How to Conduct Effective Outsourcing Interviews

Though the newest member of your workteam may not be walking in the front door of your office any time soon, outsourcing to a freelance professional is often like hiring another on-site employee. Though the web is filled with multiple search tools, skills tests, and verification and feedback systems that can help you find quality freelance candidates, the interviews you conduct with them will ultimately be the basis for your final outsourcing selection. To help you streamline your interviews, we’ve compiled a few points to guide you through this all-important process.

Ask Detailed Questions to Verify Freelance Skills

You should already have the freelance provider’s resume and work history at hand, so dig deeper by asking detailed outsourcing questions to verify if the provider has the freelance skills and experience you are looking for. For example, if you are outsourcing to someone to design an ecommerce website, ask about which gateways they’ve worked with in the past. As you discuss the freelance provider’s work history and your own outsourcing assignment, evaluate whether the answers sound reasonable to you. Is this person familiar with the technical terms you are using?

Request Samples of Previous Freelance Work

Carefully review these freelance samples and ask specific questions about how the provider went about performing the outsourcing jobs. For instance, if the freelance professional designed a website for another outsourcing client, ask how he or she divided up the tasks. How long did each phase take?

Ask for an Estimate

Once you are ready to ask for an estimate, ask the freelance provider if he or she thinks the outsourcing assignment requirements are complete and clear. Determine whether they have the right tools for the job (including hardware and software). Discuss how many freelance hours they will likely spend on the outsourcing project each day. Take into account the number of hours that will be needed for testing, and most importantly, make sure the outsourcing estimate sounds realistic. Think about how you will communicate with the freelance provider. Will you check in every day with an email? Will this work for both of you? Agree to a clear and consistent communications strategy. Finally, before embarking on a large outsourcing project, ask the freelance provider to do a small test project first.

Many outsourcing companies have successfully found long-term solutions with providers from services such as oDesk. By carefully selecting and interviewing the right freelance provider for the job, you’ll be able to take care of all of your outsourcing needs.


Daryl writes/blogs for oDesk, the marketplace for online workteams. oDesk offers the best business model for both buyers and providers with a unique approach that guarantees that an hour paid is an hour worked, while also guaranteeing that an hour worked is an hour paid.

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