Do you know what’s more exhausting than the process of searching for a job?
There’s a good reason for it too, as the current COVID-19 job market has been ruthless. There are too many people applying for too few job offers and with it, the competition has become even greater than usual.
This is why more and more freelancers feel the pressure to ace their job interviews because they feel like there won’t be another chance for them. Even though that’s not always the case and such pressure can have multiple negative effects on the mind and body, it’s always beneficial to know how to answer some of the most common interview questions for your next freelance job.
Brybe’s editors decided to give you a hand with that. Here at Brybe Marketplace, we work day in and day out with freelancers from all over the world and we know the struggles you face when it comes to the interview process.
We’ll share some of the common interview questions and the best way for you to answer them.
But before we begin with the questions, a reminder for every freelancer out there.
Remember, You’re A Freelancer - Not A Full-Time Employee
When you’re applying for a job as a freelancer, your boss won’t be interested to know what are your goals in 5 years - they’re irrelevant to the work that you’ll do. For many of the jobs, even your working style is irrelevant - whether you’re a morning or a night person or you prefer to work from a crowded place or the comfort of your home.
The only thing that’s important between you and your boss is the work that you do. So, you should expect questions that are related to bringing measurable results. Your clients will want to know how you can help them achieve their goals in a quantifiable way, and that’s it. That’s why you as a freelancer are responsible for presenting yourself in a way that explains all this to your clients, so you can gain their trust and hopefully, the job offer.
You’re there to solve a problem for your client, and that should be your only focus.
Now that we got that out of the way and you know your exact role in the interview process, we can proceed on discussing the actual questions you need to prepare for.
1. Tell me a bit about yourself, how did you end up being a freelancer?
Although this is like the typical interview question every candidate dreads, here, mostly your employee wants to know your reasons for choosing freelance life. Many people choose to become freelancers because of the free lifestyle, or freedom of choices, or having the possibility to work with multiple clients.
You should be honest - answer the question in a way that honors your choice, but also one that can benefit your client as well. For example, you can talk about your entire working experience and how one accidental freelance gig created new opportunities for you to explore your field and work with people from around the world. So, you decided to give that a go and dedicate yourself to becoming a freelancer. Or, you can mention that you appreciate the freedom that comes with having a choice to choose your own clients.
Your clients will appreciate your honesty and hopefully, they’ll see what’s their benefit from working with someone determined to build a freelance career.
2. What’s your work process like?
With this question in mind, your client wants to know your way of work and whether you’ll be able to do the job right. Feedback is an important part of the process, so be sure to mention that you’re open to receiving and giving feedback and that you’re open to doing revisions. If your job involves doing multiple things in a day, you can also explain the exact process of how you prefer to do things or how it’s the most productive for you personally.
Also, if yоu have a time of the day when you feel the most productive, you can mention that as well, but don’t forget that flexibility is a key characteristic to have as a Freelancer. It’s important to let the client know that you can learn to adapt to different job cultures, just like you can prove that with your past experiences.
The more you go into details about your exact work process, the better and more lasting impression you’ll leave. Of course, not every client needs or wants to know every detail of your work, but most of them want to know this info. It gives an impression that you know what you’re doing and that you’ll do their job with great dedication and enthusiasm as you say.
3. Can I see a sample of your work?
Your work is everything when you’re a freelancer! Everything that you get to rely on like client testimonials or actual results is because you put in the work. That’s why having a portfolio is crucial to show it to your clients. For the Freelancers who work in some industries, this can be more difficult than the others, but if you’re serious about building a career in the Freelance world, you need to devote some time and build your professional portfolio.
If you can’t offer a sample of your work, perhaps you can agree to a small paid test job. Once you finish the job, you can explain the entire process to your client - which methods you used, how long it took for you to develop the different processes, how did you come up with the finished product, etc. This can be quite an effective way to prove your skills and connect with the client.
4. How well do you handle deadlines?
It doesn’t necessarily need to be this question specifically, but everything that revolves around the topic of a deadline will eventually, come up within a freelance job interview.
There’s one thing you need to remember about deadlines - if the client is asking you right away whether you can meet the deadline or not, truth the, the project is either pretty close to the deadline or way past it. So, if this is the case, you need to be honest - say if you can or can’t meet the deadline and discuss with the client your reasons about it.
Deadlines are an important part of any project - without them, there won’t be verifiable or measurable progress. However, a job of a freelancer is rarely 100% independent - you’re still working within a team, a team that has goals on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. All of the team members contribute and each one is dependent on the work of the other team members.
Provide proof of your dedication to your work by addressing your past experience, successful collaborations with other clients, and their testimonials. Present your skills in a confident manner that will evoke that sense of trust in your clients, a sense that they can trust you with their projects.
5. What’s your availability?
Each client has a different way of working. Some prefer to work in specific hours of the day and specific time zone, while others aren’t that engaged in that - for them, it’s more important to get the job done.
If you already know that you’re available as a full-time freelancer, you can let the client know that. However, you can always ask the client how much they expect from the candidate and you can let them know how you fit in their schedule.
Also, discuss other details like communication tools, organization of the work, availability, etc. You wouldn’t want to end up working for 8 hours per day and being paid for 4 - that’s exploitation and you need to clearly define all these terms beforehand.
6. How much do you charge?
Finally, the money conversation.
This is the part most freelancers dread, as money talk is never pleasant to have.
The most important thing to remember is to never answer this question directly, especially if it’s at the beginning of the interview. You can’t tell a price if you don’t know the job or the responsibilities you’ll have, so you can politely let the interviewer know that you need more information about the job before you can answer that. Also, beware of such clients - most of them are only looking for someone to exploit, not to build a successful partnership with.
If this question arrives at the end of the interview, you can always provide a general idea of your freelance rates. You can also ask whether the project will be billed by the hour or by the project because most likely, you don’t have the same rates. Whatever your answer may be, always provide a range of your rates, so you can give your clients an option as well.
And that’s it!
Of course, these are the most common and probably the most important questions, but every interview is different. The important thing to do is prepare yourself for it and make sure to bring your A-game. We can help you with that - with our tips and the type of clients we have at Brybe, you can quickly become an exceptional freelancer! Plus, all of our Freelancers get to keep whatever they make, which is a great deal!