A while back, we asked our Recruiting Team to give a few pointers to independent contractors to help them increase their probability of success in job interviews. Here are their top tips:
- Learn a little about the company you are interviewing with. Your agency should give you some information. Take it one step further by looking at the client’s website and reading their annual report. The best way to find out about a company’s current activities is by looking at their recent press releases.
- Research your interviewer. Know all the details about the person or people you are meeting. Check out their LinkedIn profiles.
- First Impressions Count! Be sure to know where you are going and get there on time, or even a little early.
- Dress appropriately for the occasion. Always err on the side of caution. It is better to be over dressed than under dressed.
- Bring your resume. Some contractors have both a “short form” and a “long form” resume that gives more detail about their work. Bring copies of both. These can be useful to an interviewer.
- Prepare for the interview. Make sure you are ready for any questions they might ask you. Read the job description carefully. It usually offers clues as to their priorities.
- Prepare some questions for them. Ask questions about the role, the team, the project, the environment etc. Ask clarifying questions in relation to the job description.
- 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. Truth goes a long way!
- Try to relax, smile, hold eye contact and be friendly with your interviewer.
- Be aware of annoying habits that you may have when under pressure, for example tapping or clicking your pen, scratching your head, sniffing etc. Once you’ve identified these habits, make a conscious effort to avoid them. Keeping a notepad handy and writing notes through an interview will not only show that you’re interested but can also help provide a distraction from those habits.
Contractors typically will have hundreds of interviews in their career so refining interview skills key in ensuring many successful contracts. What helps you with your interviews? Share your advice with your fellow contractors by leaving a comment!