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Interview Questions for hiring a freelancer

Interview Questions for hiring a freelancer
Written by Salma Noreen

Top Interview Questions to find the Best Freelancer: The internet gave birth to the freelancing. Right now, freelancing comes under top IT industries. In fact, freelancing is the realistic demonstration of word global village. The truth is that now you can have your work done from home while hiring any expert around the world.

The freelance market is flooded with different types of freelancers. It is very easy to find an average working freelancer. The issue is getting the best freelancers from the good ones. Obviously, everyone wants the best value for his/her money. Finding best freelancer at the first time is also necessary to save your time because there are many time-wasters too who will promise to provide quality work but in reality, they will learn right after winning project so it will not only waste your time and money (If you’ve released any advance payment or paid any taxes for awarding project) but also will disturb you mentally.

The interview is a great opportunity to differentiate top freelancers from good ones. Although, you have chosen the contractor due the attractive proposal. Well-prepared proposal satisfies queries like basics, introduction, experience in the respective field and approach towards the project. Still, the interview is the stand-alone opportunity to get the best freelancer for your project. By conducting interviews, you can check whether your contractor can communicate or not!

Moreover, with the passage of time your day to day experiences will reveal that there are many newbies who might haven’t big number of reviews online, or haven’t good experience of sending professional proposals to impress you but after interviewing them you will come to know that they have good knowledge to complete your project at reasonable price while there would be many with professional proposals representing their teams while they will simply get your project at very high price and will try to outsource at lower cost and in case if they failed to find good freelancer for you, it will simply waste your time.

How to hire the best freelancer? Top Interview Questions for the employers

Alright, the importance of conducting an interview is understood but the question arises, what to ask during an interview? What things should be asked to get a perfect freelancer for your project? We have gathered top and most important interview questions which can be asked by the employer while hiring any new freelancer. Don’t forget to conduct an interview with freelancers next time when you will need to hire someone, it might consume your precious time but have faith it will save your time in future too as if you will be successful in finding the best freelancer, you might assign him/her different projects in future too.

We have categorized the questions as per following criteria:

  • Project Approach
  • Experience
  • Work Logistics

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Project Approach: (Hiring Freelancer)

Question: Can you complete the job in the desired timeline?

Timeline or deadline is important for many, especially when there is any event or date involved such as you are looking for hiring a web designer and web developer to build a website for New Year event. You desire to have this job done until 20th of December at max so you can update the website with desired content and can plan social media marketing within a week before the event.  Now, if you get a freelancer who complete work till the end of January which means now you really don’t need that website as the event has been passed already. So, a friendly kind suggestion is that if you have a strict timeline for the project, then ask about it right away. Honestly, you don’t want any freelancer who has an issue with the timeline. Most freelancers work on multiple projects simultaneously, and you shouldn’t have any issue about their such habit as freelancers mean free birds and they can take any decision too. It does not mean that you should not hire them but the thing to check is that how they manage their projects. If they have the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and agree to update regularly to their each client, then all is fine.

So here, first of all, you need to judge the project management skills of the freelancer. Check out, whether the freelancer is confident about a timeline or not? How he/she manage multiple projects in the same timeline? A good freelancer’s answer would be something like he/she allocates daily time to each of the projects he/she is managing such as 2 hours for different 5 clients’ works, by this way they are committed to only 5 clients at a time so by spending two hours every day on your project, in how many days they will actually complete your project?

Sometimes, you will meet freelancers offering their own timelines. In that case, you need to judge the applicability of the timeline by asking why they need their offered timeline, what will be the process of completing the project and will they be fine to update regularly so you can have an idea, what’s going on your project? The timeline should be realistic and compatible with  your demands or their offer must be convincing. In fact, an experienced freelancer will ask about the extended timeline if your timeline does not sound realistic as he/she would already have good experience of similar works while as you aren’t expert of that work so experienced freelancer will convince you about demanded extension but whoever is asking for extended timeline doesn’t mean to be experienced freelancer as some might be busy enough with other projects while others would have first time experience on your project so they might need extra time for having good research before starting project. You should be fine for extended or buffer timeline as it is essential to meet unexpected events but while assigning project to any freelancer, you should keep your half as freelancers’ full such as you want to have your project completed within 2 weeks, offer 2-3 days to different freelancers to check their answers while maximum you can allow to any freelancer would be 1 week timeline but once they will convince you well that why they need 1 week. So in case your judgment went wrong, still you will have 1 whole week to hire new freelancer once again.

Question: What are the essential skills related to this project? OR What skills you are going to use for completing this project?

Suppose you have a website development project, there are different skills set can be used to achieve the main target such as many freelancers will suggest WordPress while others can be an expert of Joomla, drupal or core PHP etc. So it doesn’t matter  that what path they are going to use to complete your project but the question is what they think are the essential skills related to this project and What skills they are going to use to complete it such as WordPress is SEO friendly, easy to manage, thousands of cool premium and free themes, thousands of plugins to enhance functionality so it will be quickest and very cost effective solution for developing a website.

Most freelancers explain required skills in their proposals but still you need to ask this question to check their confidence level. Core skills do not mean technical skills, moreover confident and skilled freelancers will handle unexpected situations as well while having a basic knowledge of any skill might lead your project to worst which might cause a delay of delivery. In short, this question reflects the understanding of freelancer towards the project. The freelancer’s view will show his/her strategy to deal with expected and unexpected issues. One more thing, ask about freelancer’s strongest and weakest skill too such as his/her level of expertise in any required skill.

Experience of a freelancer

Question: Can I have a look to your portfolio? (Any online link under name of freelancer)

Portfolio means previous jobs record. Usually, experienced freelancers always have their own official website where they showcase their previous projects’ stories with detailed links to impress their future clients. However, there can be many freelancers whose previous clients’ won’t allow them to showcase their work under their name such as sometimes there is signed NDA involved, to keep clients’ privacy. OR freelancers who are experienced in their prospective fields but were doing jobs for long time and their all portfolio was showcasing under company name where they were working, so such recently converted freelancers from jobs are blank about portfolio but are with good experience. In other cases, there could be many new freelancers or less experienced freelancers who might not have done similar projects yet but are very confident in doing so asking about portfolio you can judge their confidence level while they are answering.

Or if you get a chance to review their portfolio, have a good judgment whether to hire or not?

Alright, now the question comes to checking portfolio, what do we mean to check portfolio? What should be checked in any portfolio? The number of projects to show experience of the freelancer such as if FL(A) has completed 500+ projects while FL(B) has completed only 10 projects, we can quickly say that FL(A) is an experienced person, agree? However, quality is more important than quantity, if FL(B) has more attractive and detailed portfolio about those 10 projects, than FL(A)’s 500+ you would love to hire FL(B), correct?

The question arises what to check in any portfolio? Quality is the answer. You must not check the number of projects done. Quantity does not reflect quality. You must observe the level of detailing maintained by the freelancer.

Moreover, details about unexpected errors coming and a good approach to solving them would be interesting stories instead of a straight success about any project which doesn’t convince clients at all.

Question: Share your experience of a recent project that you are proud of?

Different people follow different strategies to do things. Ask about the key elements that made the project greatly.  This way, you can have a deeper idea about work style and working habits. So, you can check whether the working habits of freelancer suits you or not! You can ask about improvements that he/she wished to do with the same project. A motivated freelancer always seeks improvement.

For example, You are looking for a content writer. So the shortlisted content writers must have links of, at least 1-2 published articles under their name to showcase their writing style. And in case, you don’t like previous writing styles, what improvements they offer. Such as if in previous works, they had copyrights issue, they might offer that if they can have premium Copyscape account, they are ready to provide Copyscape passed unique content OR if previously they made few grammatical errors, they might request or wish to have Grammarly account to provide grammatical errors free content.

Question: Tell me about feedbacks you received from clients?

If you are hiring a freelancer from freelance websites or platforms, you can check their testimonials for feedbacks. Feedbacks are important when it comes to hiring a contractor. Feedbacks tell us about skills owned by a freelancer. These skills mainly include a commitment towards the project, communication, and quality, etc. If a freelancer has a profile 1-year-old and still with 0 reviews, you must ask the reason of not having any review at all, there could be reasons such as failure in winning any project etc. Or if someone is having 100s of reviews mix of good and bad, you can talk further about negative reviews he/she gained, also don’t ignore their previous clients’ words about them before taking any decision.

Work Logistics:

Question: Tell me about your time management strategies?

Finding the full-time freelancer who will work only on your project is not easy. The majority of freelancers work as part-time while others prefer hourly basis projects because they are involved in more than one commitment. Moreover, a fixed cost project is not suitable for many types of projects so freelancers love to have an hourly rate. But it does not mean that your expectations won’t get met. Don’t lose hope but before assigning a job, you must confirm about deadlines and timely communication, so you can stay updated with the status of the job. One most important thing to ask, that is time zone. Honestly, if you have opposite time zone, it will be really difficult to communicate.

Question: What are the prime elements of success regarding freelancing?

For successful freelancing, communication and commitment are the key elements of success. You need to check whether your contractor gives importance to such elements or not. Without collaboration and accountability, it is impossible to develop great client-freelancer relationship. So, by asking similar questions, you would be able to know his/her views to take any decision.

Final Verdict:

Freelancing is great but at the initial stage, it might give you a little headache to find the best freelancer for building long term business relationship. Such interviews will help you to find faithful one. One last tip, try to conduct interviews on software that support video conferences. The best options are Skype and Google hangouts. Having a face-to-face interview is a great idea to move beyond just a conversation. Moreover, video conferences are better than text or just voice conferences.

Good luck for your next interview!

About the author

Salma Noreen

I am Salma Noreen from Attock, Pakistan. After completing MBA Finance & Marketing, I continued towards MIT, so I’m have not only expertise and skills in IT but also in Accounts and Marketing. I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious. The Curiosity about learning new technologies, is gifted, I believe. I have always followed my curiosity, and I always do what I love to do, and that’s the reason behind my success in field of Web Application Programming, Internet Marketing, Security Enhancement, and SEO Consultancy.

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