It’s tempting to dive right in with a freelance worker. But if you’re not patient you’ll wind up with bad apples. I know it’s intimidating to chat with someone you don’t know, but that’s exactly why you MUST ask these three interview questions before you hire a freelancer!
1. What Similar Projects Have You Worked On?
When I hire freelancers, the first thing I want to know is what similar projects they’ve worked on. I want proof that this isn’t their first rodeo. Proof that they didn’t decide to become a freelancer yesterday.
So I ask them about similar past projects AND I ask them to prove their work. By that I mean I want to see a link to the project or an attachment or other sample. Don’t just take their word for it. You need actual factual evidence that they’ve done something at least remotely similar to what you need done.
Not long ago I posted a job for an anime illustrator. Here’s a comparison of samples I received:
Anyone who sends general samples as an indicator of their quality isn’t a good fit for me because they aren’t likely to understand the nuances of the project that only a specialist can help you with.
2. What is Your Approach?
The second question I like to ask freelancers is about their working strategy. How will you approach the work? How long do you expect something like this to take you? What is your process?
The best freelancers have answers for these questions. They don’t have to spend ten minutes coming up with something because they work on projects like yours all the time.
In other words, they have working processes in place, so they can easily explain what goes into any given job.
Less skilled freelancers usually haven’t given their process much thought. So when you ask about their approach they stumble and get caught up in their thoughts and words. You can see it on their face. It’s the ole deer in the headlights look.
When you want a job to get done right you need someone who understands the job and can explain how they intend to approach it.
3. What is the Total Cost to Get the Job Done?
This one is really important, especially when you’re on a budget and you’re not an expert in the task.
For instance, if you hire a copywriter at $25/hr for a sales page, then you might be surprised (or shocked) to discover it takes four weeks to finish and costs upwards of $4,000.
If that’s way out of your budget, then that’s something you want to know up front.
You don’t want to hire someone only to find out they can’t finish the job for your price.
If that happens then you’ll either have to hire someone else to finish the project (which mix and matches work styles) or finish the job yourself (which usually turns out really poorly for you).
Alternatively, if you would’ve asked for a cost-estimation on the total job, the freelancer might have shared a fixed-rate price of just $1,000. That’s quite a savings in cash!
So think about these interview questions before you hire a freelancer. Ask each one, preferably on a live call. The person you speak with won’t always be an exact perfect match for you. Sometimes they’ll be totally wrong. That’s okay. It takes patience and effort to get the perfect worker for your project, but it’s worth it really pays off when you do.