Is an interview the only thing standing between you and a future client? If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place. Even in the freelance world, interviewing plays a very important role. You want clients to trust you with their projects, so it’s important to make a good impression.
With that being said, it takes more than Googling lists of common interview questions when preparing for an interview. Take the time to prepare for an interview in advance, so you can have a greater chance of securing the work you dream about. But what are some of the best ways to prepare for an interview?
According to a study from JDP, applicants spend up to seven hours researching the job before their interview. Because interviewing is often stressful, 70% of those surveyed practice their responses out loud, and 62% prepare anecdotes to share with the interviewer.
So in this article, we’ll go over these points and others that will teach you how to prepare for an interview.
When you’re interviewing as a freelancer, you’re essentially playing the role of a salesperson who is trying to convince a customer (your client) why they should buy something from you (use your services). The best way to do this is to understand exactly what the client wants and convey how you can do that for them.
Taking the time to analyze the job posting (if you have it), is a major part of interview preparation. While you review the task description, consider what the client wants and needs in a candidate.
List down your skills and knowledge, also your personal and professional qualities required by the employer because that is crucial in securing the position.There’s nothing worse than going into an interview and not having a good understanding of the position you’re interviewing for.
After listing down the task qualifications, jot down your professional qualities and match them to the requirements.
Your list may include your skills, personal qualities (soft skills), experiences, certifications, professional qualifications, abilities, knowledge bases, and computer skills.
Then, think of instances of how and when you displayed these qualities from past work experience. If the client asks you to describe a time when you exhibited a certain skill or ability, you can readily give an answer.
Always review the requirements, check your list of assets and also the examples before the interview so you’re ready to share them during the interview.
This process will boost your confidence and get you prepared to answer task-specific interview questions and behavioral interview questions intended to assess if you have the knowledge, qualities, and skills they are looking for to perform the work.
Remember, the interview process isn’t just about letting the client get to know you; you also want to get to know the client. Be sure you do as much research as you can on their product or service so you can go into the interview with a good understanding of what they do.
This will also allow you to ask informed questions when the time comes which will help ensure that working with the client will be a good fit for you. If your potential client is an individual or small business, you may want to try to locate their professional social media profiles to get more information.
If the client is an established company, check out the website and review their ‘about’ section. That way, you will have a concise and better understanding of the business. If you’re unable to find specific information on the client, you can at least try to research their industry.
You don’t have to try to prepare for your interview all by yourself. You may want to reach out to colleagues to ask if they have any helpful tips. If you know someone who has worked with the client before, you’ll definitely want to pick their brands to get an idea of what you can expect from the interview process.
Spend some time practicing answering interview questions. This will help you calm your nerves so you will not fret, racking your brains for answers during the interview.
Practice doing an interview with a friend or a family member in advance, so you will be at ease during the actual interview.
If possible, try to conduct the practice interview in the same manner as the actual interview. For example, if your interview is going to take place over the phone, ask for a friend to call you so you can practice answering the questions over the phone. Review common interview questions and answers, and ponder on how you will respond, so you are ready to deliver a great answer.
As great as technology is, it doesn’t work perfectly all the time. The last thing you want is for something not to be working properly during your interview. If you’re interview will take place via video chat, make sure you know how to use the program beforehand. Be sure that your camera, microphone, and speakers are working correctly so that you can be seen and heard clearly.
When you’re interviewing for a freelance job, there’s a good chance the whole thing will take place via video chat, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to look your best. Even virtually, you still want to dress professionally – at least from the waist up.
Prepare your clothes beforehand, so when it’s the interview day you’ll not think which clothes to wear. By all means, always prepare an interview outfit, ready for you to wear anytime. Never wait for the last minute to prepare an outfit to avoid struggling with which outfit to wear during the interview day.
Whatever type of work you’re interviewing for, always remember that your first impression should be a great one. If you’re going to do an interview for a professional position, dress accordingly in business attire.
Prior to the interview, spend the most time contemplating on your career timeline up-to-date, not only on rehearsing questions. You will be confident to answer and give examples to just about any interview question if you thoroughly know the story, even to the smallest detail.
When getting ready for a technical interview, it is better for you to start preparing as early as possible. Working on a prep book or sample questions will give you a good practice, and it will also put you in the right problem-solving mindset.
Formulate a go-to phrase that’ll help you avoid spacing out when you need time to pause and gather your thoughts. Two ideas that work well are thoughtfully repeating the questions before giving an answer or saying (slowly), “Now, that is a brilliant question. I think I would have to say…”.
Certain body language conveys messages so you should be aware of what you’re communicating through your posture and stance. Make sure it’s good. For instance, sitting with your arms or legs crossed relays a message as if you are closed off or feel defensive. Think of movements in advance so you will not get distracted (or distanced) during the interview.
You can use an interview cheat sheet to collect all the details you need to remember. Write down notes of what you want to say and ask. Also, check all the important things you need to take to the interview. Print one out for every interview, read it over the morning of the interview, and you’re good to go!
One more thing, you better get a good night rest. It may sound like what your mom would tell you, but lack of sleep can really throw off your concentration. You would not like that since you want to be on top of your game during the interview.
Listening attentively during the interview is as important as answering questions, so pay attention for you to be able to construct a suitable response.
When following up an interview with a thank-you note or email, reiterate your interest in the position. Your thank-you letter is also considered as a follow-up “sales” letter. Express why you want the position, what your qualifications are, how you might make valuable contributions, and so on.
The thank-you letter is also the perfect chance for you to touch on things you may have forgotten to mention during the interview. You can also use this as a time to remind the client how excited you are to get the chance to work together.
Interviewing as a freelancer can look a little bit different than applying for jobs in the corporate world. Still, the process should be taken seriously so that every client you meet with walks away wanting to hire you. If you’re interested in more helpful tips to expand your freelance career, we’ve got you covered. Check out this helpful article on putting together an impressive freelance resume.
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