In our ever-changing economy, the competitive advantage afforded by a strong interview is essential. According to a study conducted by Upwork, 35 percent of workers in the United States served as independent contractors in some capacity in 2016. The same study found that, by 2027, more than half of American workers will have some experience as independent contractors.
With so many workers exploring alternative contract options, finding clients may prove difficult for both new and seasoned contractors. Improving your interview skills – and knowing the difference between a traditional interview and a contractual interview – could be the difference between employment and unemployment.
When it is time to find new employment in the IT project management sphere, trust the team at PMO Partners to help you prepare for success. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you navigate contract interviews.
Sell Your Skills, Not Your Passion
Passion is wonderful in a traditional work environment, but you don’t intend to stay in a contract position forever. Many contracts last only several weeks or months.
Rather than focusing on your passion, spend a significant amount of interview time discussing your skills and experience. Outline similar work you’ve done in the past, technologies you’ve used and processes you’ve implemented. Ultimately, answer the question: What makes you the right contractor for this job?
Use Your Time Wisely
After a traditional interview, you might anticipate a request to return for a second interview. For a contract position, this request is rare. For this reason, you must make the first interview count. Sell yourself, gather the information you need, and be efficient.
Talk About Your Goals
During a contract interview, focus on short-term goals. How can you fill the immediate need of your client? This isn’t the time to discuss your long-term benefit to the company, since you won’t be around to watch those benefits unfold.
Explore and Understand Issues
After your initial interview, you should have everything you need to get started on the project. If you have questions about processes, your working relationship, deadlines or negotiated rates, your interview is the time to ask. There is never a better time to communicate directly with your client.
If you don’t ask the right questions before signing a contract, you may find yourself working under conditions or deadlines that would otherwise be unacceptable to you. Protect yourself, and your reputation, by being proactive.
Be Prepared to Start as Soon as Possible
Unlike traditional interviews, contract interviews are essentially sales pitches. You, a business entity, are offering your skills to another business. This offer could be accepted at any time, including during your interview.
In our ever-changing economy, the competitive advantage afforded by a strong interview is essential. At PMO Partners, we pair skilled project management professionals with positions that fit their needs and professional goals. View our open positions today to get started!