Weeding Out Undesirable Freelancers With These 5 All-Important Questions
Hiring the right freelancers can be a nerve-wracking experience. How do you know if they will be good for your content marketing needs? Of course, you’ve probably looked over their portfolio, liked what you saw, and contacted them to discuss in more detail the scope of your project. You may have asked them the same boring questions that you ask any independent contractor employee you are interested in working with. More and more companies are actually using freelancers in greater number than ever before. So those usual questions probably revolve around their experience and how it relates to your industry, right?
So Carl, what’s your experience writing about widgets?
Plus, you probably already found out about their experience just by looking over their portfolio or maybe through an email or cover letter that they sent to you. Did you know that you can get a better idea of whether a freelancer is right for you with just a few targeted questions? This will let you weed out the undesirable freelancers that you definitely don’t want to work with. Here are 5 all-important questions to ask your potential freelance team if you want to quickly eliminate the ones you don’t want to use on your project.
Question #5: Have you ever abandoned a project before it was completed?
Woah. If they answer “yes” to this, it’s huge red-flag about their work ethic. You never want to hear that someone didn’t finish a project. This is just unprofessional and inexcusable for any kind of work, including contract work. Even if you forge ahead and ask them why, their reason isn’t really going to matter much. Generally an answer like this means that they are unreliable with the potential to not finish your project. If they have done it to one client they could easily do it to you. No way this is a person you want to work with on any level.
Question #4: How do you prefer to communicate?
This is a question to just make sure that your preferred method of communication matches up with theirs. If you are a die-hard Skype user, but they prefer email only, then this freelancer might not be right for your needs communication-wise. Ideally, you want someone who is comfortable communicating by any method, text, calls, emails, or group work collaboration sites, like Trello or Basecamp for project management. Flexibility is key here.
Question #3: What project are you most proud of working on?
This question is a chance to get them to open up about their successes. If they can’t effectively “toot their own horn” then they might be less experienced than they seem. You want someone in a freelance capacity who is excited and can earnestly explain how talented they are. They need to be able to convey an energy about the skills they can bring to any project. That will translate into a vigor in diving into your project head first.
Question #2: How often are you late on deadlines or completing projects?
A tricky question to ask. Of course, if they are being honest most people at one time or another have had issues with making a deadline right on time. What you don’t want here obviously is someone who always has to ask for extensions. This is a question about time management. You want a freelancer who can balance their workload effectively to complete all of your projects in a timely manner that you specifically lay out for them. The ideal answer to this question would be “I rarely have problems meeting deadlines.” If they say “never” then it’s probably not the most honest answer to the question.
Question #1: What questions do you have about this project?
You always want to ask this question which throws the ball quickly into their court to come up with some questions for you as the employer. They should always be able to come up with something to ask about the scope of the project. If they don’t come up with anything, it shows they aren’t really engaged with understanding or thinking very hard about the work they want to do for you. The prospective freelancer should always have something to say here, even if it’s just a very basic question.
Even with asking all the right questions, looking over a great portfolio, and communicating effectively with a potential freelancer, it’s always a bit of a gamble to see how they will perform on your project.
Luckily with WriterAccess, you are getting a stellar pool of amazing freelance content creators that have been through a strict vetting process with proven projects under their belts. Plus, you can always jump on a conference call with any of the writers through the WriterAccess system to ask some of these questions over the phone. We are the best resource to go for top tier freelance in any genre of content marketing needs. You are definitely going to like what you hear!
Kelly R is a Beauty Editor and experienced copywriter, with a keen eye for creating all kinds of marketing content that sells. Having a background in journalism, she has written for many different online and print publications including Allure, Mode Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Seminole, and The New Yorker. As a published author, her book on beauty and style is available at bookstores nationwide and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble stores.