Speak to an expert

0203 773 1525

Successful contractor interviews

After a contractor has successfully marketed their skills to the extent that they’ve aroused the interest of a recruiter or end client, the next step is the interview. It is at the interview where the final decision about the contractor with whom they will engage is made.

In this article, we look at:

  • The mind-set of the interviewer
  • Phone interviews for contractors
  • Face to face interviews for contractors
  • Skype interviews for contractors

The mind-set of the interviewer

Although it is understandable that the focus of a contractor during an interview will be on themselves and their own performance and interests, there is value in understanding the mind-set of the interviewer during the process.

In most cases, the interviewer will not be the owner of a business or organisation. They will be someone who has been delegated by an owner, director, or senior manager to make the decision. They will have been given a brief and a budget to work to.

Making the wrong decision for them may have severe and negative consequences on the forward progression of their careers. During an interview, a contractor limited company director should look to provide the interviewee with the following comforts:

  • “I am available when you need me to start”
  • “I can work comfortably for the day rate offered”
  • “I am someone that your team can get along with”
  • “I work incredibly hard and when I say something will be done, it will be done”
  • “I want to provide your company with the solution it needs and I will be flexible in helping you achieve that”
  • “I will not go missing without explanation – I rarely, if ever, take a day off through illness”
  • “I understand what’s being asked of me, I understand why it’s important for the company to do this successfully, and I am capable of doing everything that’s needed”.

Phone interviews for contractors

Clients use phone interviews more often than not to whittle down from a shortlist to a handful of face to face interview candidates. Although not unheard of, it’s unlikely that a contract will be offered solely on the basis of a telephone interview.

When speaking in a face to face interview, clients will evaluate the use of verbal communication and non-verbal communication (also known as body language) as part of their judgement process on a contractor.

In a phone interview, the quality and confidence in verbal delivery is important so it’s important for a contractor to sound likeable, dependable, and confident of their ability to carry out the requirements laid out in a contract.

The best telephone conversations turn into focused but free flowing conversations between a contractor and their interviewee. People buy people first so a contractor should give as many reasons as possible over the phone for them to be invited in for a face-to-face interview.

Face to face interviews for contractors

A contractor should do as much preparation as possible prior to an interview. Preparation materials used should include the job spec itself, knowledge on this history of the company, and, if possible, knowledge on the interviewer as gleaned from his or her LinkedIn profile.

Certain jobs will be difficult and technical in their nature. In these instances, a client will be looking for a contractor who is confident about their own abilities and confident about themselves as professionals capable of performing the work to a very high standard.

Slower speech delivery exudes confidence. It should be used because it makes a speaker sound much more assured in their own abilities and capable of handling pressurised situations.

A confident, calm, and measured verbal delivery paired with controlled body language often gives an interviewer comfort.

Skype interviews for contractors

Skype is a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) platform offering users video and audio telephony services. It has seen increasing adoption by businesses over the last 10 years not only for contractor interviews but for staff meetings, videoconferencing, and more.

Many clients like to speak first with potential contractors via Skype. Skype can be installed onto mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and desktops. For laptop and desktop users, a camera, speakers/earphones, and microphone will be required.

Prior to speaking with a potential client, a contractor should make sure that the picture (including the position of the face and lighting conditions) looks professional. Programs and apps which give sound notifications should be switched off prior to a Skype call because they will be heard by clients. A contractor should look and sound dependable on a Skype call.

Once these factors have been dealt with, a contractor should treat a Skype call in a similar way to a face to face interview if the picture mode is switched on.

Would you like more information on Successful contractor interviews?

Explore More Resources

Marketing your limited company

Marketing your limited company

There is a wide variety of ways in which a contractor limited company can market itself including a well-written CV, using a recruitment agency, online job boards, LinkedIn, networking, websites, and email marketing. Marketing gets a contractor in to see an interviewer who will eventually award the job. We look at the mindset of an interviewer, phone interviews, what’s expected at face-to-face interviews, and the increasing frequency of Skype interviews.

Company taxation

Company taxation

A contractor limited company pays its own taxes including corporation tax, Employer National Insurance, IS and VAT. There are schemes available from HMRC which allow contractors extra time to pay what they owe when money is tight. In this post we look at the tax burden faced by contractor limited companies.