17 Contract Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a contract specialist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

If you’re looking for a job in the contracting field, you’ll need to be prepared to answer some tough questions. Contract specialists are responsible for reviewing, negotiating, and awarding contracts for goods and services. They also work with government agencies to ensure that contracts are in compliance with regulations.

In order to land a job as a contract specialist, you’ll need to be able to answer questions about your experience, your understanding of government regulations, and your ability to negotiate contracts. You’ll also need to be able to demonstrate your understanding of the contracting process.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve compiled a list of common questions and answers that you can expect to be asked.

Are you comfortable working with a team of professionals to complete a contract?

Working as a contract specialist often requires you to work with other professionals, such as accountants and attorneys. Employers ask this question to make sure you are comfortable working in a team setting. Use your answer to explain that you enjoy collaborating with others on projects. Explain that you have experience working in teams before and can do so again if necessary.

Example: “I am definitely comfortable working with a team of professionals. In my last role, I worked alongside an accountant and attorney to complete contracts for our clients. It was important to collaborate with these professionals because they all had different areas of expertise. For example, the accountant helped me understand how to calculate taxes on certain contracts. The attorney reviewed each contract to ensure it met legal standards. I feel confident that I can do the same thing here.”

What are some of the skills you have that make you a valuable contract specialist?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your skills and how they can benefit their company. When you answer, think of a few specific skills that make you an effective contract specialist. You can also mention any soft skills that are important for the role.

Example: “I have excellent communication skills, which is why I am able to clearly explain contracts to clients. In my last position, I was often asked to speak with clients on behalf of the company, so I developed these skills. Another skill I have is attention to detail. I always read over contracts carefully before sending them out to ensure there are no mistakes or missing information.”

How would you rate your communication skills as a contract specialist?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your communication skills and how you interact with others. They want to know that you can communicate clearly, concisely and professionally. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific time when you used your communication skills to help someone or solve a problem.

Example: “I would rate my communication skills as excellent. I have always been able to explain complex ideas in ways that are easy for people to understand. In my last role, I was working on a contract renewal for a client who had questions about the terms of their contract. I explained all of the details of the contract so they could understand them. The client thanked me for explaining everything so well.”

What is your experience with contract negotiations?

Contract specialists often need to negotiate with clients and vendors. Employers ask this question to learn more about your experience in contract negotiations. Use your answer to explain what you have done in the past, including any specific skills you used.

Example: “In my previous role as a contract specialist, I negotiated contracts between our company and several of our clients. One of my main responsibilities was ensuring that we met all terms of the contract while also providing excellent customer service. To do this, I would meet with both parties separately to discuss their concerns. Then, I would work with each party to create an agreement they were happy with.”

Provide an example of a time you identified and solved a problem during a contract.

Interviewers ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you apply them in the workplace. When answering, try to choose a specific example that highlights your ability to analyze information and make decisions quickly.

Example: “At my previous job, I was working on a contract for a client who wanted to add an additional service to their current agreement. The company had already signed the contract, so we couldn’t change any of the terms or pricing. However, they still wanted to add the new service. I spoke with the client to find out what other services they were currently using from our company. Then, I researched all of those services to see if there were any discounts available. After finding one, I applied it to the new service and sent the updated contract back to the client.”

If hired, what would be your primary responsibilities as a contract specialist?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a clear understanding of what your job would entail. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list several primary responsibilities and explain how you would complete them.

Example: “As a contract specialist, my primary responsibility would be to ensure all contracts are legally binding and enforceable. I would do this by thoroughly reviewing each contract for any errors or omissions before sending it out to clients. Another important part of my job would be ensuring that our company complies with state and federal regulations regarding contracts. This means staying up-to-date on new laws and making sure we’re abiding by them.”

What would you do if you were given a contract with vague or unclear details?

Interviewers may ask this question to see how you handle challenging situations. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to clarify the details of a contract and ensure that all parties understand their responsibilities.

Example: “If I was given a contract with vague or unclear details, I would first try to contact my client for clarification. If they were unavailable, I would reach out to the other party involved in the contract to discuss the terms. If both sides could not agree on the meaning of the contract, I would schedule a meeting with both clients to review the contract and come to an agreement about its terms.”

How well do you understand legal terminology related to contracts?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your knowledge of contract law and how it applies to the role. Use your answer to highlight any specialized training you have in contract law, such as a degree or certification. You can also discuss any relevant experience that helped you understand legal terminology related to contracts.

Example: “I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on contracts. In my previous role, I worked closely with our company lawyer to review all new contracts before they were signed by executives. This process gave me valuable insight into what makes a legally binding contract and how to spot potential issues. I am confident that I could apply these skills to this role.”

Do you have experience reviewing and analyzing legal documents?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your experience with reviewing contracts and other legal documents. They want to know if you have the skills necessary to complete this task as a contract specialist. Use your answer to highlight any relevant experience you have reviewing legal documents.

Example: “I do have some experience reviewing legal documents, although I’ve mostly reviewed non-legal documents in my previous positions. However, I am familiar with many of the common terms used in legal documents. For example, I understand what an indemnity clause is and how it can affect a contract. I also understand that there are different types of clauses that can be included in a contract, such as liquidated damages or force majeure.”

When reviewing a contract, what is your process for checking for errors or mistakes?

Interviewers may ask this question to understand how you approach a task and what your process is for completing it. They want to know that you have the skills necessary to complete the job successfully, so they might ask questions like this one to learn more about your background and experience with contracts. In your answer, explain what steps you take when reviewing a contract and highlight any specific skills or techniques you use to ensure you’re checking thoroughly.

Example: “I always start by reading through the entire contract to make sure I understand all of its terms and conditions. Then, I check each page for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Next, I read through the contract again to make sure I didn’t miss anything in my initial review. Finally, I compare the contract to the original document to make sure everything matches.”

We want to improve our contract approval process. Describe a strategy you would use to improve it.

This question is an opportunity to show your problem-solving skills and ability to make improvements. Your answer should include a specific example of how you would improve the process, including what steps you would take and why it’s important for the company.

Example: “I recently worked with a client who had a contract approval process that took too long. The client wanted to streamline the process so they could get approvals faster. I met with the team to discuss the issue and we decided on a solution. We created a new document type in our system that allowed us to approve contracts more quickly. This helped the client save time and money.”

Describe your experience with project management software.

Contract specialists often use project management software to keep track of their projects. This question helps employers learn about your experience with this type of software and how you’ve used it in the past. In your answer, describe which project management software you’re familiar with and what you like or dislike about it. If you haven’t worked with any specific software before, explain that you’re open to learning new systems.

Example: “I have used Basecamp for my last two jobs. I find it helpful to be able to create separate projects within one account. It’s also nice to be able to communicate with other team members through the platform. However, sometimes there are too many notifications, so I turn off some alerts. Overall, I think Basecamp is a great system.”

What makes you stand out from other contract specialists?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your skills and experience. They want to know what makes you unique from other candidates. When answering, think of a skill or quality that you have that others may not. Try to choose something that is relevant to the job description.

Example: “I am highly organized and detail-oriented. I can read contracts thoroughly and find any errors before they become an issue. In my last role, I noticed a small error in a contract that saved my company thousands of dollars. My attention to detail helped me notice the mistake before it became a problem.”

Which contract types do you have the most experience with?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of expertise with contracts. It can also show them which contract types you prefer to work with and whether or not you have experience working on a variety of different contracts. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the contract type that you are most familiar with as well as one contract type that you would like to learn more about.

Example: “I am most experienced with construction contracts, however I have worked with service contracts in the past. I find construction contracts to be my favorite because they allow me to use my problem-solving skills to create solutions for clients.”

What do you think is the most important skill for a contract specialist to have?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have the skills and abilities needed for this role. Your answer should include a skill that you feel confident using in your current or previous contract specialist position.

Example: “I think the most important skill for a contract specialist is communication. Contract specialists need to be able to communicate with clients, other professionals and legal teams to ensure they understand what needs to happen during the contract process. I am very good at communicating verbally and through writing, which helps me make sure everyone understands my work.”

How often do you review your contracts?

This question can help an interviewer understand how you ensure your contracts are up to date and accurate. Your answer should show that you review contracts regularly, but also highlight the steps you take to make sure they’re accurate.

Example: “I review all of my contracts at least once a month to check for any changes or updates. I look over each contract’s details, including who it was made with, what services were provided and when payments are due. If there are no major changes, then I sign off on the contract and send it back to my manager. If there are changes, then I’ll work with my team to update the contract before sending it back to the client.”

There is a mistake in a contract you drafted. How do you handle it?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle mistakes and errors in your work. It can also show them how you respond to challenges when they arise. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you handled a mistake or error well.

Example: “When I was working as an associate contract specialist, I drafted a contract for a client who needed my services for several years. After the first year of service, the client requested that we change one of the terms of the contract. I reviewed the contract thoroughly before making any changes, but there was still a mistake in the new version of the contract. I immediately notified the client of the mistake and offered to redo the contract at no additional cost.”


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