Employment Status

Are you a contractor? If you work for someone else, it is important to know whether you are working for that person in an employed capacity or in a self-employed capacity as an independent contractor.

Your employment status will determine the charge to tax on income from your employment or self-employment. It will also determine the class of NICs, which are to be paid.

Umbrella Companies employ you for tax purposes and complete central returns for all their contractors. It's less hassle and more flexible for you but take home pay is typically less than that the limited company option.

The best option for you depends on your plans, 'one off' contract or 'contractor for life'? [Read More...]

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Frequently Asked Interview Questions Interview Help

Frequently Asked Interview Questions

On the whole job interviews, with recruitment agents, usually turn out to be memorable experiences - either good or bad. Job candidates who are well prepared, and have done even a little bit of research on what interview questions are likely to crop up, always stand a better chance of nailing the interview, compared to those candidates who are completely unprepared.

What matters most in an interview is:

  • How well prepared you are
  • What you answer
  • How you answer it

On that note, here are the most frequently asked interview questions, which will be helpful for all job candidates.

Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions

Interview questions can definitely vary from client to client and from recruitment agent to recruitment agent. Most interview questions tend to be job specific. Job candidates are advised to anticipate potential industry specific questions, in addition to the following common interview questions.

In an interview, this is often the first question that the recruitment agent will ask you - and often the most difficult to answer for some job candidates. First off - be truthful in your answer whilst being precise. Do not ramble on for fifteen minutes reciting unnecessary details that are irrelevant to the job. Go for basic details, like your:

  • Professional qualifications
  • Professional background
  • Professional project work

That is all that the recruitment agent wants to know from an interview. The recruitment agent is not interested in what your favorite colour is, or what you have named your pet donkey.

Another sure-shot question, in most interviews, so be prepared with a convincing yet truthful answer. Recruitment agents are smart people and it hardly takes them a second or two to realise when you are bluffing - then you've lost it, for certain. You may think you are a good bulls**tter but you are not. Talk about your interest in the vacant job role, and why you think you are suitable for the position.

This is the interview question when candidates end up rambling for too long, if they do not have the relevant experience. Do not lie. If you do not have sufficient (or any) of the required experience, don't go for the job in the first place. Most recruitment agents will appreciate your honesty, and it will count in your favour.

You better have done your homework - this is guaranteed to be one of the job interview questions! So you can say ‘yes' but only if it is the truth. If it is otherwise, and you know next to nothing about the company, you have no business attending the job interview in the first place.

  • Prior to the interview, doing some basic homework about the company, its area of work, etc, is an absolute must. Recruitment agents will not expect you to have memorised the client's balance sheets. All they want to understand is whether you know anything about the organisation that you have shown an interest in working for. It is a reflection of your seriousness, professionalism and your sincerity, so keep this in mind and do your interview homework.

When this job interview question comes up, remember first and foremost, every human being has weaknesses. Even the Managing Director has some weakness. Do not project yourself as being a miracle man, having an endless number of strengths but no weaknesses. In a job interview, including examples of minor professional failures (and how you learned from them) can be beneficial. It can provide the recruitment agent with a clearer picture of how you could tackle difficult work-related situations.

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HMRC Compliance

It's the basics... Compliance with Tax, VAT, PAYE and fiscal arrangements is mandatory for contractors regardless of whether you use an umbrella company or your own limited company.

Incredible then that there are still rogue umbrella companies and limited company accountants who expose their contractors to fraud. Umbrella Compare provides THE solution, we thoroughly vet all umbrella companies and limited company accountants that we list [Read more...].

Umbrella Compare provides a holistic overview of contracting with the aim of helping new and old contractors find the right payroll solutions. Contracting should be about focusing on the contract, not payroll, accounting, HMRC and bureaucracy.