Contractor Clients Sites
A reader posted this, about Contractor Clients Sites, in our Comments section. It is in response to our article The IT Contractors at interview that I want – A client.
Get The Coffee
Getting the coffee helps break the ice a bit more and also often allows you a detour to the coffee machine. You often get to see a bit more of the premises (are they well decorated, is it a nice working environment, do people seem happy? Do they think it is a good place to work?
Note if you see everyone chatting and gossiping and no one doing any work then you need to beware. Either the company is not that productive (danger signs for long term work when redundancies hit as they often cut IT contractors first) or it might be a public sector company.
Also you can tell a lot about how a company treats it’s staff by the coffee facilities (assuming these are in a general staff area). If they are in the boardroom / MD’s office then it doesn’t tell you as much.
Telling Signs of a Good Place to Work and a Bad One:-
a) Kettle, jar of coffee and half empty bottle of milk in small cupboard – this is a SMALL company, or not one which invests much in facilities for staff.
b) Large coffee machine and not much else – LARGER company, not doing that well.
c) Sachet-based coffee machine – Now we are cooking – obviously spend a bit more on their staff.
d) Nicely fitted staff kitchen, with kettle, coffee maker, fridge etc. – Better still.
e) Staff cafeteria – obviously the scale / facilities will depend how much a plus point this is but usually it’s a good sign as long as it’s not a woman/man behind a tiny counter in what looks like a smallish cupboard.
f) The interviewer has an assistant run out to Starbucks/Costa or similar – good sign, and probably in Central London.
g) Staff have a dedicated in-house coffee bar (akin to Costa/Starbucks) as well as a separate restaurant – your ship has come in!
It’s always wise to ascertain whether a place is a good place to work or not before you start. It can be a miserable contract if you don’t.
Contractor Clients Sites can be variable and you can spend a long time there. Spot the signs before you start work.