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As a freelancer, the first impression is crucial to establish a trusting relationship with your clients. Thoroughly preparing for your interviews is essential. This article will guide you through the key steps to impress your prospects, from preliminary research to preparing relevant questions.

1 - The importance of preparation

Every interaction with a client is unique and requires a personalized approach. It is recommended to structure your ideas on how to address the project's challenges and reflect on what makes you the ideal candidate.

Before your first exchange, make sure to gather all the necessary information to clarify any ambiguous points of the project with your client. It is also possible that some details of the contract may require adjustments after your initial discussions. These adjustments should be coordinated with the client to ensure mutual agreement on significant changes such as deadlines or qualitative aspects of the project.

2 - Key questions for effective preparation

Thoroughly preparing questions to ask during the interview is essential to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment. Here is a checklist of points to cover:

From the client's side:

  • What is the client's background and experience in this field?

  • What are the client's short-term and long-term business objectives?

  • What challenges has the client encountered so far?

Your approach:

  • How do you plan to successfully complete the job?

  • What levers do you consider crucial for the project's success?

  • What obstacles do you anticipate and how do you plan to overcome them?

  • Do you need access to specific data or information to succeed?

Your experience:

  • What experience have you gained in similar jobs? Can you share similar experiences where you have succeeded?

  • What is your experience in similar environments (SMEs, large companies, etc.)?

  • Do you have sector-specific skills that particularly qualify you for this job?

Your motivation:

  • Why are you specifically interested in this project?

  • What can you personally bring to the project (to the team)? (Establish rapport during the conversation, emphasize similarities with your contact).

3 - Questions to ask your client

It is crucial to clarify certain points with your client to ensure that your expectations are aligned:

Job information

The job's context:

  • What is the current situation of the company regarding this project?

  • Has there been a similar project before? If so, can you give me examples of recent successes in similar projects?

  • Does this job fit into a larger or ongoing project?

  • How would you define your company's culture?

The job's objective:

  • What are the expected final products/results?

  • How will the results be measured?

The timeline:

  • Is the deadline already set?

  • Are there specific steps to consider?

  • What is the decision-making process?

  • What are the communication styles and preferences?

  • What are the expectations in terms of reporting and communication during the job?

The "modus operandi" checklist

Workplace:

  • On-site work or telecommuting?

  • Where exactly is the job located?

  • Are travel arrangements necessary?

Number of working days per week:

  • How many days per week will you spend on the client's site?

Travel expense settlement (if travel expenses are not included in the daily rate):

  • What is the budget for accommodation?

  • Regarding train travel, first or second class?

Asking insightful questions during an interview with a client is crucial for freelancers to assess mutual compatibility and thoroughly understand the client's needs and challenges. Good preparation not only allows you to present your expertise convincingly but also initiates a fruitful and transparent professional relationship.

Regarding your daily rate (don't forget your various expenses), it is crucial to adjust these changes directly through Malt. This is in your own interest in case of disputes. You will find here an article summarizing our best practices for writing a comprehensive quote.