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Freelancer Interviews: The 10 Do’s & Don’ts:

Freelancer Interviews: The 10 Do’s & Don’ts:

Especially as a freelancer, it is important to score points directly in the first conversation with a potential new client. Even for true professionals, it is all the more important to recall the basics from time to time. Here are some do’s and don’ts from a facilitator’s perspective.

It’s 3:07 p.m., the conversation with the customer comes to a standstill, the most important things have been discussed, you don’t know each other well enough to switch to the personal now. The situation is extremely unpleasant because the protagonist is missing: the candidate. Now, however, a new window builds up, a blurred image is visible, there he is the expert I praised so highly. But apparently he is standing on a busy street and has been talking on his cell phone. The greeting is still well understandable, after that the connection is jerky until it drops completely. I sit alone again with my customer in the virtual room.

Experience of a QUANTUM recruter

1. punctuality

In the D A CH region, unpunctuality is a no-go. Our experience shows that candidates who are late or do not show up at all are very likely to be rejected. We at QUANTUM also tend to keep our distance from candidates with this behavior.

2. location

A sign of respect for your new client: you’re taking your time, you’ve turned on your computer, you’re easy on the eyes, and you’re dressed appropriately for an interview. For nerds: you have the quietest background possible that doesn’t distract attention from you.

3. connection

A must in the age of remote working. It’s best to refrain from experimenting with LTE or 3G on the phone. A solid DSL line or fiber optics should be ready for adequate acquaintance. If you are abroad and cannot guarantee this secure connection, suggest a conference call instead.

Another day, another interview: The greeting was positive, the conversation gets going. The customer asks for the expert’s assessments and finally comes to his hobbyhorse – the agile approach with Scrum. The manager is new to the company to “agile” the organization. The candidate rambles on, talks about his international experience in software projects and then criticizes the “wrong approach” of some companies that have introduced Scrum to themselves. He also takes the opportunity to explain the reasons for which he left projects early and that there were customers who had terminated the cooperation with him.

Experience of a QUANTUM sales employee

4. integrity

If you do it during this interview you will do it with upcoming clients and also about the one sitting across from you right now. At least that’s the impression you leave with little slurs and negative examples. Did you know that as soon as you speak positively about another person’s abilities, your counterpart transfers those abilities to you and sees you in a good light? The same applies if you make negative statements about past projects and clients.

5. openness

Everyone is different. Every organization is different. Projecting your experiences in a first meeting onto a new environment is not appropriate for your counterpart and also not appropriate for the efforts, hopes and goals that are associated with it for this person. It’s best not to disappoint your upcoming client with this right away. Stay open, curious, and with the attitude of maybe learning something more.

Niklas smiles openly and expectantly as soon as he opens his camera lens for the first time. I have the impression that he is looking forward to the upcoming conversation. We still have some time together, the customer is not yet in the call. Niklas asks me about the project, asks me questions about the contact person, his function and his goals in the company.

Experience of Burkhard (QUANTUM Recruitment)

6. affability

You’re telling your friend about your latest achievement and suddenly realize that the person you’re talking to isn’t listening to you anymore. The disappointment is all too familiar to all of us, unfortunately these experiences are becoming more frequent due to cell phone and laptop screens. We humans want to be seen. We want attention and we feel ignored and superfluous if our counterpart does not give us this alertness. Under the topic“Still Face Experiment” you will find a lot of information about how toddlers react when parents do not respond to them. You are stressed. Stay in conversation about it, smartphone, websites in the background should be taboo.

7. preparation

Read through the RFPs, make some notes on them with questions that arise with you. Google for news on the company – what is it up to? What is the strategy for the coming years? What about the topic of digitization? You’ll stand out from 90% of your competitors if you have this information handy for the interview.

8. user centered

Often, you don’t get to know your contact person until the appointment. So you have to quickly classify what moves your counterpart. Where are his problems? How can you help him solve them? What tasks have you encountered in other companies, how did they handle them? What had success? You are the man/woman at his side. As a freelancer you have the opportunity to act much more at eye level than an employee. Use this for yourself. Be your new client’s friend and advisor. I also recommend that you do not get involved in the unfortunately all too often common trash talk. You are a consultant and are assigned to solve problems instead of talking about them.

Even during the preliminary interview, I was positively struck by the candidate’s eloquent manner. She convinced me by having a suitable experience from her past at hand for every requirement I named, which could prove exactly the required skill with an experience. In addition, I realized that there was a common thread running through her life; every step seemed to make sense.

QUANTUM customers after a

9. vouchers

Try to back up your suitability for the project with experience from your past stations. Anything related to the subject area will help here. For example, if you were responsible for one or more interns for an extended period of time, describe that experience rather than handing off no leadership responsibility. Your counterpart will classify this adequately.

10. red thread

A stringent resume demonstrates clarity and an inner orientation that is essential in many responsible jobs. If your career is only moderately stringent, explain what motivated you to take one or the other shortcut or detour. Even a sabbatical taken, parental leave, or a trip to a completely different job can have a positive impact on your overall impression if explained in a meaningful way!


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