10 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring a Freelance Developer

It’s hard not to get swayed by the flexibility and affordability freelance developers can provide.

But to reap the maximum benefits, you must choose a capable freelancer for your team. Weighing the freelance developers on the same scale as full-time employees can prove to be a half-baked attempt at hiring.

That’s why, to avoid the disasters of an unsuitable candidate, prepare yourself with better interview questions to ask.

Here are 10 essential interview questions you can’t miss asking your candidates and some tips to spot the real talent.

Importance of a thorough evaluation in Hiring Freelance Developers

Assessing a freelancer can be tricky. It makes the need for a thorough evaluation even more important.

While a good hire can switch your product into a rocket ship, a bad one can expose you to tremendous risks.

1. Low-quality Work

If you are hunting for a freelance developer just to save budget, think again.

Surely, you’ll find many freelancers who will agree to work at half the market rate, but you should be prepared to get half the expected quality too.

A prepared line of questioning will help you understand the motivations of freelancers and gauge their skills so that you can filter out responsible candidates from the herd.

Once you figure this out, you’ll be able to make a better choice, the one that doesn’t churn out poor-quality work just for its sake.

2. Missed Deadlines

You can know the programming knowledge of a candidate by looking at their resume. But what you won’t find there are their depth of knowledge and work ethics.

Managing remote freelancers is a challenge. You can’t hover over them to monitor their progress. They might be working a hundred miles away from you or maybe in a completely different time zone. 

That’s why selecting a responsible freelance web developer who can complete your work on time is crucial. And a well-prepared evaluation can easily measure the commitment and time the candidate can put into the project.

3. Poor Coordination

A project isn’t all about deploying lines of code. You need a skilled team who knows what you’re doing and how to reach there.

No matter how much of a great programmer you hire as a freelancer, your project can run amok if they can’t coordinate effectively with you and your team.

It is important to evaluate a freelancer for their team-playing and coordination abilities

4. Security Blunders

Working with a freelancer doesn’t have to be a leap of faith.

Many managers hesitate to outsource their developers because of how much system access they’ll have to give to freelancers.

And it’s a sound concern. You can’t trust an unsuitable candidate with your source code for obvious security reasons.

But if you invest a little more time and effort in selecting a freelance developer, you can enjoy more peace of mind with no potential security breaches.

Top 10 Questions to Ask While Hiring a Freelance Web Developer

Start with the basic questions to cross off the initial checklist of requirements.

1. Which programming languages and technology have you worked with in the past?

Things to look out for:

  • Do their skills match what you need for your project development?
  • Do you have the same technologies in-house, or will you need to train the freelancer on them?
  • Does their experience give you an edge to succeed?
  • Are they constantly upskilling themselves with new trends and information?

2. How much do you charge for the projects, and what are your expectations for this one?

If you are on a strict budget, it makes sense to clear this question out of the way first.

  • Research the market trends before you hop on the interview. It will give you a base to compare the quotes.
  • Decide your budget and the maximum you can offer to the candidate.
  • Understand the inclusions and exclusions provided in that price. Check whether the freelance web developer will provide maintenance and installation.

3. How much time can you give to this project?

It’s probably the most important question to which you should pay close attention. The more time a freelancer can offer you, the sooner they will deliver your project.

  • Notice their track record of completing past projects. How many of those were delivered on or before time?
  • Do you think their current bandwidth is enough for your project’s timely completion?
  • How will they compensate for the missed deadlines?
  • Understand if they will work remotely or join your office for the project duration.

Now, let’s cover the technical aspect of the interview.

4. How do you research and work on a project?

Freelance developers don’t have the luxury of spending months training to understand your product. They need to be quick on their feet from the get-go.

  • See how they prepared for the previous projects and what they are planning for yours.
  • Evaluate the freelancer’s project management skills based on how engaged they usually are in a task.
  • Seek what they will require from your end and offer to share relevant information to ease the process.

5. What challenges have you faced in your past projects, and what did you do to handle them?

No project development is a smooth-sailing ride. But what matters the most is how the freelance web developer handles it.

  • This question is perfect for getting insights into the working style of the freelance candidate.
  • It also tells you a lot about their resolve to finish the project on time.
  • You can judge their problem-solving skills and dedication to the project.

6. Has there been an instance in the past when the client wasn’t satisfied with the project delivery?

Program development is full of revisions and updates. It’s part and parcel of the job. The intention behind asking this question should be to analyze the extent to which a web developer is willing to complete his assignment.

  • Check the answer for honesty and transparency.
  • Evaluate the candidate based on his self-awareness and zeal to provide the best.
  • It’s an excellent cue for you to discuss how you would want to proceed if something is lacking in your project too. It will set the expectations right from the beginning.

7. How will you manage the project deployment, security, and maintenance?

The job of a developer doesn’t end with project delivery. It’s equally important to ensure that it’s secure to use and workable in the long run. That’s where regular maintenance comes into the picture.

  • Check how the developer intends to test the code. 
  • You can even introduce your in-house testing team or a dedicated third party to evaluate the program for bugs or potential risks.
  • See if the freelance developer takes all the necessary security measures in developing the project.

8. How do you communicate with the clients and coordinate the project?

Effective communication must already be a necessary criterion for hiring your employees. It’s even more essential if you are considering hiring a freelance developer.

A freelancer can’t come to your desk whenever they encounter an issue. So, naturally, understanding how they plan to handle queries is a crucial answer to know.

  • Discuss the channels the freelancer uses to communicate with you. It could be an online tool, email, or chat.
  • Also, seek out how they will coordinate with your team for the project.
  • You can choose a daily or weekly time to connect for regular project updates.

9. How do you select a project to work on next?

It’s a gateway into the mind of the freelance developer. You can ask them to elaborate on their project selection part to see if they are just doing it aimlessly or have a planned journey ahead.

  • Note what excited them to work on this project with you.
  • Ask for their feedback or suggestions for the development.
  • Check if they prefer a particular industry and whether that’s why they chose you. If yes, you can engage with the developer to enhance your project.

10. Do you have any questions for me?

It’s always good to begin the end of the interview with an open platform for questions.

Allow your freelance candidates to ask you questions and clear their minds of doubts.

  • You can determine from their questions if they are optimistic about working with you.
  • You get a chance to explain things in detail and set the record straight to avoid further confusion.

Let’s Get Started

Many programmers say a lot to support the big claims on their resumes. It’s important to take it with a pinch of salt as not everyone out there is honest.

To verify their claims, you can either ask the candidates for their client testimonials or live projects where they contributed.

Otherwise, you can start your hassle-free search for the perfect freelance web developer through online platforms like ellow. It brings developers and recruiters from around the world and matches the right parties in hours.

You won’t even have to worry about the efficiency of these developers as ellow conducts extensive assessment tests, availability checks, and a thorough screening to vet the candidates.

It will definitely make your freelance web developer hiring super easy as you get a global talent pool that’s already better than the rest.