After getting invited for a freelance interview, the joy of winning the job fades as reality sinks in. Will I win the job yet I want it so bad?
Will I get this position in the noise of other freelancers? These are some nerves you want to avoid as a freelancer.
On Glassdoor, 7 Things to Research Before Any Job Interview, the article talks about researching a company’s key players and the company’s values.
The reason is to help you gain confidence before going to a freelance interview.
I prepared a series of things you must be ready for/research about before interviewing with a freelance company.
First, show that you’re passionate about the role you got invited for. Passion in a freelance interview is shown by not only how you dress but what you know.
Before joining a freelance company, you must know what the company does, the products and services it provides and how your role fits in.
Related to what you must do before a freelance interview Learn more about why company research is important for freelancers.
2nd of all, you must understand your role or what are you bringing to the table? You don’t get to eat empty-handed.
Third, does the company you desire to work for exude your joy? Do their energy levels match yours?
The biggest mistake you can make as a freelancer is walk into a virtual interview without knowing what to expect.
There are some more common freelance questions asked in virtual settings.
What To Do Hours Before a Freelance Interview
Before interviewing for a freelance company online, there are a few things to pay attention to.
Most of your attention must go to the company. What does the company value? Who are the employees?
Do they have freelancers in the company? Why have they employed you if they don’t have other freelancers?
The following are more of what you must do hours before a freelance interview and they include:
What does the company want to achieve with its services or products? Are these services or products in line with your vision as a new freelancer?
A company’s mission summarises what their offerings are, gear to know the mission and vision, what the company wants or sees themselves in a few years.
Learning about a company’s mission or vision helps you understand where the company wants to go or is going to.
Ask yourself if that’s what you saw when applying for the job with them.
The company’s values
What does the company value more than anything else? Do they love giving to causes/charities?
Are they a green or eco-friendly company? Do they motivate their freelancers or are they rude towards newbie workers and especially freelancers?
Don’t work for a company whose values you don’t agree with. Do you know why people get shot in the drug industry?
They went in it for the money before discovering the dirty little secret, that loyalty pays and snitches die, it’s often too late.
You don’t want to work for a company just for the money or because the pay is good. Follow your values, your standard of operations.
The kind of people working in the company
Like values and mission and vision above, what are the kind of co-workers you will meet even though not personally.
Are the co-workers great motivators or boot-licking employees whose aim is to get promoted while you get demoted?
Do they rejoice to show you around, the virtual office? Are they enthusiastic about their role and working for the company employing them?
What do they say to you the first day in the virtual interview? Are the first few minutes dedicated to gossip about the evil boss you’re about to work for or they don’t get paid?
Pay attention to how the virtual interview goes and what co-workers say about the company and the boss.
Co-workers, well-meaning ones, reveal secrets in a few minutes when a new employee is on the scene.
You get to know the work environment of a company by the employees’ interaction and reaction.
Are these the types of people you want to work with, you must ask yourself?
Some companies don’t have a strong work ethic, they are slow and sluggish in everything they do.
Before the boss approves of anything, the project or signature takes 15 years, literally, for it to get recognised. The employees work only when the boss is around or coming around.
You will know if this is the type of company you’re about to work for by the assignments you’re given.
The boss may interview you but after that, you never get to hear from him/her for three weeks or a month.
Is this something you want? A non-communicative boss who seems like they don’t care for the work you do?
What are the company goals for hiring you and for them? Did they hire you for a long-term project?
Will you have to work or go to the office sometimes? Are you the only freelancer in the company and if so why?
Are they looking for a permanent employee or is it a test project to determine if a contract worker is the best for their company?
Knowing a company’s goals helps you understand what long-term plans the company may have for you.
A freelancer’s ultimate goal is to find a long-term client. Long-term clients pay you monthly benefits and bonuses, is it something you looked forward to?
What kind of product or service does the company sell?
The kind of product that a company sells will help you determine whether you will be enthusiastic about selling the product or service. Because you cannot sell anything which you don’t believe in.
Do these products and services sold by the company something you’d hype about? Have you ever heard of the MLM, Rodan and Fields?
It’s a skincare network marketing company. The ladies selling the products from Rodan and Fields hype and swear by the products.
They know the principle, sell what you believe in. I cannot encourage others to begin online businesses when I know nothing about working online or don’t believe in online businesses or take shortcuts to make money online.
Customers see through this. In as much as you want to make money, understand the product or service a company sells, you find happiness and fulfilment in doing what makes your heart flutter.
Who are the customers of the company and how does the company create marketing messages to the customers?
Knowing the customers frequenting a business, is knowing how to sell to them the products and services advertised by the company.
You get to know customers and what they want and why.
You get strategies to help the company improve its marketing messages tailor-making the marketing messages to the customer’s intent and purpose of purchase.
What will be your job about? Do you fit in the role? Do you have the experience to perform the duty?
Answer a job posting according to your skills, talents and abilities. Don’t answer a job posting which you don’t understand the roles.
I say, read a job posting on Upwork or freelancing website like you’re in school. Understand what the hiring manager says then place the bid according to your qualifications.
Your aim in freelancing is to stand out. There are so many freelancers applying for the same role as you.
What do you want to achieve by applying for the role? Do you understand everything that got advertised in the role?
How do you fit in the role and why? Have you worked in the role before or are you trying out to see what may happen after you apply?
Apply for roles which you overqualified for, those are the ones which make you stand out.
Don’t think that you can do that job better when you don’t have the skills or trade secrets for success.
Learn what the current and past employees say about the company and the people working there from sites like Glassdoor
If you want to succeed working online, you must become a researcher. You must be open-minded to take a few minutes of your time to research a company you want to work for.
Glassdoor has a myriad of companies signed up there, and on Google search, there’s something called, Glassdoor Kenya.
If the company is a Kenyan employer, see what past employers and current ones say about the role you are about to fill or how the company pays.
Do they delay pay because of corruption or because the manager wasn’t there?
Do they find the reason to undercut employees payment because employees are viewed as desperate?
Who’s hiring and why?
You want to know if the manager isn’t hiring then why is the executive assistant the hiring manager?
This gives you a picture of how the company is run.
For example, if the executive assistant hires, this may spell that the manager doesn’t have time for new employees or is too busy or was pressured to open a role he cared nothing for.
I got hired in a hotel in 2010 in a role that the manager/owner didn’t approve of, I never got paid for half a year.
I stood by because I was looking for experience and not money. An experience that helped when setting up my Airbnb business.
What is the company looking for in terms of employing you and why?
Why does the company want to employ a freelancer suddenly if the have never done so?
Is it they are an old rigid company almost at the brink of collapse in need of new content or need revamping?
Keep yourself in the trends via google news
What’s is the company launching? Keeping abreast with the company news helps you know the changes the company is open to.
What is the company’s history? How long have they been in business?
A company’s history helps you determine if it’s a family-oriented company or a company rooted in some culture.
As a freelancer check how long they hire and why. Do most employees stay in the company for 3 decades or 5 decades?
This shows you it’ll be hard to accept change in the company. Your suggestions may fall in deaf ears most of the time and you’re expected to have a level-head – obey the rules of those who worked there for decades.
The risk of getting fired in such a company is 100 %
Is the company led by a CEO or Manager? What’s the company’s structure?
The company’s structure helps highlight who is at the top of the hierarchy. You need to know this in case you have a suggestion for improvement for the company and only the one who funds the company needs to hear this.
Isn’t this what they talk about bureaucracy?
Why Is It Important to do a Company Research Before a Freelance Interview?
The research conducted before a freelance interview is mostly to do with the company, the role and the employees.
You want to understand why they want to hire you for the role and what you will be doing.
You must understand your role well in order to ask for good pay and to get more jobs from the same employer.
Freelancers, depend on the word of mouth to enhance the quality of employers and pay.
The following are the reasons why researching a company before a work online interview is crucial and they include:
- You get to understand your role
You cannot accept a role which you don’t understand. Never do it.
Applying for a role which you qualify for helps you not overstate or understate your qualifications.
You know you can do the job.
Freelancers get a bad rap, most of them because they want more money with zero or fewer qualifications.
Understanding your role helps you perform better in the interview and in the job.
2. Gain confidence
Researching about the company, the people you are about to work for helps you gain confidence.
Confidence to do the job with energy and improve. That must be the aim of all freelancers, to stand out.
3. Feel at home or know how to decline the job offer
Don’t ever take a role, because you need the money. Employers know the signs of a desperate employee/freelancer.
By the time you realise it, you worked in a job you don’t enjoy, got underpaid for years and overworked.
It’s relieving to refuse to work for clients/companies whose values, mission and vision you don’t share.
Proper research before the interview helps you know where to use your energy for.
4. Keep on searching
If you attend an interview and feel, wow, I never learnt about that during my research.
It may be time to reconsider by either quitting or request for another interview. If your questions went unanswered or if you have any doubts regarding the client, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Yes, you need your pay as a freelancer, doesn’t mean you need to compromise, they’re millions of employers out there looking for your talent, I believe.
5. So you can perform your role wisely
Don’t ever work in a role you only perform mediocrely. You want to stand out, to get a long-term client and work.
You are building a strong brand in your freelancing career.
You aim for freelancing isn’t to make ‘just about any amount to cover the bills’, you want to employ and create a brand. Brand builders think different.
6. Charge and charge accordingly
The research will help you know and understand your role.
Therefore you can ask for payment according to your qualification and experience in the field.
You will know what shoes you are about to fill in the company and why and what other professionals like you ask in terms of payment in the offline jobs. You cannot be shortchanged.
How Do I Get Rid of My Nerves Before an Online Interview?
Before any interview, office or virtual, the nerves build up. You begin to feel or ask if you’re truly worthy for the job.
The following are ways of dealing with feelings of impostor syndrome or uneasiness during an interview and they include:
1. Get Prepared
The very early years in my freelancing career, nothing shook me like an interview.
I thought freelancing meant to apply for a job and no interview. While some employers preferred that mode of work most clients love to meet on Skype or Zoom.
Prepare by researching everything there is to research about the company and the opportunity you applied for.
Ask yourself, is there any other opportunity I can apply for within the same company?
Thorough research helps you open a can of worms about a freelance company.
2. It’s only in your head
Yes, fear is in your head. There’s no big deal about an interview, you either get the job or not.
When and if you put too much pressure on yourself, getting the job becomes hard plus you question everything about your confidence and self.
Questioning yourself and your confidence makes you perform poorly.
3. Congratulations, you’re doing something right
Getting to the stage on a freelance interview is a plus. There are many things which you’re doing right.
Go back and see what you did, peruse your cover letter, resume polish them up for more opportunities coming your way.
4. You may not get the job
Yes, as a newbie or seasoned freelancer, get prepared not for one but a million rejections.
Read more about why I quit freelancing/working online. Clients reject your work and not you, learn that.
Let rejection build your stamina and not make rejection make you lose your esteem.
5. Apply for more opportunities
Don’t stop applying for more freelance opportunities. Opportunities come to those who keep seeking them.
Plus your interview confidence increases when you keep attending interviews.
In conclusion, before settling in a company, better be aware of what the company does and whether the values of the company matches yours.
You don’t want to waste time and resources of a company by deciding they don’t match your values.
You will know when to quit without feeling guilty if the company doesn’t match your expectations.
Researching before an interview provides you with answers which may be overlooked by new freelancers.
You get to know what questions to ask your clients.
You want to show passion for the role and great in-depth research provides a client with the impression that they are hiring an exceptional person with talent and enthusiasm for the role.
Giving suggestions for improvement because you know the kind of company and people you’re about to work with gives you happiness to hype about the company’s products and services like what employees of Rodan and Fields do.
You get long-term and high paying positions as a freelancer when you show enthusiasm for the role you applied for.
Many freelancers don’t have enthusiasm for their roles and it shows no wonder they get sacked.