What distinguishes a job interview for a freelancing position from a typical job interview? Both parties come to the table with differing expectations since neither party is ready to commit to a long-term relationship. Although that kind of independence has many advantages for both companies and employees, it also affects the recruiting process in certain ways, changing things like the types of interview questions a hiring manager could ask.
Your job serves as your key reference while you’re a freelancer. It’s crucial to have a portfolio of examples to present to potential customers. This used to indicate a tangible folder containing all of your greatest work. With the advent of digital portfolios, showcasing your work at an interview or sending links to potential clients has never been simpler.
Mention how adaptable, collaborative, and open to new ideas you are. Maybe give some instances to other clients of how your method has worked.
What Your Client Wants to Know
Clients don’t need to be concerned about how you’ll fit into the corporate culture or where you want to go in five years while hiring freelancers. Depending on the job, it might not even matter if you like the morning or the evening, or how your normal workweek is structured.
Instead, anticipate inquiries focused on outcomes. This is true because contract workers, much more so than normal employees, are employed to address a particular issue. A lot sooner than with a full-time employee, the person who employs you will need to show that you are accomplishing it. You’re less expensive and riskier than an employee who receives benefits, but you’re also simpler to evaluate because of how narrow and focused your aims are. Furthermore, it’s also simpler for the customer to terminate you because the customary termination procedure doesn’t apply.
Your best approach, though, is to concentrate your preparations on the interview questions you’re most likely to get, just as in a typical job interview. For independent contractors, this involves showcasing your value and ability to complete tasks.
You could be questioned about the following throughout the interview process:
1. Can you show me samples of similar work?
Tips for answering: Your job serves as your key reference while you’re a freelancer. It’s crucial to have a portfolio of examples to present to potential customers. This used to indicate a tangible folder containing all of your greatest work. With the advent of digital portfolios, showcasing your work at an interview or sending links to potential clients has never been simpler.
Whatever the approach, you should be able to show several examples and show how, in each instance, you met the client’s expectations. Describe the client’s requirements, your creative process, and the steps you used to produce the final product. Additionally, make an effort to pick samples that reflect the work you hope to be hired to undertake.
2. What’s your work process like?
Tips for answering: The interviewer’s goal in asking this question is to learn more about you and your working style. Will you be receptive to criticism of your work? How much time do you plan to provide for changes? Will you mostly operate alone or in collaboration with others? These queries are all tucked away beneath the primary one.
In the end, your potential customer wants to know that you’ll get helpful feedback and take part in a review process. So be sure to note that you’re adaptable, team-oriented, and creative. Maybe give some instances to other clients of how your method has worked.
3. Tell me about a time you had trouble making a deadline.
Tips for answering: The reality is that everyone despises group projects, whether they are students or businesspeople. However, we’re probably stuck with them as long as individual contributors are useful and up until we come up with a better technique to combine separate ideas into a significant outcome. That implies that in order to meet deadlines and advance projects, we rely on one another.
When you respond, keep in mind that the interviewer has more reason to worry about a freelancer meeting deadlines because you won’t be as accessible as an employee if you mess up. Here, you want to demonstrate with specific examples your commitment to completing tasks successfully despite their complexity. Be as detailed as you can.
4. How much do you charge?
Tips for answering: In this situation, you should let them speak first. Have a basic notion of your freelancing fees before beginning, but don’t immediately lock in a pricing. Until you have a lot more knowledge regarding the job necessary, you won’t be able to determine how much to charge or even whether to bill by the project or hourly.
Don’t be duped into designating a number up front only to learn later that the customer wants to forego paying for meetings since they anticipate three every week. Or that each project stage requires three signoffs, two of which must come from remote employees who are seldom accessible. Before deciding on a price, gather all the details, and then get it in writing in the form of a contract or statement of work.
5. What’s your availability?
Tips for answering: According to the IRS, one of the differences between an employee and a contractor is that firms cannot dictate the hours of work for a contractor. Setting deadlines is appropriate (for instance, “project will be finished by EOD on November 1”), but not by regularly shutting off hours of your time (e.g., “Freelancer will be available eight hours a day, five days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., until ABC Company says otherwise”).
However, tasks must be completed when necessary. This is your chance to show passion, assure the customer of your dedication and punctuality, and establish certain limits. Without providing the equivalent in the form of job stability, many customers convey the idea that they desire the dedication of a full-time employee from their contractors. It’s possible that they’re simply accustomed to that paradigm from dealing with ordinary staff; this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re attempting to trick you.
You don’t have to guarantee that you’ll be there for emergencies at 10 p.m. or for every scheduled morning meeting to demonstrate your enthusiasm and dependability. You may probably let them know that you’re often available during regular business hours and that you have a policy of replying to client emails within X amount of time by letting them know that most professional freelancers find it unrealistic to sleep in every morning anyhow (24 hours or less). Make sure it is included in your contract if they do want you to attend specific meetings. You are not required to guarantee them full-time availability for part-time employment.
Prepare to Ace the Interview
You’re well on your way to a successful freelancing interview if you’re prepared to respond to these inquiries. Check out this guide on how to ace an interview for a freelance job before you leave the house or pick up the phone for your appointment.