Tips for Interviewing a Potential Outsourcing Candidate

OutsourcingFinding just the right employees for your outsourcing jobs isn’t as simple as posting your project on Upwork and picking the first person that sounds decent. Especially for larger jobs, you’ll really want to interview your potential resource. In order to get the best quality information from your interviews, develop a list of questions in advance and be prepared to answer questions yourself. Base your questions on both the job you need done and the prospect’s resume.

Here are a few tips for both preparing questions and conducting an interview:

Ask open-ended questions
Many interviewers come with a simple checklist of skills they want to have in an applicant. But, just ticking off items on your list tells you almost nothing about them.

So stay away from questions that have a yes or no answer. For example, rather than asking “Do you have experience in…?” ask “What kind of experience do you have in…?” Then let your prospect expand on what they have done – listen carefully to make sure their experience fits your project and your culture.

Give them time to answer
Be patient. Let your prospect have plenty of time to think about their answer, especially when you are asking a more complex question. Don’t jump in and ask another question just because they haven’t answered right away. Remember, your job at this point is to listen. If you’re not sure the person understood the question, you can ask if they need it clarified. A good technique is to let your interviewee repeat the question back to you… this way you know they understood the question, and can save time getting answers to questions you didn’t ask.

Ask about strengths AND weaknesses
Most interviewers tend to just ask about the skills that they need for a particular project. But, if you ask about other strengths, you may see opportunities for future collaboration on a broader range of projects.

In addition, ask the interviewee about skills that they don’t feel they are good at. Everyone has weaknesses. Knowing what they are in advance means you can avoid unrealistic expectations. And many times these questions will let you see how they handled problems and what they learned – which may make them better for you and your project. And, of course, knowing their weak points lets you avoid those areas as your project proceeds.

Ask about challenges they’ve faced
Find out what types of challenges they have had to deal with in previous jobs. For example, what was the most difficult project they worked on? Why was it a challenge? How did they handle it?

You’ll get a good sense of the other person through finding out what they consider a challenge and by how they describe it. For example, if they saw everything as a problem, it could indicate that they don’t enjoy complicated tasks. On the other hand, if they view challenges as opportunities to learn something new, you know that they have a greater capacity to tackle jobs that are not as clearly defined. This can well point to a valuable resource for your company.

Ask about what they’re most proud of
This is always a good conversation to have. What a person is proud of can tell you a lot about their character and what they value. Find out what they consider their biggest achievements. Why do they think they were successful? What is it about the achievement that made them feel proud? Here again, you may find out that the person has talents that don’t bear on this project, but may well help on future projects – and if you already know where these skills are, think of the time you will save!

Finally, remember that this isn’t just your potential resource. Good outsourcers can be picky about the jobs they take and they may be in demand. As you conduct your interviews, make sure you give your interviewees time to ask questions as well. You are being interviewed at the same time, even if you don’t realize it.

DanSig-02




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