The importance of a good cover letter and resume can't be overstated. Nevertheless, the live interview is your real time to shine. Employers use this face-to-face meeting to find out what skills you actually gained from your previous employment. This is your chance to talk about yourself, cite past examples of your work ethic and explain why you're an ideal fit for that firm. There will be many people interviewing for the same position, so generic and canned answers won't suffice.
Of course, there will be some generic questions. Applicants for all professions should be ready to field questions about where they're from and why they should be considered for the position. While it's important to be prepared for those queries, the following are specific contract administrator interview questions that can help you focus and come up with relatable instances from previous jobs to help demonstrate why you're the best candidate.
6 Contract Administrator Interview Questions & Answers
1. Our office has a lot of digital information as well as physical documentation. What will your system be for organizing?
My first course of action with regard to organization is always to find out what systems are already in place. I find that keeps me from misplacing documents someone else might need and also provides a good way for me to learn about where I might find files. With regard to digital and physical information, I feel that things are more easily found when there's an electronic copy, provided the computer network is secure. For physical documents that can't be converted, I typically keep a spreadsheet that helps me find things quickly and easily.
2. The nature of this work can be touchy for a lot of clients. How would you handle a situation in which an individual seemed very emotional?
Having worked in the front office of another law firm, I'm well aware of the emotions that clients often bring into the workplace. I believe it's important to acknowledge what that person might be going through while not losing sight of the fact that we're a business. It's good to acknowledge emotions but not let them influence decisions.
3. These contracts go through a number of changes throughout the proceedings. How do you keep track of the various versions and updates?
I always file documents in the same way and make sure to save each updated contract with the filing date. By sticking to my routine, I don't lose track of what's been handled and what hasn't, and by saving the files with a date attached, I'm able to organize them chronologically. That helps me find the newest draft or track down an older version that needs to be revisited.
4. You'll be responsible for tracking payments and making sure they come in on time. How are you with talking about a sensitive issue like money?
Having dealt with so many contracts professionally, I've learned that the financial element is just another part of the job. People understand what they're paying for and shouldn't be surprised when the time comes to pay. It's a delicate matter, and it's important not to make a client feel ashamed, but any contract administrator should have no qualms with discussing fees.
5. Negotiations can lead to long and stressful days. How are you at dealing with those situations?
I think it's both important to get things done and also to recognize what might be holding a negotiation up. I've been in meetings that were going nowhere until everyone had a quick coffee break, and then things got back on track. Negotiations aren't always easy, but both sides want to come to a conclusion. Those long days can be very beneficial when handled properly.
6. We have a high volume of open contracts. What's your process for prioritizing what needs to get done first?
I keep track of filing and due dates so that I can stay on top of what is on the agenda and what needs to be handled next. Part of that is maintaining a good record of all correspondence between the various parties. It's important to not only know what's coming up next on the company calendar, but also what's been requested and where any negotiations might have stalled. That makes it easier to follow up with clients who might be dragging their feet.