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Contract Administrator Interview Questions

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  1. What would you do if you discover a mistake you made in a contract that stands to cost your company money? See answer
  2. How do you prioritize all the tasks and functions that come with being a contract administrator? See answer
  3. We want to improve employee compliance to our contracts. How would you handle this? See answer
  4. How do you stay current on changes in laws and regulations?
  5. What organizational system do you utilize to ensure that contract-related deadlines are met?
  6. How do you identify and react when there has been a change to the contract?
  7. Tell me about your experience in administering different types of contracts.
  8. When analyzing a new contract, what are your priorities?
  9. An external business partner disagrees with a contractual term during the negotiation. How do you handle this?
  10. Are you good at spotting errors in contracts? Explain your answer.
  11. Tell me about the types of stakeholders you collaborated with in your previous job.
  12. When monitoring contracts, describe your strategy for minimizing company risks.
  13. How do you ensure contractual compliance with relevant legislation?
  14. Tell me about a time in which your attention to detail saved an employer money.
  15. Do you have any personality traits that make you an efficient contract administrator? If so, what are they?
  16. This position requires an effective negotiator. Tell me about your negotiation strategy.
  17. Tell me about the strategy you use to minimize company risks when evaluating contracts.
  18. You’ve made a mistake in your analysis of a contractual term that increases company risk. How do you handle this?
  19. We have a rigorous training program. What are the contract administrator skills we can help you to develop?
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6 Contract Administrator Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How do you stay current on changes in laws and regulations? Please recite three legal principles of contract administration.

A:

Contracts are affected by the laws. The contract administrator is your company’s first line of defense in making sure that a contract is being followed by both parties. They can save you time and money if they are on top of their job, but to do so, they need to have the background knowledge to spot an issue when one exists. You want to test how deep their knowledge is. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of deep subject matter knowledge
  • A commitment to staying current on important issues
  • Fluency in discussing contract administration principles

Example:

“I regularly read about recent developments in the field so I can make sure that there are no gaps in my knowledge of contracts.”

Q:

What would you do if you discover a mistake you made in a contract that stands to cost your company money?

A:

A contract administrator will invariably make a mistake at some point in their careers. They may miss something in a contract whether it is a small or large detail. You want to know how someone will handle it when they realize that they have made a mistake. You want to probe here because how a candidate can act to minimize the damage will dictate how much the company may lose. What to look for in an answer:

  • The ability to realize that a mistake was made
  • Honesty to admit error
  • Pragmatism to call attention to the mistake

Example:

“I am capable of admitting error, and I will always make sure to bring the error to my superior’s attention and explain what happened.”

Q:

What organization system do you utilize to ensure that contract-related deadlines are met?

A:

Organization is one of the major keys to avoiding errors in contract administration. You should know the candidate’s system for keeping up with deadlines. It is essential that they have a system because errors will happen otherwise. This question should include several follow-up questions to elicit more detail from the contract administrator. Whatever system that they have will dictate how your company’s contracts are administered in the future. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of a detailed organization system
  • Fluency in scheduling tools and technology
  • A regimented work ethic and attention to detail

Example:

“I keep multiple spreadsheets and calendars on which I put contract-related dates. I also set alerts to remind me when actions must be taken.”

Q:

How do you prioritize all the tasks and functions that come with being a contract administrator?

A:

It is a fact of the job that contract administrators are often overloaded. Your company may have a multitude of contracts and may be relying on the contract administrator to handle a full workload. You want to know which tasks the contract administrator views as the most important tasks because that dictates how they will juggle their workload. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of what tasks take priority
  • Ability to juggle different aspects of the workload
  • Ability to reprioritize as new task come in

Example:

“From experience, I know what are the most critical things that need to be done, and I handle those first while staying current elsewhere. At the same time, I keep an eye on all the tasks and functions in progress and reprioritize when necessary.”

Q:

How do identify and react when there has been a change to the contract?

A:

Changes to contract, whether actual or constructive, can become matters of litigation. Oftentimes, payments for constructive changes to contracts can be the difference between profits and losses on a contract. It is the contract administrator’s job to document and take some of the necessary actions when there are circumstances that may mean a change to the contract. They must always be on the lookout and document what they see. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of vigilance when monitoring performance
  • Knowledge of anything that may depart from the contract
  • Organized documentation of changed conditions

Example:

“I view contract administration as something fluid. While there are set principles, contracts may be different and each one should be closely monitored.”

Q:

We want to improve employee compliance to our contracts. How would you handle this?

A:

A contract administrator is responsible for educating employees about company contracts. You can use this question to identify candidates who would be an asset in improving compliance. An ideal contract administrator candidate would provide a feasible strategy in this area and demonstrate suitable skills in troubleshooting and strategy.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Good problem-solving and strategy skills
  • Ability to provide innovative solutions
  • Ability to add value to management

An example answer to this question can look like this:

Example:

"In my experience, I've found that a mixture of training and motivation really works, so I would make sure employees understand their contracts and the risks of noncompliance. Next, I would develop an initiative to reward compliance through commendations or access to exclusive services, such as mentoring programs with senior staff."

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