Missed Part 1? No worries, go here.
I immediately noticed the difference between interviewing for full-time and contractor jobs when I started Little Engine Social Media. For a full-time job, you usually have to promise your first unborn child. For a freelance job, you basically have to have a solid referral and the courtesy to show up wearing pants. (I tried it without pants once, it doesn’t work as well.)
Not that I don’t love the easy street of being hired as a contractor, but asking a few questions up front will make things easier and happier for both parties in the long haul. Here’s your go-to list:
1. What work makes you excited?
Contractors get the luxury of picking and choosing their clients. For me, I will never work for a company that harms animals, so I appreciate this questions from the start.
2. Have you had experience with XYZ industry?
Although not a deal breaker, it can be reassuring to know your potential contractor has experience with your client’s industry.
3. Are you comfortable with the following responsibilities?
One thing that is painfully clear as a contractor is that all agencies speak a different language. Don’t assume your terminology translates. Community management to one contractor may mean something completely different to another.
4. How many hours are you available per week and do those hours vary per day?
Contractors survive on having multiple clients. Signing an agreement with a contractor does not mean they are always as available as a full-time employee. Discuss what a typical response time is for email, calls, and texts to establish expectations from the start. The good news for you: great contractors are badass multitaskers and are able to reply promptly to your needs. (You can’t see me, but I’m pointing to myself.)
5. Do you charge by project or hourly rate?
Money can be an uncomfortable topic, but it is a necessary one. There’s nothing worse than both parties gearing up to collaborate on a project to only find out that the contractor’s rate doesn’t aligned with the budget.