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7 really important interview questions to ask when hiring a freelancer

7 really important interview questions to ask when hiring a freelancer

Hiring a freelancer for a project is much like hiring a permanent employee in terms of the process. You will almost always want to make sure that you interview the candidate to assess whether they are a good fit for your business and the role that you're hiring for. Here's a list of 7 questions to ask during the interview to make sure you’re evaluating them thoroughly.

Deepak Lalit
July 7, 2021

7 really important interview questions to ask when hiring a freelancer.

About the working relationship

1. What is your current availability and what other roles are you looking for?

The purpose of this question is to for you and the freelancer to have clear expectations from each other. Depending on your requirement, they might tell you that they're available 10 hours a week to work during evenings and weekends, or full time ( 35+ hours). Either way, you'll want to have a good understanding of their availability now and in the immediate future. If your project is expected to last longer than a few weeks, then you will want to make sure that the Freelancer can commit to completing the project if their circumstances change, or handing it over in a seamless manner.

2. What times can you be available for us to meet on a regular basis ?

While most of the work that the freelancer will be working on will be asynchronous ( i.e. they will be working on it in their own time), you will want to agree some times ( up to a few hours a week), where you can expect them to be available to talk. You may want to schedule regular weekly calls. Having a structure like this will ensure that there are regular check points for you and the freelancer to make sure that progress is being made on the project.

About the Candidate

3. What made you decide to become a freelancer ?  

The purpose of this question is to figure out the long(er) term aspirations of the candidate and if their goals are aligned with yours. For example, if you are hiring for a project that is expected to last full time for 6+ months, you will want to make sure that the person you're hiring is somewhat committed to the freelance lifestyle as opposed to using freelancing only as a stop-gap while they look for permanent employment. If they are looking for other opportunities, you will want to ensure that they can commit to working with you for the duration of the contract.

4. What processes do you have in place for your work ?

The best freelancers will be able to answer this question really well. Professional freelancers have systems in place to do the work efficiently, to document what they are doing, and to update the clients on their progress. What you are trying to figure out here is whether the freelancer has really thought about their own style of working and how they commit to client satisfaction. Good freelancers will tell you about the technologies they use to manage their time and projects.

5. Tell me about yourself

Most people think the question “tell me about yourself” is a ice-break or a starter question. While that is true, this open-ended question reveals a lot about the candidate's personality. He or she may end up talking about their academic background, their educational background, or their hopes and aspirations for the future. There are no wrong answers here, but whatever the candidate says will reveal a whole lot about their personality type and potential fit with the role and the business.

About the Role

6. What is your understanding of the Role?

Its important to make sure that the applicant has clearly read the job description and have thought about their fit for the role. If at this stage, their understanding of the role is different from yours, then you would need to help them understand exactly what the role and is re-evaluate their fit. Having a good 'understanding' of the role doesnt neccesarily mean that the candidate will need to excel at every requirement. But a good candidate will understand the scope of the role well, evaluate it against their own skills and propose how they would meet any skills gap.

7. What motivated you to apply for this role?

A candidate who answers this question well will demonstrate that they have not only read the description of the job completely but have also taken the time to educate themselves about the company. It will also show their enthusiasm for the role and how excited they are to be working on your project. Generally, the more excited candidates will deliver better results.

Deepak Lalit

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