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The Do’s and Dont’s of Freelance Contract Interviews

By Dave Goetsch

Your resume is on prominent websites, such as CareerBuilder and LinkedIn. One day you get an email from a recruiter. They have a great opportunity and they think you would be a perfect fit. You scan through the description. It seems as though not only do you meet most of the qualifications, it’s also something you would enjoy doing.

You email back and tell the recruiter that you are interested in learning more about the job. The recruiter acts as the liaison between you and the company. They like your resume and want to interview you. Fantastic!

The recruiter says that this will be a telephone interview, and if you move on to the next stage there will be an in-person interview. Then they will make a decision. The bottom line is that you could have a great job for six months, with a hefty salary, in just a few weeks.

Now it’s time to prepare for your phone interview. The important thing to remember is that even though this is a freelance contract job, you should handle it the same way as a full time position. With that in mind, these tips will help ensure that you get off on the right foot, both with a phone and an in-person interview.

DO Have a Good Interview Spot
For your phone interview, it is vital that you are in a quiet, relaxing place where you will not be disturbed. Children playing, dogs barking, or street construction are all distractions that could affect your performance. Minimize outside influences as much as possible.

DO Brag on Yourself
This is not the time to be shy about your accomplishments. If you won an award for some writing, bring that up during the interview. If you increased a client’s web page visits by 20%, make sure they know that. Find a way to make yourself shine with every question that you answer for them. Show them that you are a person who gets things done and makes them better.

DON’T Ask “Me” Questions
A job interview is designed for you to show an employer you have what they need. It is not the time to ask about job perks, benefits, or anything else that makes it seem like you don’t care about the job. There will be plenty of time to ask those questions once you are hired. Coming across as “what’s in it for me?” is the quickest way to get you disqualified from the running.

DON’T Be Unprofessional
You’ve probably heard stories about people showing up for interviews wearing unprofessional clothing or not looking neat and clean. Even if you already know that the corporate culture is casual dress, don’t show up for the interview in blue jeans and a t-shirt. Wear business casual, or if in doubt, ask.

One final tip: try to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Companies appreciate you arriving early. Fifteen minutes gives you time to go through any security checks or fill out any pre-interview paperwork.

Good luck!

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