Interviews for IT contractors – what are they likely to ask you?
Interviews for IT contractors – what are they likely to ask you?

Interviews for IT contractors – what are they likely to ask you?

Posted on: 08/08/2014

If you are preparing for an interview for an IT contract, you should consider the questions you might be asked. Our Key Accounts Manager, Anna Kramer, has come up with her pick of the most common questions you might face.

There are two types of questions that you might face:

-       traditional generic questions

-       competency-based questions

Traditional generic questions

-       what do you know about our company?

-       tell me about your development/project management/testing/business analysis experience

-       what are you key strengths?

-       what do you consider your weaknesses?

-       tell us why should we hire you

-       how would you previous manager describe you?

We are finding that clients now often use competency-based interview techniques.  This type of questioning is design to explore how a candidate has performed in the past in order to predict how they might behave in the future.

Some typical competency-based questions:

-       tell me about a time when you had to communicate complex technical information to a non-IT client stakeholder?

-       describe to me a situation when you have had to challenge senior stakeholders and how you went about it?

-       I’d like to know about a time where you presented options and recommendations to stakeholders and how you set about gaining buy-in for your recommendations.

-       how have you handled a situation in the past where your client has changed the brief or “changed the goalposts”?

Preparation is key

Interviews are a two-way process and most people don’t set out to trap you or trick you. It is, however, worth doing your preparation properly and giving some thought to questions that might make you think on your feet or stumble.

Here’s a classic.  How would you answer this?

 “give me an example of a business decision you made that you ultimately regretted. What happened?”

Contractors need to add value

We are finding that our clients have a greater expectation from their contractor population than ever before.  They want to ensure they are getting value for money and that the contractors they engage are true consultants, rather than temps with IT experience. 

Contractors are no longer seen as people who just come in to complete a piece of work and leave; clients want to learn from the contractor’s experience and to improve their own market and industry knowledge so candidates with excellent interpersonal, stakeholder management and consultative skills are always in demand.  Many contractors are now expected to undertake coaching and mentoring of permanent members of staff, passing on their experience and sharing knowledge.

When preparing for interview contractors must now think about how they could add value to clients’ businesses.

This article was included in an IT contractor feature in

For the full article, see


Leave a comment

Most recent posts

  1. Creating a diversity inclusive safety culture View article
  2. IR35: 5 things to do NOW View article
  3. Military leavers: retraining potential in Cyber View article
  4. Career routes & diversity in Cyber View article