Contractor Interview Tips

If you’ve been in your current contracting role for some time, you might out of touch with current interviewing techniques and a bit rusty sitting in front of an interviewer. Find below a comprehensive candidate check-list which tells you how to prepare, what questions to expect and how to conduct yourself during the interview.

How to prepare for a contractor interview

There's a lot to think about before an interview, so here's how to get up to speed:

Find out about the company

Before your interview, you should find out the following about the company:

Aside from the information your agency can provide, you should do your own research from company literature, online searches and word of mouth, if possible.

Find out what structure the interview will follow

Pick out your skills or achievements that are directly relevant and rehearse these ahead of the interview. Find opportunities to sell yourself, relating your skills to the role you are applying for.

Most interviews follow a similar format:

Questions based on your CV to explain your career path and ambitions

General questions about you

Some examples include:

What information will you be given during the interview?

Informing you about the position and company

After the interview

How to handle nerves before an interview

Most people have a conditioned response to interviews known as “nerves”. Here are some tips to make the best use of nerves:

What resists persists

There is little point wishing you didn’t feel nervous or thinking of all the “bad” things that might happen as a consequence. What we resist tends to persist. If we try to push nerves away, they will stubbornly hang around. So, acknowledge and accept them.

Use nerves to stay alert

Ask most actors and they will tell you that nerves are vital to a good performance. They keep you alert and on the ball. Without nerves, actors can feel over-confident and complacent. So value your nerves, and place the focus on how they are keeping you alert.

Treat them as nothing special

Treat the nerves as nothing special. Give them equal value to the colour of your shirt and the state of the weather. Acknowledge them and do what you need to do anyway. By taking the attention off, in this way, nerves soon lose their momentum.

Breathe gently and deeply

Just before the interview, you can easily calm yourself down using a simple breathing technique. Breathe into the count of 4, hold for a count of 2, then breathe out to a count of 4, hold this for a count 2. Do this 5 or 6 times, but no more. Then sit for a minute, before setting off.

Developing an interview routine

I would encourage you to develop an interview routine. A simple method for getting you into the best state of mind and being for the interview. Golfers do it. Actors do it. Rather than leave their state of being to chance, they have developed simple mechanisms that work for them. Everyone is different, but here are some suggestions to develop your own interview routine.


Do all your technical preparation before the interview. You don’t want to be swotting in your car about the various techniques for bouncing a database. If you have done your preparation well, then you will feel good that you know what you know, and what you don’t know, you can learn.

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