The seasoned independent contractor will have many roles through their career, and hence many interviews. Thus you might expect that they become good at the interview process, however our experience would suggest that there are more than a few contractors who struggle with interviews.
Here are ten tips for the contractor looking to win their next “gig”.
1. First Impressions Count! Know all the details about whom you are meeting, your agency should help with this.
2. First Impressions Count! Be sure to know where you are going and get there on time … or even a little early.
3. First Impressions Count! Dress appropriately for the occasion!
4. Preparation! Learn a little about the company you are interviewing with. Your agency should give you some information, but you can take a look at their website, read their annual report and perhaps some of their recent press releases.
5. Preparation! Think through what questions might they ask you and how you will best answer them.
6. Preparation. Demonstrate your interest by having some questions for them. About the role, the team, the project, the environment etc.
7. Preparation. Bring your resume with you … and any other portfolio items you might have, such as references, certifications, insurance, incorporation documents for your company etc. Come prepared to answer any questions thus hopefully getting an earlier decision.
8. Be confident (but not arrogant) and answer questions directly. Don’t try to avoid questions, if you don’t know the answer then “fess up”!
9. Try to relax, smile, hold eye contact and be friendly with your interviewer, you will likely be working closely with this person if you get the job so start off on the right foot!
10. Be aware of annoying habits that you may have when under pressure, such as tapping or clicking your pen, scratching your head, sniffing etc. … and avoid them!
It is always amazing to hear from clients why a particular contractor did NOT get a job … a little forethought and preparation will go a long way.