Positioning yourself to win the next contract requires a combination of skills – on top of those required to perform the job… here are some that can put you at an advantage. State Your Case Your expression of interest or tender document should be concise and on point. Pay careful attention to the contract criteria listed and respond to each one, providing evidence of the way you meet the organisation’s needs. Add references – written if possible and if appropriate, photographic evidence of your work. Dress Appropriately The first judgement an interviewer(s) makes when they meet you will be based on your appearance. Before you attend the interview, check out the way staff in the organisation dress then take it up a notch. Dress as you would attend an important meeting in the role – and don’t forget to pay attention to your shoes – clean, scuff-free shoes are a sure sign of attention to detail (no holes in the soles!) Of course, your clothing should also reflect the relevant traits of your personality that you want to show off. If you’re applying for a contract within a professional organisation, wear a smart suit or at least a sharp jacket. If you’re applying for a contract in a conservative organisation, choose subdued colours to convey your conservatism and reliability. And if you’re applying for a creative role, show a flash of creativity without going all out and over the top – a dynamic pair of shoes, an interesting piece of jewellery or a brightly coloured accessory will create the desired impression without overwhelming or potentially intimidating the interviewer! Keep Discussion to the Point Interviews are typically formal proceedings and therefore not the time or place to become overly chatty or friendly with your interviewer(s). Present yourself from the start as confident by using eye contact, keeping your arms open and showing that you are listening with intent. Listen carefully to the questions being asked rather than assuming you know what they want to know, then remain on target with a response that positions you as the best candidate for the role. Never feel the need to rush a response – taking time to consider your answers demonstrates your confidence and your ability to think before you act, even under pressure. Walk into the interview having thought through a number of relevant past projects you’ve been involved with. When asked about previous successful projects, describe the objectives, how it met those objectives, and how that experience is relevant to the contract you’re applying for today. If asked about projects undertaken that failed or were less successful, discuss the lessons learnt and how you have applied those learnings or would apply them to future projects. Be sure to have a number of questions up your sleeve that demonstrate your genuine interest in the contract – remember, an interview with a prospective employer is as much an interview for them to find out about you as it is for you to find out about them and your potential engagement. And finally, wrap up the interview by reiterating how your experience will be beneficial to the role offered, and by reinforcing your interest in taking on the new contract. Identifying and applying for new contracts takes energy and time away from your existing day to day workload. At the Ayers Group, our experts assist contractors like you, to managing existing administrative workloads and to set up new contracts as they come about. Our online contract management service will help make you more efficient, more compliant, and it will ease your administrative burden so you can focus on growing your wealth. Contact an expert from the Ayers Group today… and good luck with your next contract!