Tips for hiring freelancers: Creating a positive interview experience

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Candidates on the lookout for a job or freelance position are often bombarded with advice on how they should conduct themselves during an interview. From tips on what they should wear to how they should walk (and talk!), advice for the aspiring job seeker runs aplenty. However, the truth is that the candidate is not the only one who makes an interview ‘successful.’

To attract the best talent, it’s vital to create a positive interview experience. Not only are freelancers with negative experiences unlikely to work with you, but their critical reviews on social media channels can tarnish your reputation.

Here are a few quick tips for interviewing candidates so that their overall experience with your organisation remains positive:

Before the interview

  • Give detailed instructions on how to get there: This is important if you’re arranging a face to face meeting with the freelancer at a common meeting point or office. If you’re not available, allocate a point of contact that he/she can reach out to in the case of an emergency.
  • Platform knowledge: If your interview is over a collaboration tool that your organisation generally uses, ensure that the candidate knows how to use the platform. Share credentials before the call. If the platform has a record of technical glitches, have other options ready or offer to have your IT resource check out things for them.
  • Send the candidate an itinerary or schedule for the interview.Not only will this help allay anxieties, but it will help candidates come prepared to share relevant details, making the entire interview a richer one.
  • Research the candidate beforehand.Carefully read through the candidate’s resume or go over his/her professional profile. This will help you frame purposeful questions.

During the interview

  • Set them at ease:Make sure there’s a short ice breaker before the actual interview. When you do launch into the interview, ask broader questions before you deep dive.
  • Be friendly and professional:The age of confrontational interviews is most definitely out and negative interview experiences are often called out on media. Recently, a Twitter post from a candidate about her negative interview experience went viral and affected the company’s reputation so badly that the CEO had to post her a public apology! Even when you do not agree, make sure you maintain a cordial stance.
  • Let them know what to expect:Give the freelancer all the details he or she will need to make an informed decision. This could include details on the scope and duration of the assignment, the desired outcome, the charges and so on. If there are contracts to be signed or other terms and conditions, let them know.

After the interview

  • Reach out: The interview may be over for you, but for candidates, it isn’t over until they know the final decision that was made. Ensure you let each candidate know the news—good or bad—as early as possible.
  • Provide constructive feedback:Without making personal remarks or hurtful comments, explain your decision to candidates who didn’t make the cut. Focus on what the role requires and how the candidate’s experience does not match. Knowing this can often help candidates perform better at other interviews. Down the line, they will appreciate the feedback and honesty.

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