So, you’ve written your CV, sent it off, then the agency or client contacts you for an interview.
This is a crucial step in your quest for that next contract and every care should be made to ensure that you impress.
Here are some top tips for succeeding at the interview process, written by the Contract Eye team who have provided advice to IT contractors for many years on various web portals.
1. Before you set off
The night before, you should print out directions to the client site via Google Maps.
You should re-read your CV and the job spec and print out several copies of your CV since it has been known for a client to ‘mislay’ it the day before.
Have plenty of sleep the night before, and take your time – good preparation will reduce the amount of stress you may feel. Take a note of the agency’s phone number and the client’s name. Don’t leave anything to chance.
Make sure you look presentable, have a haircut if necessary, and dress appropriately. Find out from your agent what the working environment is like, and wear a suit, or smart casual clothing, depending on what would reasonably be expected.
A ‘Star Trek’ tie is probably not advisable until you’ve secured the contract. If you are a smoker, don’t go near cigarettes for an hour or so before the meeting.
2. Arriving at the interview.
When you arrive at reception, ask for your contact and wait until you are called for the interview. Try to relax and don’t forget that ‘small talk’ is pretty inevitable in the first few minutes, and helps break the ice.
A potential client is far more likely to hire someone they can communicate with. Have your paperwork and any other details in a neat folder – don’t walk about with a few pieces of A4 folded up inside your inner suit pocket.
3. The Interview
Whatever you do, make sure you listen carefully to the interviewer. Chances are, many interviewers may be as nervous as you. If necessary, you can take control of the conversation at certain times, especially if you’re keen to highlight certain aspects of your CV which may not have been covered.
Body language is also an important element – make sure you sit with a straight back, and don’t cross your arms, as these can betray a lack of interest, or of someone being defensive. You are trying to win a contract, so be assertive and make sure you tell the interviewer why you think you would be perfect for the role.
Remember that the client must feel that you would fit into the team, as well as providing key skills to the project. Be organised, assertive and make sure you listen, and hopefully you’ll receive that positive phone call from the agency!