All You Need To Know About IT Contractor Interviews
Dec 4, 2020
All You Need To Know About IT Contractor Interviews
Dec 4, 2020

The Difference Between an IT Contractor Interview Vs Permanent Employee Interview

IT Contractor interviews are different than interviews held for a permanent employee. Generally, line managers will not be carrying out psychometric tests, or second and third interviews. As a line manager, you may only have an hour to assess whether to hire the contractor.

In the interview, the IT contractor is likely to sell their skills, professional contractors are normally well prepared, knowing they have about an hour to win the contract.

As a line manager, you will be analysing if the IT contractor has the right skills, experience, attitude and personality to fit with the existing team and whether they have sufficient skills and experience to warrant their fee.

If a line manager invests time in getting the most out of the contractor interview, and remember that they are not recruiting an employee, they are probably more liking to make more effective contractor recruiting decisions.

Before the interview – preparation

The IT contractor has been invited to interview because their CV ticked all the boxes, but CV’s can be misleading by asking the right questions a line manager can identify if the IT Contractor is right for the project, recruiting the wrong IT Contractor can be an expensive mistake.

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 IT contractor interview Questions

Line Managers should consider asking the following questions during an interview with an IT Contractor

  1. Talk to me about when you have used these skills in another project, what went right and what could have gone better
  2. Give me an example of when you have used your own initiative to make a different to a previous project?
  3. How do you feel about working alone or with a team?
  4. What is your expectation on being managed?
  5. Talk to me about different business cultures you have worked in during previous contracts and what have you done to ensure that you fitted in to the team.
  6. Tell me how you ensure you achieve your deadlines
  7. How have you made a difference to a project you have previously worked on.
  8. How do you ensure you understand the projects requirements fully?
  9. Tell me about a time when  a project you have worked on has gone wrong and how you have overcome it.
  10. What do you know about this organisation?
  11. What do you know about this project?
  12. Do you have any evidence of your impact on a previous projects profitability and how it impacted on the business.

IT Contractor and their Communication Skills

During the interview, a line manager will also establish if the IT Contractor has strong communication skills. The main factors they will look for include;

  • Do they have good eye contact?
  • Do they answer the question that was asked or do they go off on a tangent?
  • Do they listen or do they justify what they want to say?
  • What is their body language saying?
  • Do they ask questions that are relevant?
  • Do they use silence?
  • Is the contractor skilled for the position? Can they achieve what we need them to?
  • Can they work on their own and use their initiative?
  • Are they likeable and will fit into our organisation’s culture?
  • Are they clearly focused on project delivery?
  • Do they have good communicate skills?
  • Can they offer some added value, more than the other candidates, which could help give the organisation an edge?
  • Do they try hard to understand the project requirements, by asking lots of questions?
  • Do they seem keen and a hard worker and prepared to get really stuck in?
  • Do they appear to be genuinely interested in the project?
  • Are they a positive person who will motivate others or a negative merchant of doom?
  • Are they a good listener?
  • Do they know anything about our business/organisation and the market sector?
  • Is the contractor commercially aware?

A good IT contractor will have the same checklist to work through from their perspective and will be trying to reassure the interviewer that they are the best person for the job.

What sends alarm bells ringing?

As a line manager, you will be likely to recognise during the interview that the contractor might not be the right person for this particular contract, or that they might not fit in with your organisational culture. Common warning signs include:

  • The IT contractor focuses too much on how the role would be good for them rather than the client
  • The IT contractor does not really address the organisations problems or explain how their skills and experience will solve them
  • The IT contractor may exaggerate or boast.
  • The  IT contractor is a bad listener, talks too much, and doesn’t directly answer questions
  • The IT contractor interrupts the interviewer 
  • The IT contractor has obviously not prepared for the interview and lacks understanding
  • The IT contractor demonstrates a lack of commercial awareness 
  • The IT contractor lacks interest in the organisation and project and demonstrates poor knowledge.

Making your IT Contract Recruitment decision

IT contractors that have long term successful contracting careers will also have good selling skills in addition to their core expertise. 

At the end of the interview, an experienced and prepared IT contractor will normally ask for the business and attempt to close the deal, assuming of course that they want to work on the project.

As a line manager if you are not ready to make a decision at the interview you can schedule a time to get back to the, however, remember that a good contractor, even in depressed market conditions, will almost certainly have other options. So, do take time to deliberate over the decision, but do not prevaricate.

Once the contract offer has been made, the negotiation stage begins once again preparation is very important.

Langley James IT Recruitment has been established since 1999 and specialises in recruiting IT Contractors throughout the UK across all business sectors contact Langley James on  0207 788 6600  

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