12 Questions to Ask Your Freelancers Before You Hire Them

job interview

With one in three workers working as a freelancer, the chances of your business needing one to assist you—whether to take on that extra load or to provide a service nobody else in your company can—are strong. When it comes to hiring the perfect freelancer for the job, you need to understand how they can help your business and provide you with the best results.

Finding a freelancer that has the right experience, available time schedule, and required skills takes some effort on your part. You will need to have a thorough interview and ask the right questions to ensure they meet your standards.

To make sure you find the right person to partner with, 12 members of FounderSociety share the most important questions to ask freelancers before you hire them for a job.

Q: What’s the number one question you should ask freelancers before you hire them?

1. What makes you proud?

I always ask them, “What is the project you are most proud of and why?” We appreciate original thinkers who take initiative and have conviction in their work, lives, and ideas. We like to get to know them to see if they would really commit to our vision and business. This allows us to understand them better and really get to the core of their motivation and inspiration. —Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs


2. What is your level of expertise?

When I first meet with a freelancer, my objective is to determine their level of expertise and ensure they are a good fit for my team. Although they are not employees, if their values do not line up, I will not work with them. To gauge expertise, ask about similar projects they’ve worked on and have them explain their approach. Do research beforehand to ask their opinion on various relating techniques. —Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing

3. How would your last client rate you?

It’s good to have a user quantify their performance and then make them back it up. I find that it makes a freelancer reflect on their project with a more thoughtful answer. Plus, you can cross-check their answer with the reference they provide. —Jim Huffman, GrowthHit


4. What have you done before?

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, so first look into their past. A quality freelancer will have a strong portfolio of previous work showcasing their skills. Make sure you’re happy with the work they’ve done for other clients before considering them for yourself. —Robert Swisher, Frendli

5. How do you deal with unhappy clients?

I always want to know what will happen if I don’t get what I expect, or if I’m not satisfied with an end product. I ask them to tell me about a time they had an unhappy client and what they did to fix it. If they start complaining about the customer for wanting something a particular way, I’ve got my answer. —Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning

6. What are your rates?

When we hire content writers, we need two things in order to add them to our preferred vendors’ list: samples of their work and rates. While we understand keeping your rates close to the chest at first, we do need to know those things eventually to move forward. If freelancers won’t even give us a range, it’s difficult for us to consider them for a project because we cannot quantify their value. —Claire Winslow, Best Practice Media

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7. How deep is your understanding?

I always look for how deep a freelancer (or any employee for that matter) understands the problems and goals for which we are hiring them. If they can’t talk about the results that we can expect, or if they can’t talk in depth about how they will manage the particulars of the project, then they are definitely not the right fit. —Tony Banta, Venture Greatly, LLC

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