Thinking about taking a contract position? Questions to ask

Over the years, I have accumulated a set of questions that I usually ask the placement firm about a contract or consulting position (W2 or 1099) that I am looking at taking.  Many of these questions will also apply if you are thinking about working as a salaried employee for a consulting firm:

- What is the job description?
- What is the length of the contract?
- What is the pay rate?
- What is the company name of your client that I would be working at?
- Where is the work location?
- Is this position W2 or 1099?
- When would you want me to start?
- Any other of your contractors at this company?  Can I talk to them?
- Are expenses paid (flight/car/hotel/meals)?
- What are the chances of the contract being extended?
- Are benefits available (medical/dental/LTD/STD/life/AD&D/vision), and how long before they take effect?  What are the deductibles and premiums?
- Are there any paid vacation, sick, holidays?
- Is there any monthly/yearly bonus?
- Any paid training?
- How long are contractors usually on the bench between projects?  Is bench time paid?  How long will you let someone stay on the bench before you “let them go”?
- Is any overtime expected?  Is it paid?
- What are the typical work hours?
- Is the job location close to a park-and-ride?  Will I be reimbursed if I have to pay for parking?
- What are the pay periods?
- Do you have contractors just in this city or nationwide?
- Are there other contractors in your company I can exchange technical questions?
- Is there a chance the next project will be in a different city?
- Are there promotions?  Annual reviews?
- What is my job title?
- Is there a sign-on bonus?
- Will I be in a cubical or office?
- Is a laptop/computer provided or do I need my own?
- What languages/tools will I be using?
- Is this more of a maintenance role or new development?
- Will I need to be on-call at all?
- Can you describe my day-to-day duties?
- Is there a 401k?  Any employer match?
- Any stock options?
- What is the driving distance to the work location from my house?
- What is the bill rate you will be charging the client that I will be working at?
- Who would be my “boss”?

Hopefully this list will spur you on to ask many questions so there are no “surprises” that happen after you take a contract position.

More info:

Technology Consulting as an Employment Option

About James Serra

James is SQL Server MVP and a independent consultant with the title of Business Intelligence/Data Warehouse/Master Data Management Architect and Developer, specializing in the Microsoft SQL Server BI stack.
This entry was posted in Career, Consulting, SQLServerPedia Syndication. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Thinking about taking a contract position? Questions to ask

  1. Pingback: Blueprint for consulting riches | James Serra's Blog

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