the question, "Do you have any suggestions on how to run this project?" excuse me if I didn't get the quite right, but, this is something that you ask someone after they have been working on a given project. To give an answer to this question would be to sound nothing more than arogant on the applicants part.
Everytime I see this question I point this aspect out and suggest to not ask it. On a realistic point how can anyone honestly answer this without fully knowning and understanding the full scope of a given project and the management style of the leader?
If you have been through an actual job interview this type of question never comes up, so why should it here on Odesk? True human resource folk know better than to ask meaningless questions, and asking a person their opinion about something they nothing of only draws out their ego and bravado.
The question should be removed period.
Thanks for your post on this. I don't think anybody has ever addressed it. You definitely provided some food for thought. I definitely never thought about this question so deeply...
I don't mind the question. It is an optional qustion that clients can choose if they want to. Most don't. Some do. I don't mind being asked, and I don't mind answering.
No matter how vague the job description, I can always think of "suggestions on how to run this project". Even if my suggestions aren't 100% correct due to my lack of complete understanding of the project, that's fine. It gives the client a glimpse into my thinking. They're not going to penalize me for trying my best to briefly answer what is really meant to be a relatively casual, free-form question.
Quote: No matter how vague the job description, I can always think of "suggestions on how to run this project".
Quote: Even if my suggestions aren't 100% correct due to my lack of complete understanding of the project, that's fine. It gives the client a glimpse into my thinking. They're not going to penalize me for trying my best to briefly answer what is really meant to be a relatively casual, free-form question.
Hi Bernard W !
That's one of the problems, it appears that oDesk doesn't have any "True human resource folk..." oDesk appears to be heavily managed by persons with extensive Internet based sales and marketing backgrounds.
I have always suspected that the client job description additional "canned" questions feature and the ability for clients to add specific questions feature were implemented to assist clients improve the quality of their job descriptions. A lot of job descriptions continue to be poorly written and fail to establish and document a meaningful business agreement (contract) let alone a definitive scope of work.
Unfortunately, a lot of the clients that needed that kind of help might be unable to even select the most appropriate and applicable questions. That just forces freelancers to spend more time when going through the job application process. In addition, I suspect that those inadequate job descriptions continue to give rise to disputes and other non-productive, unwarranted activities.
Clients can create their own questions http://screencast.com/t/wuETQQji
Most of the times I end up ignoring this question and let the client know that I will require detailed requirements before making any suggestions. But when requirements are actually in detail, then it is often a good chance to show off a bit of your expertise like telling the client about pros/cons about using certain database. Of course it takes extra time and often acts as a tool for clients to gain free knowledge about their domain.
About the point made by OP about "Human Resource Folks" , he is totally correct. The knowledge and skills expected from a freelancer is often at premium as compared to the regular employees. They expect you to be the one man team instead of working with a team and I think it is only fair for a client to expect that. I find that the most successful freelancers are those who can handle every aspect of their work single handedly including research,project management and sometimes even define the requirements for a client.
Interesting Bernard - that's actually one of the questions I LIKE answering.
Maybe it's the type of work I'm doing that makes it a question I feel I can really nail. I always lay things out discussing client and freelancer (note: I don't say me, I'm trying to help them out regardless of who they hire).
I don't need to know the scope of the project. There are things that always need to get covered before even hiring someone (availability, due date, looking at the file so you know you are the right person to do the job, overall expectations). Direction that needs to be discussed when hired (how will they use the work, design & branding input, samples of work they like/don't like). Communication that needs to happen during the project (milestones, how to handle questions, are revisions included).
I can practically guarantee that I am giving information that truly helps the client - especially if it is their first time hiring someone for this particular type of job, or if they've had bad luck in the past.