If you’re preparing for a contract job interview, it’s important to think about the questions you might be asked ahead of time. Many candidates prepare for standard interview questions, which are typically geared towards permanent roles. However, hiring managers are looking for quite different responses from a contract or temp candidate, due to the nature and outcomes of the work.
Temporary workers are expected to hit the ground running in their new workplace – they don’t usually get the privilege of ‘settling in’ that a permanent member of staff is afforded. This means you may be asked more direct questions in your interview, as the hiring manager will want to know you can make an immediate impact.
Here are some of the most common questions you might be asked in a contracting job interview, and how to answer them well.
Here at JustinBradley, we love behavioral interview questions and you can definitely expect something similar to the above. Your answer to this question will tell the hiring manager how quickly you can jump in and start contributing.
The interviewer wants to know not only are you qualified for this role, but does this position align with your career goals. Your answer will help reassure them that, despite being a contract worker, you are committed to the project.
Even as a contract employee, it is still very important that you get along well with existing employees for the sake of the team’s morale and productivity. Prepare to give examples of how well you have worked with a range of different personalities during your interview.
As recruiters, we at JustinBradley spend a significant part of our day interviewing accounting, finance and business professionals, and we understand that most people approach the process with a combination of excitement and nervousness. One way to lower those nervous feelings during an interview is to be prepared. We encourage all our candidates to practice answering common interview questions (ideally out loud).
**And don’t forget to let the interviewer know that you’re interested in pursuing the position. Say things such as “I’m very interested in this opportunity. I hope we can talk further”, or “From what you’ve told me, I’d like this job.” Be sure to ask what the next step is. This draws the interview to a close and ensures everyone is on the same page moving forward.
Tell us about your experience with different forms of written agreements.
You can have an experience with agreements, without ever working in the field. At the end of the day, you have certainly signed (and hopefully also read) dozens of agreements in your life (just think about insurance, mobile carrier, bank, etc).
If you lack professional experience, you can refer to this in your answer. Ensure the interviewers that you read each contract carefully, have a decent knowledge of principal sections on each contractual agreement, and that the field interests you greatly. Maybe you have even drafted some contracts before, for example renting your apartment to someone, or selling a more expensive item, etc.
Of course, if you have any professional experience with drafting or reading contracts, including relevant courses at school, you can explain what exactly you did, and which types of contracts you worked with.
Try to speak with enthusiasm about any work you did with contractual agreements. For most people, contracts are boring and they hate to read them (partially because they do not understand them). The hiring managers should not get an impression that you have the same attitude… That’s why your tone of voice and the way you talk about contracts matter.
Why do you want to work as a contract specialist?
Try to talk more about things you want to bring onboard the company, than about things you want to take from them, such as $55,000+ average annual salary this job typically pays.
For example, you can emphasize your impeccable reading and writing skills, strong attention to detail, and good understanding of their business field (or at least a strong interest in their field, and willingness to learn more). You have what it takes to become a great contract specialist, and that’s why you decided to apply.
You can also talk about a meaningful purpose of the job. Order should rule each business (or federal) relationship. Good contracts, ones take into account interests of both contract parties, are necessary to establish and retain order. You’d love to have a job in which you can actually make some difference, whether in a local community or in a company.
You can also opt for a simpler answer, saying that you like the job description, and think that the job suits both your strengths and personal preferences. You simply consider it a great match and decided to apply.