Contract interview tips

Not all job interviews are the same. Here are some tips for getting your next contract.

Don’t make promises

Clients love projects to go to schedule and to cost, but neither HCi, nor you, needs to take responsibility for that happening. Of course you’ll work as fast as possible, and of course you’re good at your job. But never promise a client that “this will be finished in x days”. It’s okay to give an estimate, but do it like this: “I think I can finish this in x days, but of course I can’t guarantee that.”

Answering questions about past work

Interviewers love to ask questions about your past experience. Rather than just ramble on, think of your answer in ‘STAR’ order: Situation (what was the problem?), Task (what was your responsibility?), Action (what did you do?) and then Result (what happened?).

Don’t talk rates

The rate that we pay you is not the same as the rate that we charge the client (if it was, we wouldn’t make any money). So never talk about rates directly with the client because you will cause confusion, and likely not get the job.

Dress well

It’s good practice to dress better than the people who are interviewing you. We will generally give you some idea about this, but it seldom hurts to be too well-dressed.

Bring samples

Clients will often want to see samples of work you’ve done before. Bring them along on a laptop or tablet – probably not a good idea to email them if they’re work you’ve done for another client. Or bring printed copies.

Turn your phone off

Having your phone ring during an interview is an indication that you a) don’t know how to switch your phone off b) are forgetful or c) don’t really want the job.

Do your homework

We will give you a good brief about the client and the project, but please also do your own research on the web before you show up.

Call us afterwards

We’ll be calling the client after your meeting to get their impression of you and if we’ve talked to you before that then it helps us to sell you better.