Yesterday I discussed the 5 Must-Dos Before Your Next Skype Interview and told you I would discuss the importance of interviews in a later article. Well, today you’re getting that article. I mentioned yesterday that a fellow group member in one of my online groups felt it was degrading for me to be having an interview for a position. The person felt that, as a small business owner, having an interview would put me and my business in the “employee” category rather than the contractor category. I strongly disagree.
We have been in business for nearly 15 months now, and while not an extremely long time, we have had 45 clients. Yes, I realize this sounds like a lot, however some of these clients have been for a one-time project that was over in the matter of hours or a couple of days. These short-term clients are not the ones whom I speak about when I say the importance of interviews. Those whom I am speaking about are the long-term clients.
Here are a few points about the importance of interviews:
1. It’s a Two-Way Street. You have a right to interview your clients as much as they have a right to interview you. You need to make sure you are cohesive and get a good vibe off each other. I realize that at the beginning of your business you may feel that you have to take every project you are offered, however this is NOT the case.
2. Reasonable Expectations. We didn’t start thinking about the importance of interviews until we won two projects, not knowing that they were going to expect us to work LATE nights (I’m talking 4am) and weekends. If we had interviewed these clients ahead of time we would not have accepted the projects. Thankfully we entered the project with a short-ish trial period and exited at the end of that period.
3. Qualified Experience. If you are submitting proposals for projects on Elance, often there is more to the project than what is written in the project description. It is important to know what all the details are BEFORE you officially become the contractor. I have run into this even in the past week. Dozens of companies are looking for help updating their WordPress websites, and while I am comfortable editing the HTML and CSS, I prefer to stay in the front end. Before working on anybody’s WordPress site, I now ask for more information, and a screen share session if possible, before committing to perform the work as requested. i don’t want our business name to get burnt because what COULD be an easy job turns out to be quite labor extensive and difficult.
Do you have questions about what you should be asking your prospective client during an interview? Please leave a comment below or contact us!
Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture.
An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. When it comes to client work, Kim especially enjoys helping her clients develop innovative marketing strategies and sales funnels, particularly when they are using Infusionsoft to automate all the heavy lifting. To find out how you can further develop your company’s marketing and automation strategies schedule a 1-hour Business Boost Strategy Session by clicking here.
In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.
Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “10 Top Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.