Contractors: Questions to ask your Interviewer

Want to impress your interviewer during your next contractor interview? From talking about a recent project you headed to telling them about the additional training you’ve been doing, there’s plenty of things you can say that are bound to make an impression. But the one thing that will impress your interviewer the most is if you prepare a couple of questions to ask them at the end of your interview.  

It’s an interview tip that you will find on every interview guide ever written. But that’s because it’s so effective. Having these questions prepared shows that you’re genuinely interested in the contract they have on offer and shows a level of professionalism and respect for the interviewer that is still very much appreciated. It can also help you stand apart from your competition, which is never a bad thing! 

We understand that, as a contractor, you’re often busy and you need to make every minute count. So to help you get started with your interview preparations, we’ve come up with a few examples of questions you could ask that will get you noticed for all the right reasons.  

Will  I be working alone or with other contractors and where? 

It’s always beneficial to know the circumstances of how and where you’ll be working before you get started. So ask your interviewer, if they haven’t already told you, about the location of where you’ll be working and whether you’ll be alone or joined by other contractors along the way. This will show the interviewer that you’re planning ahead and have a professional attitude towards your work. 

This question could also lead to a conversation with your interviewer about how you intend to prepare for the task at hand, whether it’s ordering specialist equipment, making travel arrangements or devising initial plans to how best complete the work, in the quickest time. You could also talk about your previous experiences and success of working independently or as part of a team, depending on their answer. As a result, your interviewer is bound to see an efficient, experienced contractor who is eager to get started. 

 

What is the time frame for the project? 

As well as knowing where you’ll be working and who with, knowing how long your contract spans is another vital question you should ask. This should be a top priority to clarify just how long you’ll be working with the client on this particular project. In some instances, the interviewer might not know exact dates, but they should be able to give you a rough idea of how long they think the work should take and when it’s likely to start. 

This question will not only give you a chance to talk about previous projects of similar lengths that you’ve completed but will also give you the opportunity to showcase your time management and problem-solving skills. Let your interviewer know what your schedule is looking like currently and offer some possible solutions if there are potential clashes of contracts such as starting work a week later. 

This consideration and honesty is a fantastic way of getting into your interviewer’s good books as it gives them a chance to decide whether they want to wait for you or get someone else in who can start the work sooner. It can be a gamble but sometimes it can work in your favour. 

What are some potential obstacles that could arise and cause delays for the  project? 

Showing interest in the project itself can also help you make a great impression. It’s likely that you’ll have some idea of what the project will entail by this point, so focus your question on what delays or obstacles might impact the project. Asking this question shows enthusiasm for the work and a more technical interest in what it entails.  

This could also provide you with an opportunity to describe how you would tackle these potential obstacles, whether by using different strategies/techniques for the project or specialist equipment. You can also discuss how you would try to keep delays to a minimum. It will be hard for your interviewer not to be impressed if you’re offering them suitable solutions to potential problems that could cost them both time and money. 

 Feel free to use some of these examples during your next contractor interview, but don’t be put off using some of your own too. Avoid any inappropriate questions about the company or the interviewer and always get clued up on the company to stop you asking any obvious questions during the interview, such as what does the company do or sell? 

Asking relevant yet interesting questions at the end of your interview could mean the difference between securing your next contract and building a strong working relationship with a fantastic client or missing out altogether. So make sure it’s the former and not the latter! 

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Lauren Ballard

4th June

Career Advice