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Paid Interview.

Ace Contributor
Kunal M Member Since: Apr 2, 2010
1 of 11
HI all Do you think interviews are gonna be paid. I just finished discussing project with one client but unfortunately he dint hired me for job. And the reason is "He cant afford me". I mean how lame is this? I have my hourly rate clearly written in my profile. Why you contact high quality rates, if you cant afford. I have wasted over 2 hours for nothing. Now he know everything how to set up everything. Client got everything but I got nothing and 2 hours lost . Who will compensate me for my 2 hours?.
Community Guru
Daniel P Member Since: Aug 15, 2014
2 of 11
No one will compensate you for your time.

How exactly did you manage to spend 2 frickin' hours discussing the project with the client before the topic of the client's budget came up?

For me, if I'm in any doubt that the client's budget isn't up to snuff, it's one of the first thing I mention during the interview/discussion stage.
Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
3 of 11

Daniel is right. You have to eat that.

Don't give out any specific information to a client unless you have a contract started. Keep your interviews short. 

Chalk this up to a learning experience. 🙂

I think it's shameful when a client tries to get information to help their project without paying the freelancer.

It happened to me before.

Client said she was hiring me. We talked for hours and asked what I thought about certain things on the project and said she was opening a contract in the morning. Stupid me believed her and when I mentioned next day I didn't see contract, she NEVER got back to me. I checked project and she hired someone else who charged less than me, which, at the time was about half of my current rate so she got all my ideas (she said I had great ideas, and I most likely did. lol) and passed that on to the lancer she hired. no doubt. 

Lesson learned for me! 🙂

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 11

re: "Who will compensate me for my 2 hours?"


Ah, yes... The free consultation.


We have all been there.


It takes wisdom and practice and discipline to make sure we don't do this as contractors.


A brief interview about our qualifications is acceptable, but we should not provide free consultations like this.


The client was wrong to do this, of course, but it is up to us as contractors to enforce this and politely let the client know she needs to send a contract so that we can log time while discussing how to make the project move forward.

Community Guru
Vince D Member Since: Feb 18, 2016
5 of 11

While I would I would never actually interview for that long, I have had long discussions with cliens that I have submitted a proposal to. This is becuase the description is so vague. Such as "I need a conatact database in FIlemaker".


It's rather difficult to give a fixed price estimate or even an estimate on the number of hours. Usually in the discussion I find that they want to track things like contacts, invoices, notes, documents, etc. Sometimes these can be longer than I might like but I find it to be necessary fact finding. Sometimes it even turns out that Filemaker is not a good fit for what they need and suggest alternative technologies. Most times the client has actually volunteered to pay for my time (although they were private contacts and not through Elance or Upwork).


I always make sure though that I'm only digging for information fo my proposal. i will NEVER tell them how to build their database so they can find someone else.


Does the time spent guarantee I get the job. Maybe 80% of the time and depending on how long the discussion was I might work that into my final estimate.



"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
Buckaroo Banzai
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
6 of 11

People, the question was asked two years ago.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
7 of 11

Smiley Tongue


Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
8 of 11

@Rene K wrote:

People, the question was asked two years ago.

 ..............and Kunal has had two years to let us know if he's learned from this. 🙂 

Besides, it's still valid because there are lots of people (I'm assuming) that have had this issue happen to them since then and now they have all the great answers to take away. 🙂 

Community Leader
David D Member Since: Jun 8, 2016
9 of 11

Many clients will ask questions and of course you want to be helpful but be careful not to give it away for free. First, you don't want to basically tell the  client how you're going to do everything because they may decide they'll just do it themselves now that they know, and secondly there are a lot of scammers here on Upwork who will flat out try to get you to do things for free in the interview process. Upwork does what they can to get rid of them but they still pop up.


You wouldn't go to a new job and work for free for two hours so don't do it here on Upwork either.


Many clients, especially newcomers, are wary about hiring someone for remote freelance work. They understandably want to know that you can do the job but that doesn't mean you need to prove yourself to them by doing the work for free or outlining every step. Your portfolio, feedback, and job success rating is there to showcase your abilities. 


I have no issue in talking, sometimes at length, during the interview but I won't give anything away. This is an interview after all and at a certain point there is nothing wrong with telling the client that you'd be happy to explain things to them once they've hired you but that you don't work for free. Plain and simple. 

Active Member
Tsiresi R Member Since: Nov 27, 2016
10 of 11

this matter is actually still relevant and will remain as such as long as consulting will exist.


In the current days, it even appears that more and more clients explicitely ask for the detailed steps for addressing a problem as a condition for interview. They even throw the bold excuse that it is the only way for the freelancer to prove their experience.


Is it better to ignore those offers or waste time and try to debate and argue to get hired?