The IT Contractor Interview Game

What are the basic elements for IT contractors facing interviews to bear in mind? The truth is contractor interviews are utterly different to 'perm' interviews and because of their dynamic nature, it is actually easier to make the most of them by way of influencing the client to choose you. As a contractor, you can achieve this by subtly meeting the client's criteria in your approach and responses.

Your Interview Persona

My time interviewing contractors was fascinating both for the range of personalities and the strategies being employed to get the contract.

Here are just some of the notables:

1. The Cocky Git who thinks they know everything.

2. The Beggar who gives the impression they are thankful just for being invited to the interview.

3. The Joker who thinks they will win the client round with humour.

4. The Lord who thinks the client is honoured that they should have turned up at all.

5. The Fancy Dan who thinks Saville Row suits will do the trick.

6. The Nervous Wreck who shakes all the way through in the hope you'll give them the sympathy vote.

7. The Got-The-T-Shirt who has seen it, done it, and is really more interested in themselves than your project.

8. The Keen Machine is so keen to work there it's almost evangelical.

9. The Chill sits back on their chair like a lion hanging on a branch. Message: nothing fazes me so hire me.

10. The Mouth never shuts up.

11. The Mute never says a word.

12. The Bullshitter says a lot of buzzwords but always falls at the first fence and then collapses.

13. The Mate who wants to talk about golf and football and win you over that way.

14. The Manipulator who has been on body language/NLP courses and spends the entire time trying to mirror your gestures and posture (good fun to interview).

You may think these are made up, but interviews can bring out a very peculiar side in people. Even for IT contractors at interview, there is a sense that "I can't be myself, and I must be what they want me to be." The problem being that the candidate doesn't know what the client wants, so they end up distorting themselves in an effort to please.

How would you describe your Interview Persona in the past?

The Six Key IT Contractor Attributes

In a nutshell, clients are looking to tick the following boxes:
i)Flexibility – will you do what they want?
ii)Dependability – will you turn up each day?
iii)Productivity – will you do what you say you can do?
iv)Likeability – will you get on with folk and not rock the boat?
v)Affordability – do you come within their rate expectations or budget constraints?
vi)Availability – when can you start?

Throughout the interview, clients are looking for evidence that you have these attributes, not those of the 14 personas.

This article was provided by John Waine, The IT Coach.

ContractorUK has partnered with the UK's leading authority on Contractor CVs to provide a FREE review of your CV and LinkedIn profile. Contact The CV & Interview Advisors and one of their team will get back to you to discuss if your CV and LinkedIn profile matches up with industry best practice.

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