It’s time for a decision and it is key to ask the correct questions. Lay to rest any open items or concerns, it time to prepare freelancer interview questions:
When it come to outsourcing work for your brand there are 3 major steps we cover:
- Clearly define the requirements – ( next post: Project Specification)
- Interview the Applicants – (this post)
- Evaluate & Choose – (post: “The Job“)
Since we are typically outsourcing particular types of work or work that requires typical skill sets that groups of applicants have – it made sense to create a separate templates for each :
- Graphic Design
- Web Developers
- Virtual Assistants
There are also a set of questions that can be used “universally” across and in addition to our skill set specific freelancer interview questions & scripts from our friends at Koffeeklatch.
Freelancer Interview Questions
Suggested Freelancer Interview Questions
Once you’ve found a freelancer that you believe would be a good match for your project, schedule an interview through a video conferencing tool like Skype or Google Hangouts. This gives you the opportunity to see if you would enjoy working with them.
What does your normal workflow look like?
A good freelancer should be able to tell you what their process looks like from start to finish. Asking this question will ensure you’re choosing a freelancer who knows how to start a project and see it through to completion.
What’s your favorite project from your portfolio?
This gives insight into how your freelancer works. For example, your freelancer may say they enjoyed being a big part of the creative process. This may indicate someone who can offer plenty of innovative suggestions about your project.
What’s your strongest skill?
A good freelancer knows their biggest strength and often uses it to their advantage. A skilled writer might tell you that they can both entertain and educate readers with their words.
What’s your preferred communication method?
Some freelancers prefer email. Others will be most active on Skype. Make sure you choose a freelancer that will communicate with you frequently if that’s what you desire.
Will you be available for future projects?
If you enjoy completing this project with your freelancer, you may want to continue to working together. Ask in advance if your freelancer will have time for more projects later on.
When do you consider a project completed?
You want to hire someone who can stick around to make revisions or changes if needed. A good freelancer doesn’t mark your project as done until you’re completely satisfied with the results you received.
What material, if any, do you need from my business?
If your freelancer will need materials from you to do their job, now’s the time to bring it up. If you don’t have access to the materials, get in touch with someone that can forward the needed content to your freelancer.
What are your business hours?
It’s important to know up front when your freelancer will be available. Do keep in mind that a freelancer who’s transitioning from another job into full-time freelancing may only be available in the evenings or on weekends.
Hiring a graphic designer is a smart investment. But that doesn’t mean you should hire just anybody. You want to pick a designer who understands your style and can bring your ideas to life in exciting new ways. Here’s what to ask before you sign a contract: What do you usually design?
A graphic designer may specialize in one or two areas. For example, a designer might work primarily with logos or focus all of their attention on print advertisements. Before you select a designer, make sure they’re actually comfortable with your type of project.
What’s your design process like?
No two designers are exactly alike. But most will work with you to create the original concept and offer two or three rounds of changes so that they can capture your vision accurately.
What’s your turnaround time?
This is an important question to ask, especially if you’ll be needing their services regularly. For example, if you want to hire this designer to create images for your blog posts, how much advance notice would the designer require?
Of your clients, who did you enjoy working with the most?
You can learn a lot about a potential designer from this answer. Maybe they loved the project where they had a lot of input. Perhaps their best project was the one where they could show off their skills with typography.
What are you doing to continue your education in the field?
Ideally, you want to be working with a designer that’s consistently updating their skills.
They work hard to stay current with trends and they use them to showcase your brand.
There are thousands of web developers that you could hire. But you want to find one that understands your brand and can help you communicate it through your website. Here’s what to ask potential developers:
How do you incorporate SEO into your work?
A web developer should have a good understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). They should know how to make a site mobile responsive and be able to explain technical terms to you easily.
If I need my design updated later on, will you be available?
Look for a freelancer who plans to be in the industry long-term. Someone who’s just designing sites for extra cash may not care about updating your site in the future. This means you’ll have to hire a new developer and start the same process all over again. Do you offer additional services?
Some web developers offer on-going services, like website maintenance. Others may offer to back up your website for you regularly. These services may not seem necessary at first but they’re actually quite valuable.
Who will be my point of contact for this project?
Some freelancers hire other employees to help with big projects. If this happens, you need to be clear on who to reach out to if you encounter a problem or want to request a change.
When you create websites, what do you focus on?
Smart developers know the goal of your website isn’t just to look pretty. They know that you want a website that converts visitors into subscribers and subscribers into buyers. If your developer isn’t clear on what you want at this stage, then they may not be the best match.
When it comes to hiring a freelance writer, choose someone whose personality you like and who can mimic your brand’s tone easily. Doing this will save you plenty of headaches later down the road. To find the right freelancer for your project, ask these questions:
What type of content do you create?
Not all content is equal. A writer who can create dazzling blog posts may stink at writing up your press release. You need to know in advance what types of content your writer can create and which ones they tend to avoid.
How do you conduct your research?
Even if a freelance writer has been in the industry for years, they may still need to get additional information. You want to make sure their sources are legitimate and wellinformed. A freelancer who says they get their information from the “the internet” or “Wikipedia” is probably not someone you want to hire.
Would you be comfortable interviewing a subject if needed?
Sometimes creating content means having to get first person stories or quotes from a source. If you anticipate needing statements from others, make sure you select a freelance writer who can quickly and easily perform interviews.
What’s your normal output? How many pages can you write in a day?
If you want to release three e-books in a month, then don’t hire a writer that can only churn out 1-2 pages in a day. You need someone who can keep up with your content needs and can complete projects in a timely fashion.
What additional services do you offer?
Some writers have add-on services that they don’t always publicize. For example, a writer may be willing to upload the blog posts she writes to your WordPress website or find and source images that you can use with your content.
Hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to take tasks off your to-do list. Then you’re free to focus on your strengths and grow your business. But before you hire a VA, take a moment to ask these questions:
What do you specialize in?
Hiring a general virtual assistant isn’t always the right move. If you want help with your content marketing, then you want a virtual assistant that specializes in blogging and content creation.
How do you handle tasks you’ve never done before?
You want a virtual assistant who shows initiative. For example, your VA may say that they’d pause and ask you for documentation. Or they may say that they’d look up a tutorial on YouTube for help.
Do you work well within a team?
This is especially important to consider before you make a job offer. Many VAs can work with multiple team members successfully. However, there are some that prefer to work independently and avoid working with a team.
What time zone are you in?
You need to know before working with a VA what time zone they’re in. You should also ask about their business hours. Some VAs work the typical 9-5 while others may do the bulk of their work in the wee hours of the morning.
What are your favorite types of projects?
Listen carefully when you ask this question. Often, this shows you which projects are your VA’s strengths and which ones may be their weaknesses.