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What to Ask When Interviewing Gig Workers
Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

February 7 2019

Freelancing and gig workers aren’t exactly new, but hiring them is becoming increasingly common.  Most employers have a toolbox of go-to interview questions, but when hiring gig workers, questions need to be tailored to this unique position. The skills necessary to be successful as a freelancer—particularly if you expect the individual to be a specialist in the field—are different than those of a traditional employee. Here are some things to consider.

Ask About Their Relationship with Remote Work

Everyone is different. Some people enjoy working in an office with other people, while others prefer to telecommute. Some enjoy both! There has been a 115% increase in telecommuting, and it’s becoming commonplace in many workplaces. Make sure you’re hiring someone who can manage the realities of remote work.

Here’s what you can ask:

  • Have you ever worked remotely before? What did you think about it?
  • Did you find the experience invigorating or isolating?
  • If you’ve never telecommuted before, how do you think you will tackle a work-from-home environment? What will your days look like?
  • What do you think the benefits and drawbacks would be for you, personally?
It’s important to weigh these factors early on. For many freelancers and gig workers, their ability to be productive while working remotely is key to the success of your project.

Working remotely requires employees to be able to focus and work without direct supervision. Successful gig workers and freelancers are often self-starters, as many are essentially a one-person business. But when you’re considering hiring one for a project, it bears mentioning that communication between you and your gig worker is critical; you want to ensure that everyone is always on the same page.

Here’s what you can ask:

  • How do you keep in touch with your employer, and how often do you like to touch base? Once a week? Once a day? Three times a day?
  • Are you comfortable with asking questions if you don’t understand direction, and can you accept tough feedback?
  • Tell me about a time you’ve made an important decision—without the help of a supervisor.
Their answers could show you how they do without a boss to turn to at a moment’s notice. Having a gig worker who is not only motivated but who is also able to communicate well is imperative. Be on the lookout for candidates comfortable working on their own and who aren’t afraid to ask questions, give feedback, and take criticism.

 

Ask About Their Work History

This part of the interview process isn’t all that different from a regular, full-time candidate. Ask them about their work experience to determine how they’ll do in your company’s role. While gig workers do have a unique work environment, they’re still an employee, so it’s important to determine if they will be a fit for your organization and your company’s culture.

Here’s what you can ask:

  • What attracted you to freelancing work to begin with?
  • Tell me about previous projects that you were proud of.
  • Do you prefer to be paid by task or hourly?
  • Do you prefer a strict project framework and timeline or room to be creative?

Many gig workers don’t take just one project at a time. In order to keep a constant flow of income coming in, they work with multiple clients at once. Talk to your candidates about how they handle their time management and get a feel for how well they manage their clients and their time. Here’s a few more questions you should consider:

  • How many hours do you work a week, and how much of that time will you devote to our company?
  • Do you work on a schedule? Will you be available to us for set hours on set days?

Remember, just as in any other interview, there are no right or wrong answers. There are many things to take into consideration when hiring a gig worker but remember to keep in mind your project and your business goals. Find the candidate that you think is best-suited to the task, whether it be designing a website, writing a blog series, or completing a product development initiative.

Have you hired freelancers before? What are your go-to interview questions? Share your thoughts on Twitteror Facebook, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart nearly 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for nearly 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, and they have achieved NAPBS accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 40 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.infomart-usa.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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