With tight deadlines and a busy schedule, sometimes the thought of having to interview freelancers can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have someone to help.

Interviewing a freelancer can also require a different approach since neither side is committing to a long-term relationship, as you both bring different expectations to the table. As you don’t need to worry about how they’ll fit into the team or where they would like to be in five years time, you can focus on results and the experience the freelancer will bring.

We have come up with some tips to help you find the best freelancer for your brief: 

Set expectations

Confirm the interview by giving key details like the date and time, whether it is face to face or online over Skype or via phone. Remember, you are interviewing a freelancer, not a full time employee, so do you need to do a full interview process by having the freelancer attend your office. Can you instead offer a video call that suits both of your availability? This can help speed up the hiring process.

Let the candidate know how long the interview will take and whether they should prepare anything. You can even give the key questions you will ask, to enable them to prepare fully. Not only does this help set expectations, this can help make the candidate feel more comfortable and at ease, making the interview run smoother.

Prepare

This may seem simple, but preparation is key. Do you have the key questions you need to ask? Have you reviewed the freelancers work history? 

If the interview is taking place on Skype or online, test your equipment in advance, to ensure everything is working as expected. There is nothing worse than something not working and delaying the interview, especially when both yours and the freelancers time is limited. This can really throw a candidate off, as understandably they could be slightly nervous. 

Set the scene

Make sure the interview has a structure and you outline this from the start, to keep you on track. This can help make it clear to the candidate when they can ask their own questions. 

If the interview is face to face, offer the candidate a drink and consider doing a tour of the office. This may help the freelancer make their decision about working with you, as they can get a real feel for the company. 

Do you understand what you need? 

If you have your brief, you need to understand what skills / experience you are looking for to help fulfil the overall need for the business. Familiarise yourself with the brief and what you are trying to achieve. With the skills already detailed, come up with questions that relate to those, as this will help you identify the best freelancer for the job. 

Ask yourself, what is the critical need you are trying to fulfil and how will you identify that person? If you are interviewing multiple freelancers, this will help you find the right one.

Make it a conversation

Ask open ended questions that encourage conversation. Most importantly, let the candidate answer the questions fully and don’t interrupt them, to give them the chance to articulate their answer. By letting them finish will help you understand if you need further clarification on anything and will give you the chance to more questions. Remove distractions such as laptops and base yourself away from the team so you are engaged and in the room. There is nothing worse than talking to someone that is disengaged and distracted. 

It is important to find out what experience they have and how they have handled previous situations. Focus on the results they have achieved. Understanding past performance can help you see how they will fit within the organisation and how they will achieve the end result.

Remember, this is a two way conversation, as the freelancer is also evaluating whether your company is the right one for them. Be thoughtful in how you answer their questions and be thorough.

Follow Up

Ensure you follow up, regardless of the outcome, whether that is by phone or email with the freelancer or your YJ Talent Executive. Every interaction, whether it is with a prospect, an existing customer or a candidate for a job, is an interaction with your brand. If they have a bad experience they are more likely to talk about that negatively than a good experience. Ensure you give them the best possible experience.

Remember ... 

  • Don’t ask closed questions that the candidate can only answer with a yes or a no. 

  • Ask one question at one time, as the candidate will be unsure which one to answer first and may miss important information. 

  • Ensure the questions are relevant to the brief they are applying for. This is about finding the right freelancer to achieve your goals. 

  • Ask questions that enable the candidate to expand and detail their experience.

  • Ensure there are no long pauses or gaps in the conversation. Take the lead.

  • Remove distractions such as laptops and base yourself away from the team so you are engaged and in the room.

  • Try and enjoy yourself, this will help not only yourself feel relaxed but the freelancer themselves. 

As part of the YunoJuno service, you have access to the Talent Team. Consisting of industry recruiters, not only can they help you find the perfect freelancer, they can help with the end to end process of writing and posting your brief. Get in touch with the Talent Team today!

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