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Contract Manager Interview Questions

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  1. What kind of management tools do you have experience with? See answer
  2. Can you tell me about your protocol for negotiating the terms of a contract? See answer
  3. If you find it necessary to enforce a contract that is not being met, what approach would you take? See answer
  4. When negotiating a contract, what references do you use for research material? See answer
  5. Contract managers must be able to quickly locate the relevant documents for a particular account when updating account information or confirming the terms of a professional agreement. They should have an organized system for tracking contract paperwork and storing it throughout the term of the contract. Interviewers can ask this question to determine if the candidate has the administrative skills necessary to keep track of business contracts in addition to their interpersonal skills. See answer
  6. Contract managers may work with multiple accounts simultaneously. Do you consider yourself good at multitasking?
  7. What would you do if a client made a request during negotiations that you did not have the authorization to approve?
  8. Are you comfortable using legal terminology when discussing the details of a contract?
  9. How do you cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship with clients to encourage contract renewals?
  10. Do you have experience preparing and interpreting non-disclosure agreements?
  11. Contract managers have to act as a liaison between the company and its business partners and customers. How do you remain professional when representing the company?
  12. Do you have experience with risk management to help select beneficial contract terms?
  13. What would you do if your team was failing to meet the terms of a contract with a client?
  14. Are there any circumstances where you would not pursue a contract renewal with a client?
  15. What do you consider to be the essential elements of a contract to protect the company’s interests and bottom line?
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6 Contract Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What kind of management tools do you have experience with?

A:

This question gives you a look into a contract manager candidate’s work experience and the kind of tasks they undertook in their previous places of employment. It’s also a good way to judge whether the standard technology you use would be easy to transition to for the applicant. Asking for their preference gives a candidate the chance to explain their choices, giving you a deeper look into how they work. What to look for in an answer:

  • Thoughtful consideration of their choices
  • Diverse experience with various standard management tools
  • Existing experience in tools used by the company

Example:

“I’ve used most of the standard MS tools quite extensively, but my preference would be for Conga given how thoroughly and extensively it tracks information and its convenient cloud storage capabilities.”

Q:

Can you tell me about your protocol for negotiating the terms of a contract?

A:

Learning the process by which a candidate requests changes to a potential contract is a good way to measure the type of negotiator that they are. Observing whether their approach is direct, indirect or an afterthought will give you a sense of their management style. An applicant who can adjust their strategy based on the situation can be an asset. What to look for in an answer:

  • Direct and honest communication with others
  • Proactive decision making
  • A keen eye for detail and a methodical approach to business

Example:

“I am upfront when I request changes to a document’s wording. I also like to have a written copy of my requests for my records.”

Q:

If you find it necessary to enforce a contract that is not being met, what approach would you take?

A:

There may be times when a contract manager needs to contact one or more parties that are not in compliance with terms of their agreement. As such, getting a read on how the candidate would handle this interaction is essential. Learning the interviewee’s approach to problem-solving gives you an idea about how they’ll behave in the office, too. What to look for in an answer:

  • Confidence in dealing with others
  • Knowledge of contracts and the specifics of the signed agreement
  • Determination in seeing things through

Example:

“If a client is not fulfilling their end of a contract, I would start a dialogue with them immediately. I could then understand what has happened and come up with a solution for getting back on track.”

Q:

When negotiating a contract, what references do you use for research material?

A:

A good answer to this question would involve the candidate describing various means of researching contracts. They need to be thorough enough to determine what is standard within their particular industry. A contract manager should also be prepared to respond to any information a potential client might bring with them. Going into negotiations with a large amount of data is a plus and shows that the candidate is dedicated to doing their best at work. What to look for in an answer:

  • Dedication to the job
  • Good sense for analysis and research ability
  • Forethought and the ability to prepare

Example:

“If I’m researching before a contract negotiation, I would look at similar contracts from our company’s past. From there, I’d look to the standard pay rates and terms for the industry, and collaborate with my colleagues to assess the situation.”

Q:

Do you consider yourself good at multitasking?

A:

As a contract manager, a candidate will typically be asked to prepare and manage many important documents as a normal part of their workday. Learning how they plan to keep themselves focused is important as it gives you a look at how they handle pressure. Asking for examples where they have done this or something similar is a good strategy to employ. What to look for in an answer:

  • Organizational ability
  • Ability to focus on multiple things at once
  • Neatness and attention to detail in their work

Example:

“Multitasking is a big part of what I do, and I consider myself highly skilled at it. I stay focused by making sure to use various file folders physically and on the computer to store documents, and I have a system in place to make sure nothing falls through the cracks when I’m switching between projects.”

Q:

Contract managers must be able to quickly locate the relevant documents for a particular account when updating account information or confirming the terms of a professional agreement. They should have an organized system for tracking contract paperwork and storing it throughout the term of the contract. Interviewers can ask this question to determine if the candidate has the administrative skills necessary to keep track of business contracts in addition to their interpersonal skills.

A:

Look for these parts of a good answer that acknowledges the importance of record keeping in contract management:

  • Experience backing up records
  • Focus on continuity
  • Standardized organization systems

One example of a strong response is:

Example:

"Any time I meet with a representative to discuss a contract, I have a colleague take detailed minutes or write a summary myself to accurately track all communications throughout the sales or purchasing cycle. I keep copies of previous versions of the contract to act as a reference and show the development of the business relationship over time. I sort both the physical copies of the contracts and digitized scans based on the name of the client followed by the date to easily track workflows and access contract information."

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