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sivavranagaro
Member

I need money again

Not many of my earlier clients contacted me in recent. That's fine. So I'm forced to apply for new jobs. There I saw one, clicked "apply", wrote my cover letter... and questions began. First, my favorite: 1. "Why did you apply to this particular job?" 2. "Do you have any questions about the job description?" 3. "Do you have suggestions to make this project run successfully?" 4. "Why do you think you are a good fit for this particular project?" 5. "What challenging part of this job are you most experienced in?" I was so close to answer "Dealing with idiotic questions like all these above." then I remembered I actually need that money so I lied again "Coming with new ideas." Wonderful. Thank you oDesk marketing agents for forcing me to feel like an idiot. I really appreciate that.
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Don't correct my grammar!
23 REPLIES 23
amurigi
Member

I agree some of these questions being asked don't make sense.

The pre-written screening questions are supposed to be used properly. Unfortunately, some clients just choose the questions for the sake of it and some have no relevance to the advertised job. It can get quite annoying.
t-hall
Member

I'm really not sure why people hate these questions so much, they are standard for most job applications in the 'real world' as well. Maybe even more questions. If the job description doesn't have enough info for you to think of answers to these questions, then it shows it inexperience of the person posting it... a perfect opportunity for you to show your knowledge and guide them. It's a win / win. perception is everything.

Tony, the questions wouldn't be a problem if they were always relevant. Some clients do not think of how they relate to the role, it sometimes feels as though they randomly chose the questions because they were available. Also, a lot of the answers are written within my cover letter. I find that I have to repeat myself. Some clients get it right and some don't.
johnb88
Member

I agree entirely. These "questions" have turned me away from many job postings and the site as a whole. I've never had an issue simply providing my skill sets in the main application text box. This site has gone to the dogs anyways. Everyone wants writing done for less than a penny a word. There are no more good jobs. It's sad really. The most horrifying aspect is that the garbage people pump out for those prices are being published on the web somewhere.
sivavranagaro
Member

This is job description: "PowerPoint support is needed! Some creation of some tables etc." Just this. Questions are: 1. Do you have any questions about the job description? 2. Why did you apply to this particular job? I just couldn't. I hope my sentence is grammatically correct. He/she can report me to oDesk but somehow I just don't care. This is my answer: "Haha. Funny question. Because creating tables in PowerPoint is something I dreamed of when i was eight year old child."
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Don't correct my grammar!

ha... and it's because instead of bedtime stories, you had PowerPoint slides, right?

Exactly.
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Don't correct my grammar!
maverickuk
Member

These 'questions' are 90% of the time a pathetic waste of time. The client will write a non-descriptive job posting that lacks any real detail, then i get to the next page where i'm littered with questions that i genuinely can't ask. Clients job post: "I need a Wordpress website for the health industry" Question: "What do you think will take the most time in this project" How can i even reply to that question with a legitimate answer? I mean come on... How am i supposed to know, when i don't know the details of the job i.e. the design or functionality requirements... Dear lord.

Exactly.

"What do you think will take the most time in this project" Periodic discussion, meetings and strategic planning to ensure I am delivering not just another 'Wordpress site'. I strive to ensure each and every one of my clients goals are met and exceeded, and this often requires a back and forth approach as the project develops and new considerations arise. Fortunately, my previous experience working with multiple clients from multiple industries will help alleviate many common issues small business owners face during the various phases of building their online business. I look forward to working closely with you throughout the projects development. Together we will take this one step at a time and make sure you end with the best possible solution for your goals. ------------ You can choose to scoff at their lack of experience, or you can demonstrate how your own experience can assist them. By asking the questions they do, they are also giving you a boat load of information to work with. You know they are new or small, and probably have faced troubles in the past due to their way of communicating and apparent lack of understanding of their own needs.

How on earth could you NOT answer that? If you have built a WordPress site before, you should be able to answer it because you will have the experience with such projects and understand the process. I know I could.

Listen, clever cloggs, it was an example that can be extrapolated to the extremes - the point i was attempting to make is that clients have "questions" that sometimes simply cannot be answered. The questions should be specific to the particular project, so if they're asking me what part of THEIR PROJECT is going to take the most time, how is that easily answerable based on zero information that has been provided? It may turn out that they need a booking system that they've poorly described in their job description - how am i supposed to forsee that they would want something like this, but didn't quite manage to properly explain their requirements in the job posting - since they have literally no information in it?!

That's how I see it, Nick. The questions should be specific to the project.

Then why not offer them a free consultation to help them organize their project or design process, instead of trying to systematically answer a question? Think creatively, save the logical way of thinking for the actual key mashing? For every post I see like this about such things as questions that don't make much sense, I see at least (least!) one opportunity. Perspective. I'm not trying to be a smart ass or anything, I'm just saying... this is my approach and so far it's given me an opportunity to turn away literally 90% of the invites I receive, get interviewed for almost any contract I apply for, a strong rating, and a livable income from oDesk alone if I wanted it. Before I started ODesk, I had very little options worth putting time into... now I don't even have the time to look at all the options. Not bragging by any means... it's just an opportunistic way to approach these things like unanswerable questions. The client is pretty much screaming 'HELP ME!' when you see nonsensical postings. Super easy opportunity to show your level of expertise to someone who could really use it A reply definitely does not need to be a direct answer. Think different...

Tony i completely appreciate what you're saying, but it's still not the point. The point is, these questions are more often than not useless and a waste of time - of course, i'd still answer them to the best of my ability and the fact that i get around 80% of the contracts i apply for speaks volumes for my application process. It's not a case of not taking up the opportunity from the off-topic questions, but rather a case of making the process more streamlined and easier for both client and contractor alike. The point is, these questions need to be more to-the-point (or actually on point) or not asked at all. There needs to be a system in place so these questions are used more in context and ultimately help freelancers help the client - not just have questions for questions sake.

Tony, how would you reply to "Why did you apply to this job?" and job is "I need 15 pdf pages redone in PowerPoint"?
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Don't correct my grammar!

Hmmm, well I know absolutely ziltch about PP, lol.. but generally speaking, for those 'why' questions I try to mention how I actually (like for real, just just saying it) enjoy the type of work and how I seek more like it to better my skills and try my best to absolutely knock the client's needs out of the park because I personally have an attachment to it That's the honest to God's truth though, but I also only apply to jobs that have that inner fulfillment. I would seriously do most of the stuff I do for free, because I also learn from it and many of my clients do charitable things on the side if not directly through their business. Each contract I take has an element of what I need to become extremely good at it myself for my own career path in the future. It's like getting paid to go to school. If the job isn't your bag of tea, then maybe some straight up honesty could work. I'd have no shame in telling a client I need the work and am applying to help put food on the table. I'd also stress how honest I'm being, and not just telling them what they want to hear to land the job. Again, I'd tell them I'd knock the project out of the park in hopes to retain the client on an 'on call' basis for future tasks if needed. If the client see's you're a genuine person, being up front with them, not exaggerating or filling them with sales pitches, they may actually really appreciate the refreshing change of pace compared to most freelancers. I honestly haven't got to that point yet though, but probably would approach it that way. Maybe tell them you love the creative side of that task? You love the thought of being on stage and giving a presentation. You think about how it would flow if it was you on stage, and how you aspire to do it yourself one day? Just a thought. If you actually enjoy the work, that question shouldn't be too hard, right? If you hate it, then hehe.... I dunno, keep looking or just be honest? As someone who often helps clients find additional staff, my biggest pet peeve is people who glam things up. They make themselves sound like superstars... but if they are, then why the heck are they looking for work at a couple bucks an hour? Those who 'talk to me' earn my respect and trust very quickly. I'd rather grow with someone who knows they have a lot to learn or wants to earn their preferred position within an organization after 'paying their dues'- then hire someone who tells me anything they think I want to hear, just to land the job. Those people don't last long, and if they do, their true colors quickly shine through. Quickest way to crappy feedback, haha :P kinda went off topic a little, but yeah... I'd talk to them (not tell them) about how you generally personally relate to the task and how much you'd enjoy doing it for them at the highest level you possibly can. Or just simply talk to them about growing your client base up and using this task as a first step to an ongoing relationship. Either way, trust is earned a bit?

Where is the "Like" button when you need it? Well said Tony! Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

:beer: lol

As someone who is handed a set of requirements and just codes them. But that isn't the first step, collecting the requirements and writing them up is. So it seems the client doesn't have any clear requirements yet. Well, then that just means he now needs to hire someone who can elicit those and put them together in a form that a programmer can use. To criticize someone for not having a clear set of requirements is just ridiculous. If you don't have the ability to prepare requirements but that is the stage he appears to be at, then maybe the job isn't for you and you should just move on.

"Criticize someone" - since when did i criticize the potential client? I'm criticizing the process and, ultimately, the way it has been implemented by oDesk - with better implementation it can save the CLIENT and the CONTRACTOR valuable time. You're trying to be a smartass for being a smartasses sake - not sure what the benefit of that is exactly?

If a client is asking to select the most relevant previous job, and just one question, it might be because they did not notice or forgot to uncheck. The questions are random, with each new job post you get a different stock question. Why is this checked marked by default? Let clients check mark if they want to use this option. I just noticed this is still in beta.