How to interview a freelance software developer
Need to hire a freelance software developer? Follow these guidelines
Finding the right employee is a challenge for most employers. The process is arduous. Interview after interview, background checks, awkward small talk on your way to the interview room etc.
Then, after you've FINALLY selected the best candidate, you need to train them monitor their progress, and make sure they assimilate well into the workplace culture. And all this is happening while you're paying them their base salary + benefits.
When you take such an introspective look into this process, it doesn't seem very efficient. This is the reason more and more organizations are now turning towards the growing prospect of freelance workers.
If you want to follow suite and transition into this innovative workforce model, this post will help you select the best freelance software developers for your team.
Qualities to consider when hiring a freelance software developers
If you decide to hire freelancers long term, it's still imperative that they conform to your company culture. They will after all be collaborating with other staff members, both in house and remote, so you need to ensure everyone will get along.
It's a good idea to have a Skype introduction with your chosen freelancers, or at least, converse via messaging. This will help you gauge their character and whether they would be a good fit.
The ideal freelancer software engineer will have the perfect blend of hard and soft skills. They will be capable enough to dive right in on a live project while at the same time, thriving in the company culture.
As the programmer will be working remotely, they absolutely must possess incredible communication skills. This will ensure that all of your projects are completed by their set deadlines.
Test their communication skills by giving them instructions and then asking them to relay the information they just received. A great communicator also asks great questions to broaden their understanding, so keep an ear out for high quality questions.
A freelance programmer must be trusted to complete all prescribed tasks without supervision. If they have a terrible work ethic, it could be very costly to your operations.
The great thing about hiring a freelancer is that you can see reviews of previous employees on their profile. This will provide a clear indication of whether or not the freelancer can be trusted.
A freelance employee must showcase project management abilities, which means that they must display the ability to gather the right information to start a project, execute it, and bring it to completion. This also includes aspects like meeting deadlines on time, delivering a complete project that works, and most importantly satisfying the client.
This is the most sought after quality when hiring a freelancer. The developer should be attentive to the project, available on time for discussions or reporting, and committed to seeing a project through.
Proactive and problem solving
When hiring a freelancer you want to be hiring a problem solver. Problem solvers are the greatest assets to any business because they don't waste time pointing out problems, instead, they proactively solve them and keep the project moving forward.
When selecting a freelancer, consider giving them some problems to solve, related to their prospective work.
Interested and respectful
Look for someone who is actually interested in your project. You want to hire passionate freelancers that will energize your team.
Don’t preference expertise over passion, such employees will never go the extra mile to get the job done.
Respect is something that will take the employer-freelancer relation in a long way. You don’t need someone who lacks respect for authority and is unresponsive to constructive feedback. This is a sign of immature mentality and you do not need such employees.
Programming skill level
Ideally, you should look for a well-rounded developer who is familiar with multiple programming languages and concepts such as polymorphism, Interfaces, Inheritance, and frameworks.They should demonstrate their expertise by showing you a portfolio of previous projects.
Also, look for other skills that identify a highly skilled developer, such as familiarity with source control tools and development automation tools. Those with additional technical skills are great to have on your team because you never know what complex problems you might encounter.
Now for the showdown, the interview. There are plenty of questions that you can ask, use the list below as guidance.
What is your experience as a freelance software developer?
How long have you been working and how many employers/clients have you worked for or worked with?
How would you define your work quality? Can you tell us about one worst and one best experience you had with a client?
How many times have you been able to satisfy the client 100%? What was it that made the client so satisfied?
Have you ever failed to please a client? What were the reasons and how do you plan for that to never happen in the future?
Do you identify yourself as a punctual and reliable person? Give us a few reasons why we should trust you
Is there a time you were unable to complete a project? How did you handle the situation?
What type of work are you most familiar or comfortable with? How will you respond if you are required to work on something you are inexperienced or unfamiliar with?
You will be working remotely, how will you manage your communication with different team members distributed on different parts of a project?
Which/how many programming languages are you familiar with? What is your level of familiarity or expertise with each of them?
What is your approach to drafting a solution? Define in steps how do you start a work process and see it to completion?
How do you gather the required information before starting a project? What if you are unable to find it, how do you cope with that?
How do you ensure timely completion of a project while ensuring it will satisfy the client 100%?
You can quiz the candidates and have your in-house software developers ask them a few technical questions pertaining related to their prospective work. Ask them outline how they would solve a real life scenario.
Being pedantic is great but just make sure you don't go too far, you could scare aware talented freelancers and potential assets for your business.