How to Choose and Interview the Right Freelancer for Your Project

By Amy Sept

More and more businesses are working with freelancers at home and around the world—relationships that happen entirely online. Communication takes a different skillset when you aren’t working face-to-face, and a big part of that is learning how to vet freelancers and conduct a remote interview.

We’re used to relating to people in person: Facial expressions, body language, tone of voice. So how do you connect with someone when you take one or more of those signals away?

Lay the groundwork with your job post

A remote interview isn’t actually the first step in engaging a freelancer. By the time you connect in real time you’ll likely have connected by email, chat, and maybe watched a video or reviewed their portfolio of past work. These initial introductions are, not surprisingly, a critical part of finding the right freelancer for your project.

It all starts with an awesome job post, which should be:

  • Well written and proofread
  • Concise, with clear objectives and examples
  • Detailed, including the specific deliverables you need and any deadlines

A great job post helps attract great freelancers; it shows you’re serious and thoughtful about what your project needs, which is something in-demand freelancers look for. It also gives freelancers a better understanding of what you’re looking for, so they can provide a more detailed and competitive proposal.

Need help writing a job post for your project? Check out Upwork’s Hiring Guides for some of the most popular skills

Vet freelancers to create a shortlist

Before you start the vetting process, know which factors are most important to you for this project. For example:

  • How do you prefer to communicate with business partners?
  • Do you need deliverables in specific file formats?
  • Do you have a hard deadline?

These details are part of your criteria for selecting top proposals and identifying the freelancer who’s the best match. Consider including them in your job posts so freelancers can identify whether they’ll be a good fit or not.

As proposals start coming in, you should set a short screening process that will help you quickly identify freelancers who will be a potentially good fit. This might include:

  • Skills
  • Related experience
  • Client feedback
  • Rate
  • Timezone

Pro tip: Some clients include a quick screening question or request in their job post as an initial filter; freelancers who don’t respond as part of their proposal don’t make the shortlist.

Pro tip: Many freelancers bring a wealth of experience that isn’t reflected in their work history on Upwork. Upwork profiles included a section for employment history, but previous experience may also be summarized in their overview or reflected in portfolio samples.

Freelancers can showcase some of their best work in their Portfolio. These samples may include information that explains:

  • What the project is, as well as its purpose or goal
  • The freelancer’s specific role in the project, including their contributions
  • Which specific skills they used, and any other information that might highlight their expertise or capabilities

Remember: Some skills are easier to convey through portfolios than others. Graphic design and writing samples can be relatively straightforward, while work done on a mobile app is harder to capture.

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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