Forget curveballs, it’s these standard IT contractor interview questions you’ll likely slip on

We all know that tricky IT contractor interview questions exist only to trip us up but more often than not, it’s standard questions at your ‘B2B meeting’ as a contractor you’ll slip on.

So in no particular order, writes Natalie Bowers of boutique IT recruitment firm Bowers Partnership, the regular but nonetheless dangerous banana skins are:

1. ‘Describe a situation where you had to juggle multiple projects simultaneously.’

This question is designed to find out if you’re the unruly stallion of multitasking!

So giddy up. It's like herding cats, but instead of fluffy felines, you're wrangling unruly projects – or should have done to ace this interview.

A good answer is to showcase your time-management skills, agility, and ability to keep all projects in line, no matter how loud the neighing sounds get!

2. ‘How do you integrate DevOps principles into your workflow, and can you share an instance where this approach led to improved efficiency?’

Sit, stay, DevOps! Much like training a trusty canine companion, incorporating DevOps into your workflow requires discipline and consistency.

A good answer should illustrate your commitment to collaboration, automation, and communication.

3. ‘Share an example of a complex technical problem you encountered and how you went about solving it.’

So, tell us what you did because we might need it doing too, and rather pay you, how about you give us a freebie!? Well, that certainly is how this diamond can come across.

But actually, it’s a fair question to ask. After all, IT contractors must navigate the complex terrain of technical challenges.

A good answer should showcase your analytical skills, resourcefulness, and determination in solving the conundrums of the IT world.

4. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends?

In other words, ‘Are you The Oracle of Adaptability?’

Or maybe this question is just an opening to state your allegiance to ContractorUK?!

Well, be ready to sound like you grab crystal balls regularly; and then embrace your inner Oracle by demonstrating your foresight in the ever-evolving tech landscape and ideally, say how it once saved the day!

So a good answer should highlight your commitment to continuous learning and adapting to change.

If going for a tech role in financial services, remember subscriptions to CityWire, the FT, and something else impressive-sounding (that of course you first saw recommended on the ContractorUK Forum), are expected as standard.

5. What three words would a good friend use to describe you?

When faced with this classic, don’t go O.T.T. but instead consider it as a chance to show off a bit of your personality.

Ideally, you’ve got at least one friend (somewhere!) who would describe you as ‘resilient,’ ‘collaborative,’ and ‘empathetic.’  These are qualities that make you not just a tech expert but a supportive team player. Yawn, I know, but true in the eyes of most hiring managers!

Thursday 18th Jan 2024
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Written by Natalie Bowers

Natalie is a co-founder of Bowers Partnership, an award-winning recruitment company that finds people for Investment and Wealth Management firms and Asset Owners. She has more than 30 years’ experience in recruitment, corporate IT and multi-functional general management positions.

Her areas of expertise include contract recruitment, permanent search & selection and recruitment-specific regulation. She is a regular commentator for recruitment industry publications and specialist websites.

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