Interviews take many forms; face-to-face, over the phone, or through various online teleconferencing tools that are available to us. No matter the scenario, here are some helpful tips and tools to help you nail the interview!
As an independent consultant, selling your experiences and skills will become an ongoing practice. Often, the natural step from the ‘Application’ stage is to the ‘Interview’ stage. We understand that this might be strange or intimidating if you’re new to freelancing.
Here are the top 10 tips you should be across to make it count and secure your chances of winning a project.
- 90% of the interviews conducted via Expert360 are only a one-step process (very fast)
- 60% of those interviews are conducted face to face, with the rest being video calls
- The average Expert360 client interviews only 2-3 applicants per project,
- The average applications to projects is 15, so if you’ve been asked to interview, it is a strong sign!
- The average time from Interview -> Offer -> Start is only 3 business days
The way that Interviews work in the Expert360 process is that a client can:
- Find your profile and message you to connect (project might be posted or what we call bluesky)
- Respond to an application you have submitted for their Project and invite you to interview
- Click a button to reveal your contact details such as your email address and mobile number
1) Be responsive
Often when a client posts a project or messages you directly, they have a real need NOW. The best advice we can give in this initial communication is to be responsive. We recommend regularly checking voicemail, emails and Expert360 messages are all part of you managing your pipeline.
2) Remember what got you noticed in the first place
Take some time to recall what the client saw first that piqued their interest - Your Expert360 Profile and of course your Application. You can access your application notes ahead of the interview. It is always a great conversation starter to ask the client what it was that got their attention (also a smart way to get feedback on your profile and application).
3) Pre-interview preparation
Around the interview stage, the Client may choose to reveal more information about their company, role and project. Treat it like you would any other job, and spend this time scoping out the competitors, reading up on recent press and brushing up on your knowledge on the industry. This will hold you in good stead before you meet.
4) Confirmation of Interview logistics
Knowing the time of the meet, where they are located, considering time zone differences, exact meeting location and contact numbers are all quick wins to get right. There is nothing more stressful than getting these details wrong and effectively not doing your best in an interview setting.
If your interview is remote and is being conducted via phone or video, it is important to have a backup contact number if the connection fails, and experimenting with the video call platform ahead of the scheduled interview are great places to start.
5) First impressions
Dress for success. Whether it is a video call or face to face, it is important to consider the kind of organisation you are meeting with and their culture - is it a conservative bank, or a quirky startup? Albeit, it is a good idea to dress professionally and conservatively - neat, tidy, and well-kept.
6) Questions about the project
Interviews are a great space to clarify any aspects of the project you are still unsure about. This is really the time where all questions should be laid on the table, and any reservations addressed.
7) Expect the unexpected
At times, in an interview setting, the Client will throw you a curve-ball or use it the interview as a test. Whilst you can’t be prepared for everything they could possibly ask, having a resilient and flexible front can help. Whether you’re presenting to one Client or a whole team - expect the unexpected.
8) Confirm next steps
Leaving the interview with an action item of sorts can ensure the Client keeps you front-of-mind and gives you an excuse to follow-up with them the following day. Be sure to confirm where to go from the Interview... clarifying who, what, and when. The objective for you, the Expert, is to prompt the Client to prepare and send over an Offer through the Expert360 platform, think carefully about the next steps that could accelerate this process. A great idea is to check your messages and notifications on the Platform for any updates from the client or the Expert360 team.
9) Not all Interviews go your way
If you are not progressed to the next stage of the application process, i.e. offer/contract phase. Remember, being a freelancer means staying on top of everyone in your pipeline, this client might not be your next immediate gig but it is all about keeping in contact and being front-of-mind. Once you have been accelerated to the interview stage, you automatically are added to the client’s Expert Contacts, which is a dedicated place on their side of the platform to easily reach out to experts they have engaged with in the past.
We hope this guide highlights the importance of the initial Profile (contact info) and Application Stage, but really the speed in which our platform operates, especially once you are at the interview stage. For any more advice or questions, please feel welcome to connect with us at [email protected]