When I invite someone to apply for a job I've posted, I often get an email back, but they rarely fill out the cover letter / application questions. One of them recently told me that they couldn't figure out how to do that, only if they initiated the application process would they get that.
That makes no sense -- when I invite someone, it's because I want them to fill out an application, not send me an email saying "Okay, I'm ready for the interview". How can I direct them to fill out the application?
The invited freelancer is right - when a client invites us to a job, we can't see any application questions and just get a blank field to fill in a message. When you invite a freelancer (individually), you have the option to customize a message to them. There you can add your questions.
While it's true that they don't see the questions, nothing is stopping them from reading the job description before responding. I just can't understand those that respond saying "I'm ready for the interview".
I think oDesk needs to change this, freelancers get a notification for an interview invitation, they should be notified that they are being invited to apply.
It depends on who he's inviting... They might be really busy.
I'm really busy right now, but anything I tell clients is going to be helpful to them. If somebody invites me to an interview, I might not read their job description. I might instead reply politely:
"I would love to discuss your project with you. Just send me a hire invite for consultation time and I'll accept your offer at my current hourly rate. That way you can get my full attention while we talk, and you'll be free to ask me any questions without worrying that you're asking me to work without pay. I'm happy to talk with you via email, oDesk messaging, Skype, on the phone, or using the videoconferencing system of your choice. During the consultation, you'll be able to describe your project needs and I'll be able to tell you whether or not I can work on your project, and I'll be able to provide estimates for my hourly rate and fixed rate for doing so. You're paying for my time, so you should absolutely feel free to record the conversation."
I am with Natasha on this one and am amazed that someone would have the nerve to reply with "Okay, I'm ready for the interview". That said, I think any client that receives replies like that can consider themselves lucky for having been able to weed out freelancers with poor judgment instantly and with minimal effort.
Accepting an interview without having read the job description and making sure one is a fit, makes for really crappy experience for clients in 9 out of 10 cases, I am sure.
While it's not possible to see the questions of the original job description, it is possible to apply with a cover letter, which frankly, I thought was common practice...