Just as you would a typical corporate employee, you need to go through an interview and vetting process for a freelancer as well. It’s important to get to know them, their processes, and what you can expect out of your working relationship.
Now, as a freelancer myself, I’ve put together a few of my favorite questions that I have been asked by potential clients and I have to say that like a typical corporate employee, I’m interviewing them as much as they are me. Asking questions and getting to know each other can go a long way towards creating a great working relationship and achieving some amazing results.
How long have you been freelancing?
I’m not saying that someone that has been freelancing for 10 years vs someone who’s been doing it for 1 year is any better, but it’s still good to know how much experience a freelancer has working with clients.
Keep in mind that the more experienced someone is at freelancing, the more processes and plans they have for how they operate, which could be beneficial in your hiring decision.
May I see samples of your work?
Make sure to review their portfolio and if needed, ask for additional examples of their work. Your hiring them do to a job and it’s crucial to see that they can actually do what you’re paying them for.
What is your typical turnaround time?
When a freelancer is late delivering a project, it can potentially hold up other aspects of a project and put multiple things in jeopardy. It’s important to discuss and agree upon project delivery dates and timelines upfront.
What are your communication preferences?
Each freelancer is different. Some prefer to communicate digitally and some prefer to come on site for in-person meetings.
If you prefer to work over the phone, but the freelancer prefers email and chat, you’re going to run into some problems. Make sure you have a consistent and dependable way of communicating with the freelancer to avoid any issues.
What do your rates include?
The term “scope creep” can be a scary one for both you and your freelancer. From the very beginning, make sure you and your freelancer understand and agree upon the project plan, but you also need to be aware that if you decide to add something to the project that was not part of the initial agreement, you can expect an additional charge.
Plan, discuss and budget accordingly.
What would you do if you missed a deadline?
We’re all human and things happen outside of our control. What you need to know from your freelancer is if they will reach out to you before the deadline to know they couldn’t make it? Or, will they just brush it under the rug and try to make up for it after the fact?
You definitely want someone who will reach out to you as soon as possible to let you know what’s going on. From there, together you can discuss a plan to move forward.
May I contact past or current clients?
Along with asking for references, this is a must ask question for sure. If the freelancer isn’t able to come up with even one client that would give them a good review, then you know they’re not the person for you.
What questions do you have for me?
Just like any typical interview, you want to make sure the freelancer is interested and has done their homework on your company, products, and needs. However, if you, as the interviewer, have done a good job at presenting your needs information, they may have none, which is ok.
You need to feel valued and understood by your freelancer and if at the end of your talks, you do not feel that way, then they are not the right fit for you.