a solution or methodology you have experienced with.
- Research and study about the organisation and role.
- Read the job spec.
- Investigate the interviewer through LinkedIn, are they technical or a big picture guy.
- If you going to be late, call the reception and pass a message to the interviewer.
- Try to be direct as much as possible with your answers and questions.
- Use Real world scenarios answering questions.
- Memorise your brag list.
- Sleep well during the night before the interview.
- Switch off mobile phones.
- Try to be a pleasant and enjoyable person.
- Smile and be polite.
- Firm handshake.
- Good eye contact throughout the interview.
- First immersion counts.
- Relax and be confident.
- Ask questions during the interview, do not wait until they ask "Do you have any questions for us?". Keep a good conversation going.
- Prepare 3-5 Real world scenarios.
- Practice for competency based interview and answers.
- Take notes during the interview.
- Be positive and motivated.
- Read and memorise your CV.
- Be genuine and cool.
DON'Ts during the Contractor Interview
- Do not ask about the rate as this is between you and the agency (unless it is a direct contract with the employer).
- Do not bad mouth previous managers and companies
- Do not give too short or irrelevant answers.
- Do not interrupt your interviewer.
- Do not sit until invited.
- Do not show your desperation for the interview.
- Do not be the “yes” guy for their all problems and questions.
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