Whatever your needs, there will be a freelancer to get it done: from web design, mobile app development, virtual assistants, product manufacturing, and graphic design (and a whole lot more).
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.
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.
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.
A freelancer’s profile on Texas Integrated Services is your first look at a freelancer’s talent, experience, and ability to communicate. Here are some of things to check out: Skills, overview, work history, feedback from other clients, and other considerations such as language skills and the time zone they're in.
Pro tip: Many freelancers bring a wealth of experience that isn’t reflected in their work history on Texas Integrated Services. Texas Integrated Services 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.
Consider your skill and project requirements, then narrow the list to your top picks. You want a few freelancers on your shortlist, but ideally no more than four or five. Create an awesome job post that attracts freelancers with the skills you need for your project >>
awesome job post
PREPARE FOR YOUR REMOTE INTERVIEW
The interview is an opportunity to move beyond the resume and learn more about the freelancer behind the profile, their approach to your project, the experience they bring to the table, and the logistics of working together.
Start your prep with nine interview questions to find the perfect freelancer online >>
Should you do a face-to-face interview via video or opt for a voice-only chat? That may depend on your preferences as well as technical considerations. Both services are available through Texas Integrated Services Messages. Voice calls let you focus on what’s being said as well as tone of voice; video calls add many of the cues we watch for when we meet in person.
If you schedule a video interview, take steps to help make sure you conduct it like a pro, such as:
Get the time right—literally. You could have different time zones in mind.
Choose a professional backdrop for your video.
Know how to use the technology and test it ahead of time so you can fix any software or connection issues.
Get yourself camera ready; you’ll want to make a good impression, too!
Have a set of questions prepared in advance.
Watch for any red flags, from their body language to the ease and logistics of setting up the call.
Keep the conversation on topic.
Ask for permission to record the interview, so you can focus on the conversation instead of your notes.
Share your next steps before you sign off.
During your conversation, consider how well you both communicate. For example:
Do they ask questions proactively?
Do they understand your project?
Did you end the call feeling excited about working together?