Contract administrators help develop, negotiate and evaluate contracts on behalf of a company or organization. They ensure that both parties are conversant with the contractual terms before entering an agreement and that the contracts are legal. This article looks at some of the questions you should expect in a contract administrator interview.
1. Why are You Interested in this Role?
This is a chance to let your motives be known to the interviewer. Also, know that the interviewer will use your answer to gauge whether you will be a perfect fit for the job and the workplace. You should sell yourself and avoid mentioning material reasons such as money or other benefits tied to the job. You can focus on your reasons for pursuing this particular job and some of your visions for the workplace or the role itself.
I am a passionate contract administrator with over a decade of experience. A friend recently recommended you, and I found out that you stand for everything I believe in when I researched your company. I would therefore like to offer my services here and help better your operations if given a chance.
2. What are the Roles of a Contract Administrator?
Do you know your mandates in this position? This is a chance to convince the interviewer that you understand your job description and are willing to stick to it. You can draw from your previous experience or what is captured in this particular job description. Whichever approach you decide to take, make sure that you only mention job-specific mandates.
A contract administrator’s primary role is to develop, negotiate and evaluate contracts on behalf of the organization. These professionals ensure that both parties understand the contractual terms before entering into an agreement. They are also charged with ensuring that all contracts adhere to both local and federal laws.
3. Mention the Qualities that a Contract Administrator Needs to be Effective
Do you know what you need to be an excellent contract administrator? This is a chance to mention some attributes, skills, and abilities that have seen you excel in your career. Show the interviewer that you have a good understanding of this particular role by mentioning only job-specific qualities.
A contract administrator should have the following qualities: attentiveness to details, ability to negotiate and execute performance, ability to work in team settings, proper organization skills, and excellent reading and language comprehension to interpret contracts.
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4. Mention the Main Challenge That You Faced in Your Former Role. How Did You Manage It?
Everybody wants a team of problem solvers. Therefore, give an experience where you came up with a solution for a challenge you faced in your former workplace. However, be careful when choosing an experience. Do not mention a challenge that was brought about by your won incompetence.
When I moved to my former workplace, I found many open contracts that were yet to be completed. I had to get to work immediately and came up with a strategy of handling the workload and overseeing their closure. I prioritized based on value and urgency, worked overtime, and within a month, I had cleared the workload I found when joining the company.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine
What does your job entail daily? The interviewer will tell just how conversant you are with this role from your answer. You can either mention some of your activities in your former job or research the organization and use the information obtained to answer this question.
My day is usually spent working with a wide range of teams and departments. I spend most of my time with the sales, finance, legal, and IT department to monitor contracts and participate in negotiations. I deal with contract drafting requests from all these teams and prepare draft contracts using standard templates. I may also meet with the management when called upon and offer training if scheduled.
6. Briefly Describe Your Experience
This is a chance to tell the interviewer where you have worked, notable roles played, or some of the accolades you have obtained in this field. Make sure that you keep it as brief as possible, just like the question demands.
This is my fifteenth year in this field. I have worked in 5 companies and drafted thousands of contracts. I have vast experience in contract negotiation and performance monitoring. I also worked as a contract law expert in the defense ministry, where I obtained valuable lessons.
7. Mention a Strategy and Mindset Needed for This Role
Here is a chance to mention a strategy that allows you to realize long-term goals or be good at your job. You can talk about a plan or way or work that ensures success and competence. Your mindset is a set of beliefs that guide your work as a contract administrator. Make sure that you get this right.
A strategy that has helped me be good at this job is constant monitoring of contracts while giving special attention to each. I believe in taking everything into consideration right from the day of entering into the contract up until the last day of its performance. Ss for the right mindset, being open to changes that may occur along the way is essential as it helps you plan.
8. What is the Main Challenge that You Foresee in this Role?
The interviewer expects you to conduct some research on the organization and obtain as much information as possible to help you identify some of the areas that may prove challenging once you get the job. Be sure not to mention a challenge that will make the interviewer think that you are incompetent.
I have gone through your job description and organization’s policies and identified no problem. I, therefore, believe that anything else will be a minor problem that I can solve. I will also ask for help where necessary.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in this Role?
This is a chance to tell the interviewer what keeps you going. Being a contract administrator is not as easy as you may think. You will have lots of workloads and open contracts to work on, making it quite challenging. Mention a reason that does not include money or material benefits.
I love what I do, given that I have been practicing contract law for quite some time. My passion, therefore, pushes me to tackle any challenge that may come up in this job and get better each passing day.
10. Mention a Time that You Failed in This Job and the Lesson You Learned
You should be ready to take accountability for your actions or decisions and learn from your failures. The interviewer is not trapping you but giving you a chance to show that you can grow from your mistakes.
I once discovered a mistake in a contract and tried to cover it instead of raising the alarm. The other team members realized when it was pretty late but managed to minimize the damage. I almost lost my job. This experience taught me to be accountable and report any mistake as fast as possible.
11. Why Do You Think You are the Most Suited for this Job?
You are not the only one interviewing for this role. You need to understand that there are others with equal or better qualifications. The interviewer is, therefore, interested in something extra that you can bring to the table. You should treat this question as a chance to sell yourself and mention some of your outstanding qualities if any.
Having worked in this field for fifteen years, I believe that I have the right experience to contribute positively to this workplace. I have dealt with several contracts and featured in several negotiations. I am also always at par with all the changes in policies and laws that may affect contracts. I am ready to turn my passion and dedication into something huge if given a chance.
12. Share With Us Your Greatest Achievement
You definitely know some of the highlights of your career. The interviewer wants you to mention the most successful time or experience in your role as a contract administrator. Remember that there is no right or wrong answer here since experiences are primarily personal.
I once helped a company I was working for avoid making a million-dollar loss after identifying a hidden error within the contract. It had been negotiated with the help of the former contract administrator. I received my first award every in this field and got promoted after three weeks.
13. How Would You Help Us Improve Employee Compliance to Our Contracts?
The interviewer is testing your competence. Remember, part of your job includes educating employees on the company’s contracts. You should therefore have a working strategy and reveal the requisite skills when it comes to employee education. Emphasize your ability to offer innovative solutions and add some value to management.
I usually combine training and motivation when teaching employees on matters related to contracts. In this case, I will ensure that the employees understand the contractual terms and the importance of compliance. I will then come up with a way of rewarding those that comply through commendations and exclusive offers.
14. How Do You Normally Identify and React to Contractual Changes?
You need to understand the importance of contractual changes. Most of the time, such cases end up in litigation. Your work, therefore, mainly revolves around documenting and acting on circumstances that may lead to a contractual change. Show the interviewer that you are always vigilant when monitoring performance and know the factors that may cause such changes.
I usually take my job as a contract administrator seriously. I view it as fluid and believe that the difference in contracts means that each should be closely monitored. I, therefore, treat every contract uniquely from the others, which helps me identify any change and React accordingly.
15. This Job Requires a Lot of Work. How Do You Normally Prioritize the Related Tasks and Functions?
Your day as a contract administrator will be packed with activities. You will be required to work on several contracts and monitor performance which can be pretty overwhelming. You must therefore have the proper prioritization and organization skills if you intend to manage this job properly. Convince the interviewer that you can juggle the workload well.
I have managed to work on my prioritization skills over time. My experience helps me identify the critical tasks that need to be handled first. I can also multitask, which allows me to handle other tasks while focusing on the main ones. (You can also tell the interviewer that you have a to-do list where you get to organize yourself)
16. How Do You Normally Meet Your Contract Related Deadlines?
Contract administrators must know how to organize themselves properly. You should have a system that helps you keep up with deadlines or risk coming off as incompetent. Your answer should therefore reveal an intricate organizational system, excellent work ethic, attentiveness to details, as well as a deep understanding of scheduling tools and technologies.
I use several tools to help me meet contract-related deadlines. I usually have several spreadsheets and calendars where I feed the relevant dates. To avoid lagging, I set regular alerts to tell me when actions need to be taken. ( This is just a short example. You are free to mention any software that you deem fit)
17. What Would Your Reaction Be After Discovering a Contractual Mistake that Threatens to Cost Your Employer Lots of Money?
Mistakes are common in all careers, even though they should be avoided. You may miss something in a contract, however small, and must therefore have a way of handling such a scenario. Tell the interviewer how you would minimize the damage presented by such circumstances and prevent the company from losing such a significant sum. Your answer should also reveal honesty after making an error and a willingness to call attention to the mistake made.
I have learned the importance of admitting errors and taking accountability instead of covering them up. I will bring this error to my supervisor’s or superior’s attention, explain what happened, and work on a remedy. I will also suggest some of the instant changes we can make as we await a remedy if any.
18. How Do You Stay Abreast with All the Changes in Laws and Regulations?
You should always stay current on changes in laws and regulations surrounding contracts. Remember, contracts are generally sensitive to such changes since they can affect their performance. Being on top of your job will save your company lots of time and money. Your answer should show that you are committed to staying current on important issues and that you have vast knowledge of matters regarding contracts.
I usually read a lot about different developments in this field to help me stay current on any changes in laws and obligations. The knowledge I obtain also ensures that I have a better understanding of contracts. I am also part of a large group of contract administrators where we discuss recent issues and any changes that we should pay attention to.
19. Mention any Experience You Have in Negotiating Contracts
Even though this may not be your main job, you may occasionally be called upon to negotiate with the organization’s business partners. Your work here will be translating the business goals of both contracting parties into the contract. Do not play a leading role in your negotiations since that is the manager’s work. You can also indicate that you are ready to be part of negotiations if you have no tangible experience.
I have been part of several contract negotiation teams. However, I do not usually play a leading role since that is reserved for the manager and other top officials. My work during such times usually entails actively listening and intervening where necessary to protect my employer’s interest.
20. One of Your Roles Will be Tracking Payments and Making Sure They are Remitted on Time. How Good Are You With Handling Money?
The interviewer wants to know your experience handling sensitive issues such as money. This question is also testing your competence and ability to get things done. The best approach is to draw from your experience and mention how you usually handle the subject.
I have got accustomed to the financial element of this job, having handled several contracts professionally. I believe that people should not have a problem paying once they know what they stand to get. I can properly discuss fees and any other payment when entering into a contract without making the other party feel ashamed.
These are some of the questions you should expect in a contract administrator interview. Make sure that you prepare well and work on the necessary interview skills to help you land this job.