by Jargon Writer

Writing my way to becoming a freelancer

Interviewing for Jobs

So, a big part of finding work, even as a freelancer, is applying and interviewing for jobs. As I mentioned in my post a few days ago, I recently reevaluated my sales pitch / application email and ended up revamping it and improving my response rate significantly.

One of the jobs that replied to the new format actually got to the interview stage this week, and I talked to him yesterday on the phone.

Well, I’ve done some reading on interviewing for jobs (I actually enjoy this kind of reading – yes I am just that strange) and I tried to apply it on the phone with him.

Ask questions – make it clear that you are interested in what he does and how he wants to do it, then show that you understand that and that you’re capable of doing it.

So I did. I asked about who his ideal clientele will be. When he told me it would be for a website, I asked if he was going to charge for access to the information. I demonstrated (or at least tried to) a genuine interest in understanding both his motivations for doing this and his plans.

The job in this case is mostly web content, through he is also potentially interested in sales letters, brochures, etc. The client owns an event planning company that wants to create an educational website for other event planners. He is planning on charging for the content (ie. putting it behind a paywall) and creating different levels of service to help teach them how to be better event planners. He hopes to target everyone from recent graduates to long time planners, and wedding planners to celebrity event planners.

I did my best to follow all of the interview tips I’ve read. But he asked a few times  if I thought I’d be comfortable writing the type of pieces he mentioned needing -I said of course, and that I had sent him samples. He said okay. I then tried to prove I knew something about those topics by naming the kinds of articles I felt I could write. He seemed to relax a bit.

A lot of my reading suggests that if you can get the interviewer to do most of the talking – not because you’re unresponsive but because they are excited about the project and can tell your interested – than that is a good sign for how the interview is going.

So, I got him to talking. I asked about the kind of content he wants. He divided it into two sections – general business education, on marketing and SEO and that sort of thing, and event planning specific content, like how to choose the perfect venue.

Our conversation ended with him saying he had a few more people to talk to and that I’d hear back Monday or Tuesday.

Now I didn’t get that vibe like – wow, I am SO going to get this job, but i also didn’t get that “she is kooky and there is no way I want to work with her” vibe. So I can honestly say i have no idea if I’ll get an offer. But even if I don’t, I figure the interview was good practice and it shows that I can get to that point.

I did learn though, that I probably need a little more practice interviewing for this kind of thing. Go figure. One more thing to add to the to-do list.

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January 31, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I liked this post because it does not “simplify” the story by making it a 100% happy or sad ending. You focus on the process rather than the “lessons” which allowed me to feel what it is like to have an interview, along with you. Looking forward for the sequel, and hope the interviewer won’t get offended by reading this (as a reader I did not get any negative nor positive vibe about that company which remained nameless).

    Comment by Isao | January 31, 2010 | Reply

    • I’ll definitely post the sequel. I doubt the interviewer would be upset – though I did intentionally not name him or his company. Going forward, as I interview for more freelance jobs I’ll have to find a way to differentiate between my clients for my readers without making it obvious who I’m talking to.

      Comment by mbreau | January 31, 2010 | Reply


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